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Mills River temporarily halts tiny home developments

The future site of Acony Bell, a tiny home village set to open in spring of 2018. During its town council meeting in November, the Town of Mills River passed a six month moratorium on tiny home developments, so it can have time to develop proper ordinances. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Dirt is being moved quickly on a 53-acre property in Mills River which soon could be occupied by 153 tiny homes.

Acony Bell, a tiny home village set to open in spring of 2018, has been grandfathered in, but other developments will have to wait.

During its town council meeting in November, the Town of Mills River passed a six month moratorium on tiny home developments, so it can have time to develop proper ordinances.

The moratorium also affects mobile home and RV-parks.

“They're a very new type of use and are becoming quite popular quite quickly,” Jeff Wells, the town manager of Mills River, said. “So, were not much different from a lot of other local governments that we're trying to stay on top and be as proactive as we can.”

News 13 spoke to several neighbors living across the street from Acony Bell who expressed concern about the properties planned high density, especially in their more rural neighborhood.

Wells indicated development density would be addressed with the ordinance proposal.

“As well as just insuring that there are some specific regulations as far as, you know, landscaping, buffering," he explained. "Things like that do protect the community at large and adjoining property owners."

Ordinances will also likely address lot sizes and length of stay. Acony Bell is expected to have both permanent and short term residents.

Some proposed changes will likely be presented at the next Mills River town council meeting on December 14.

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