City officials have given a local property owner 30 days to remove two unusual dwelling units in Portland, Maine’s Bayside neighborhood that they say violate the city’s land use code.
The owner also has the option to seek building permits, but it’s not clear the non-traditional homes would qualify, even with potentially expensive upgrades such as a new water main to the property.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” said property owner Brent Adler, who has tenants ready to move into two units on Chapel St. on Nov. 1.
The offending structures are two tiny homes perched atop trailers that have their wheels hidden by flashing to give the appearance of a foundation. The units, each with roughly 400 square feet of living space, have been hooked up to electrical, water and sewer lines.
Adler, who owns residential buildings in the city, said he believes the tiny homes are allowed because they are essentially recreational vehicles and he could not find any language in the city’s land use code prohibiting him from parking RV units on his land and renting them out.
However, Michael Russell, the city’s director of permitting and inspections, said in an email Tuesday that RV parks are not addressed in the code and are therefore prohibited.
“Any use that is not specifically allowed in the zoning ordinance is disallowed,” Russell said.
City officials issued Adler a notice of violation Friday for “erecting structures without a permit.”