Wednesday, January 13, 2021
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The Villages

First tiny model homes to make their debut in Wildwood

Model homes for Wildwood’s first tiny house neighborhood may be available soon for touring.

Special Magistrate Grant Watson recommended approval of a site plan for four model homes at a meeting Tuesday on the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board. The City Commission likely will act on the plan later this month.

The model homes will be built along an access road connected to a roundabout.

The neighborhood of 214 tiny houses is slated for about 71 acres north of County Road 466, about a half mile west of U.S. 301 in Oxford. Known as the Single Purpose Simple Life Planned Development, the project will be developed by Simple Life Partners of Jacksonville.

The interior of a Simple Life home.

The company, operated by Michael and Rachael McCann, has developed several tiny house neighborhoods in Flat Rock, N.C., a small community near Asheville in the Smokey Mountains. In those neighborhoods, nightly rentals are available for people who want to try out the tiny-house lifestyle.

In the Wildwood neighborhood, five or six floor plans will be offered, according to a development agreement between Simple Life Partners and the city.

Motorboats are prohibited on the lake, but residents will have access to a half dozen community-owned canoes, kayaks or row boats. The agreement prohibits houses on wheels or recreational vehicles.

Homes will be built along winding residential streets near Lake Andrew. They will have compacted shell or gravel driveways, covered carports and storage for kayaks, paddle boards, canoes or bicycles under the homes or in small sheds.

The neighborhood will have lakeside pavilions, a dog park, walking trails, a sales center and a mail kiosk. Guest parking will be offered and golf cart parking will be permitted in driveways.

Often with two small bedrooms, tiny houses usually are a maximum of 500 square feet and far less expensive than traditional homes. Bedrooms may be in lofts above the main living area.

Television shows about tiny houses have spread their popularity from Orlando to Tokyo. The houses appeal to retirees and young people who can’t afford or don’t want to buy more expensive homes.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, Watson recommended a site plan for improvements at the 40-acre MLK Park on Wildwood’s west side.

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