Above is a tiny house provided as a mockup during our open house.
It was a tense few hours. The EcoVillage residents and staff huddled together at St. Petersburg City Hall for hours. Many of them were there from 3:30 PM, and the hearing wasn’t over until 10:00 PM. There were two requests from the EcoVillage. 1) Permission to build two permanent tiny houses on the property, and revisions to the parking situation. 2) Permission for a commercial kitchen in the garden, built from a shipping container, and a new classification – a “Community Gathering” space.
After EcoVillage staff members gave a very detailed presentation on what the EcoVillage is doing now, and plans to do in the future, the hearing allowed for any St. Petersburg resident to comment on the proposal. Countless members of the community, EcoVillage residents, and volunteers spoke in support of the request to the city.
The EcoVillage’s first request, which was approval for the tiny houses, and to continue operating as a community service entity was approved after more than an hour of back-and-forth discussion. The second request for a commercial kitchen, and to be classified as a “community assembly” facility was eventually outvoted, and the city cited a lack of parking as one of the primary reasons why.
Without the support of everyone who came, the approval might not have happened! Everyone who came spoke so passionately about our mission, and we are so excited to get the tiny houses built to showcase more sustainable living practices! As a Village, we’re so happy to call the City of St. Petersburg our home – where change is happening, and getting approved by local officials!