Lighter alternative to Apache supporting .htaccess

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http://serverfault.com – Is there a lighter alternative (runs in shell, in one process, can be started and stopped easily by the user) to Apache that supports .htaccess files? If not, how could Apache be run in a "lighter" way? In fact, I'm looking to setup a development environment to mimic an Apache server, so I can then push my code on the production server and get the same behavior. I've looked into setting up a full Apache server on my computer, but it seems like overkill for running in a directory. Maybe I'm missing something. (HowTos)