What is a community development scheme (CDS)?
A community development scheme is a type of strata title development (see next question) that allows for a variety of land tenure arrangements and flexible governance structures.
What is a strata title?
A strata title is a type of land tenure. You own your title outright (like owning your own house) and can borrow against it and leave it as an inheritance.
Your title also includes rights and ownership of common property. At Tasman Ecovillage your title includes ownership of 19 acres of common ground and many community facilities.
What is a Body Corporate?
Sometimes called the Owners Corporation, the body corporate is the governing body for a strata title scheme and consists of all title owners in the scheme.
Who makes decisions about how the land is used and what community buildings are going to be built?
Our community (owners and residents) makes these decisions.
How many people are there in your community?
There are currently 16 permanent and part-time residents in the village, plus 5 to 10 wwoofers and helpers, depending on the season.
Seven more members own property in the village but live off-site.
How soon can I build?
You can build as soon as you have Building Approval from Tasman Council.
Do I have to build? Can I just own a block of land?
You can, but we are a growing community and would like participants to build and live here (or rent out their property ). We do not want a green-field sub-division with vacant blocks of land.
Are there any restrictions on what I can build?
Buildings at Tasman Ecovillage must comply with all relevant state and federal building codes. As well as this, we have developed our own "Residential Building Design Guidelines" that will assist you to bring your home into line with the ethos of our village. The Guidelines aim to be flexible whilst offering villagers some certainty over what will be built here.
Can I build a shed?
Yes, with approval from the body corporate. We envisage large sheds and workshops as part of our common facilities for the village.
Can I buy more than one block?
Can I buy two blocks together and build one dwelling over the two?
Possibly yes, with body corporate approval. You may also build two conjoined dwellings.
Can I run my own business from home?
All lots except those in Pod E are zoned commercial/residential so, yes, you can run a business from home providing it does not interfere with the "quiet amenity" of your neighbours. If you want to run anything other than a home office you will need body corporate approval.
Who looks after the common property?
The body corporate is responsible for maintaining the common property.
Who looks after the food production?
Currently our gardens are managed by volunteers from the community and wwoofers. We would like to engage a farmer (or farmers) who will live in the community and be responsible for food growing, harvesting and distribution using a Community Shared Agriculture model. Space has already been allocated on community land for this purpose.
Food can also be grown in and around your own lot and within your pod.
What services are included in the land price?
Services include underground grid hydro power, village water supply, sewerage, phone lines and ADSL2 Internet. Fixed wireless NBN is also available.
Where does the water come from?
There is no town water supply in Nubeena. Our water is harvested from the roofs of the buildings, the creek and the bore. Three dams supply extra water for agriculture.
Can I provide my own solar power?
Yes, you are encouraged to do so. We are also investigating community energy systems.
Can I have a composting toilet?
Yes, composting toilets are permissible and encouraged.
I like the idea of community, however I need my privacy. How can I achieve both?
The medium density and layout of the pods naturally creates a strong sense of community and already existing community buildings provide opportunities to gather as a community.
In terms of privacy, we encourage you to build this into the design of your home. As well, many of the lots provide ample opportunity for making private open space within the lot. For example, the lots on the northern boundary have a private aspect to the north and some of the lots in Pod C would cater for a private garden looking out into the trees.
Community involvement and interaction, whilst encouraged, is entirely voluntary.
What do you do about conflict?
Conflict is not a dirty word. :-) In our community it is seen as a gift - an opportunity to access the wisdom of the group and for personal growth. That said, we are committed to learning and practising "Non-violent Communication" and we have conflict resolution procedures in our by-laws.
Good group process (transparent and inclusive decision-making) and community glue (activities that contribute to group cohesion) both contribute to creating a harmonious community.
How do you make decisions?
Tasman Ecovillage Association is the main decision-making body in the village. The Association consists of property owners and residents so everyone can contribute to the process. The body corporate makes decisions about the property.
We organise ourselves and make decisions using the principles of Sociocracy.
Why are the blocks so small?
The blocks have been kept deliberately small to encourage dwellings with a smaller footprint, promote social interaction and free up a large amount of the property for food production and community facilities. The lots allow for a reasonable size dwelling and some surrounding personal space.
The idea is that by sharing resources and facilities we don’t need larger homes that are costly in terms of the environment and our hip-pocket.
It is possible, however, to buy two blocks and, with approval from the body corporate, build a larger dwelling.
Why are the lots circular?
A circle signifies unity and oneness, as well as the nature of life cycles. We think this symbolism and aesthetics is a good foundation for a community ecovillage. It’s good to think outside the square! Some lots have been "squared off" to the boundary and, if you require more space for your dwelling, you may apply to square up your lot.
Can I fence my lot?
Fencing is discouraged within the village but, yes, if you need fencing for children or pets it is possible – with approval from the owner’s corporation and with reference to the Residential Building Design Guidelines for the village. You could consider living fences and hedges as well.
I need space to grow my own vegetables, how can I do that?
You can manage areas around your dwelling for personal use. You could also create a garden with your neighbours within your pod.
As well, there are already some community gardens which supply the community kitchen and residents, and we encourage you to become involved in their care.
Can I have pets?
Some pets are allowed under certain conditions. The Policy on Pets forms part of the by-laws for the community development scheme and is available on request.
How do I make a living?
Local employment, internal and external businesses, working remotely or working part-time in the city are just some of the options. Remember, too, that if your living costs are a lot less, you don’t need to earn as much!
What is the Community Development Fund (CDF)?
The CDF was established to provide funds for constructing community facilities and upgrading infrastructure to bring it more into line with our Vision. CDF contributions come from the developer upon land sales and from your Body Corporate fees. Regular repairs and maintenance expenses will come from a separate body corporate sinking fund.
What are the ongoing fees if I purchase?
Body Corporate fees are $1500 per annum, which includes a $300 CDF levy. There is a 50% discount for the first twelve months.
Once your house is built, you will pay another $300 per annum for house insurance - this is levied with the body corporate fees.
Council rates are approximately $950 per annum and Southern Water is about $450. Land tax is due on vacant land or if the property is not your primary residence. This is about $120 pa.
I want an investment property. Is this possible, and what return will I get?
Demand for rental accommodation in the local area is high and it is likely that housing you own in the village can be easily rented for short or long-term accommodation. We do not however guarantee a return on your investment!
Can I use the spa and sauna?
How much car parking is available?
Each lot has a designated car space on common ground in a car parking area adjacent to the pod. There will be grassed overflow parking areas for guests of the village.
I don’t have the money to buy. How can I be part of the village?
Some of the 2 bedroom apartments are long-term rental accommodation and we are looking into having short stay accommodation available from early 2016. You could also look into our help-exchange programme and apply to live in the village in exchange for your labour.
What public transport is available?
Tassielink has a daily bus service to and from Hobart from Monday to Saturday. The Nubeena district school, supermarket, post office, doctors, chemist and bakery are less than a 5 minute walk from the village.