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City Leaders Move to Approve Design for Low-Income Green Homes

City commissioners gave preliminary approval to plans for incoming Eco Village, the nation's first green-certified village targeted at low-income home buyers at a meeting Thursday. The development is planned for the former site of Highlander Villag

The nation's first affordable green homes — Dunedin's Eco Village — are one step closer to construction.

Dunedin commissioners voiced preliminary approval for the design concept of a net-zero energy, green-certified, 25-town home development marketed toward working class families at Thursdays regular meeting at City Hall. 

The architectural style is reminiscent of Craftsman-era of early 20th century bungalow homes, said Robert Ironsmith, director of economic and housing development. Some style elements include large windows and porches. Vehicles will park in garages behind the buildings.

He said “the goal is for the new owner homeowner to have very low home-ownership costs as a result of the units being highly energy efficient and requiring low maintenance."

Planet Green Group's design combines solar panels, smart appliances, insulated walls, impact resistant windows and a roof that can withstand 250 mile-an-hour winds. Smart technology will control energy saving appliances to provide greatly enhanced savings when it comes to electric bills, the developer said.

The monthly utility bill should be $0, officials said. 

Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski thanked the developer for addressing concerns and design requests from earlier meetings. She noted it has been quite a while to get the project to this point but “Dunedin has always been a city of firsts.”

The town homes will be at the former site of Highlander Village, public housing demolished a decade ago after it was found to be inhabitable, on the northeast and southeast corners of Douglas Avenue and Lorraine Leland Street. The almost 3-acre, mixed-income Eco Village will not be public housing or offer home buyers a public subsidy.

Low-income workers will have to qualify to purchase the two- or three-bedroom homes, ranging from 1,100 to 1,300 square feet, and priced between $120,000 and $180,000. Residents are responsible for mortgage payments and maintenance.

The project is the result of five years of planning and a partnership with Dunedin Housing Authority, Pinellas Community Development and Planet Green, a Largo-based developer.

A second public hearing will be held during Dec. 6 City Commission meeting, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Related Coverage:

  • Affordable Green Homes Break National Ground
  • Green Homes To Break National Ground
-Ed Harris- November 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM
As the old saying goes, "this is too cool for school". This is awesome news!
Ron Barnette November 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
The concept of a total 'Net-Zero' utility Green Eco-Village of affordable, quality townhouses is a nation-first plan, and the fact that it's situated in Dunedin is exciting, indeed! It was a sheer pleasure to be amongst a progressive-looking City Commission with our unanimous approval to move ahead with a forthcoming plan. There will be an opportunity for community input on this unique development, as well, as the city wants to do this just right for all concerned. Ron Barnette City Commissioner and Vice-Mayor

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