AMANDA BANCROFT

Making Ripples

A new all-ages tiny home community is being planned in Rogers by the owners of Eagle Homes on Olive, a tiny home community for those 55 and older. There is much excitement online in tiny house fan groups about this new opportunity for those wanting to make a difference in their lifestyle through living small.

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Tiny homes are one of the “downsized” housing options that people have turned to in order to address homelessness, support sustainable lifestyle goals, save money on bills and rent, downsize their possessions, own a home after college or retirement, go minimalist, and many other reasons. From reducing our carbon footprint to enhancing a community by having close-knit neighbors, this new development will open up more space for those wanting a tiny house.

Cities throughout Northwest Arkansas are considering whether they want tiny house communities inside city limits. Greenland is exploring its options. Rogers recently passed an ordinance that allows more properties to be opened up for tiny home communities that couldn’t have existed in those locations before. There is a gradually declining concern about whether these will be eyesores similar to some unkempt mobile home parks. As time goes on, residents and city planners are noticing how attractive tiny home communities look.

“We want these communities to enhance the space, not be an eyesore,” explained Dave Gallo. Dave and his wife, Chris, are the owners of Eagle Homes on Olive, and together they’re planning the new all-ages community targeted primarily toward those 18 to 34. They’re currently under contract for another Rogers property and are going through the process of various approvals needed before development begins. Hopefully, the new community will exist starting in 2020. The Gallos have a heartfelt vision for what they hope to achieve there.

They seek to provide “a peaceful, affordable, attractive place to live your values,” Dave said. The plan is to develop quality housing for those such as young couples just starting out or the minimalist that wants a lower carbon footprint. Dave said he wants to offer an option that doesn’t include “huge debt overwhelming them.” Some people, he explained, prefer to have experiences instead of stuff, so they don’t need a big place with a big mortgage. The residents will own the tiny house, and lease a lot in the community. This allows some flexibility for people to customize a home that meets their needs but fits into the architectural rules of the community. Unlike some homeowners’ associations that ban them, solar panels will be allowed as long as they are mounted in a way that fits the aesthetic.

Some aspects of the new community will be familiar to those who have seen Eagle Homes on Olive. “We have covered porches on every house,” Dave said. There are residents who “go to the grocery store together, play dominoes, have cookouts…” Basically, it’s a place to be social and have the support of close neighbors and shared spaces such as the community garden.

While tiny houses are not for everyone, Dave admitted, they are right for some people, and we each have to follow our heart to find the right fit for us.

Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house on Kessler Mountain. She and her husband Ryan blog about their adventures and offer tips to those wanting to make a difference at www.RipplesBlog.org.

Categories: Making Ripples