Tiny Home show previews new Ruskin community

- Could you take everything from your home and fit it into a 300-square-foot tiny house?   

Extreme downsizing and pint-sized properties are gaining popularity across the country and this weekend, tiny living is coming to the Bay Area.

The Tiny Home Show is being held Saturday in Ruskin at the Hillsborough Community College campus.

Many people are attracted to living in a tiny house for a simpler life, a smaller environmental footprint, and financial freedom.   

A tiny home community is in the works in Ruskin, but there are still plenty of roadblocks for people who want to live in a modest abode.

Shorty Robbins, for one, is living her dream.

“I just wake up every morning and I can’t believe I really did this,” Robbins said of moving into a tiny house.

The St. Augustine woman built the home herself - all 125-square-feet of it. And for the last five months, she’s been living in the tiny house full time.

“Of course, financially it’s very freeing. I can pack up and move and go places. I travel all over the country with it,” Robbins said.

It’s a lifestyle lots of people are interested in, but first, you need to own a pint-sized property.

Co-owner of Tampa Bay Tiny Homes, Chris Short gave us a tour of the most popular trends in small-living. The company builds and designs little living spaces.

“You have two basic types, on foundation, and on a trailer, so - on wheels,” Chris explained.

But size does matter, and many who dream of a tiny home run into roadblocks while figuring out where to put one. It seems zoning codes haven’t caught up with the tiny house craze.

“There’s more demand then there is actual ability to deliver on that demand and have people live in a tiny home,” he said.   

Some people park them on private property, but to be fully legal they need to be in a mobile home or RV park. That’s why Debbie Caneen bought a 4.5-acre property back in June and had it zoned for tiny homes.

She now owns the Circle Pond Tiny Home Community.

“The goal is to take this piece of land that was zoned, or is zoned for mobile homes, to an RV zoning which will allow homes on wheels,” Caneen explained. 

The Circle Pond Tiny Home Community is in the works and Caneen plans to rent out space to 24 mini-houses early next year. But anyone can learn about the lifestyle this weekend at the Tiny Home Show, which Caneen organized.

“Everything you could want to know about tiny homes, from trailers to building to living, we’ll have it all,” she said.

The Tiny Home show is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hillsborough Community College Southshore Campus.   

You can tour tiny houses and there will be presentations about the little lifestyle. Just remember to bring some cash because it’s $5 to get in.

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