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 land) 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 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 30 permanent and part-time residents (including children!) in the village, plus various visitors, WWOOFers and helpers, depending on the season. Several other members own investment property in the village but live offsite.
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).
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 align your home 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 on one title.
Can I run my own business from home?
All lots in the main part of the village are zoned commercial/ residential so yes, you can run a small business from home, providing it does not interfere with the “quiet amenity” of your neighbours.
Who looks after the common property?
The body corporate is responsible for maintaining the common property. We engage an external management company, Tas Strata and Property Group, to assist us with this. They manage our major accounts, issue levy notices to owners and pay invoices on our behalf. An onsite committee of residents liaises with the company on behalf of the community.
Who looks after the food production?
Fat Beets Food Hub manages the growing, harvesting and distribution of food from production gardens on community owned land using a Community Shared Agriculture model. Other gardens are managed by volunteers from the community and WWOOFers/helpers. Food can also be grown in and around your own lot and within your pod.
What services are included in the land price?
Underground grid hydro power, village water supply (non-potable) and sewerage are provided to all lots. 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. 2 dams supply extra water for agriculture. Potable water is provided in 2 locations on common ground and each dwelling in the Pods has their own rainwater tank for drinking/cooking purposes.
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, and an opportunity to access the wisdom of the group and for personal growth. That said, we are committed to learning and practising ‘Nonviolent’ or ‘Compassionate’ communication and we have conflict resolution procedures in our Body Corporate bylaws.
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 (TEVA) is the main decision-making body in the village. The Association consists of property owners and residents so everyone can contribute to the process. We meet regularly and make decisions using the principles of Sociocracy.
What is Sociocracy?
Sociocracy, also known as dynamic governance, is a system of governance that seeks to achieve solutions that create harmonious social environments as well as productive organisations and businesses. It is frequently adopted by intentional communities as a effective way of organising the ‘business of community’ and as a transparent and fair way of making decisions.
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. By sharing resources and facilities we don’t need larger homes that are costly in terms of the environment and our hip pocket.
What is ‘Eco’ about your village?
We actively seek to reduce our collective footprint. We recycle what we can internally and compost all our organic waste. We live in small, energy-efficient homes that have a small environmental footprint. We aim to share resources wherever possible. We grow a lot of our food organically onsite. We can walk or cycle to local services and share transport whenever possible. We are working towards generating renewable energy for our homes. We practice shared decision-making processes and we create opportunities to work, play and eat together to make our daily lives easier and generally more wonderful!
Why are some of 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 already 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?
Traditional fencing is discouraged within the village but yes, if you need fencing for children or pets (or to keep the native animals out of your home garden!) it is possible – with approval from the owner’s corporation and with reference to the 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 bylaws for the community development scheme and is available on request.
How do I make a living?
Some employment is available within the broader community on the Peninsula in administration, teaching, tourism, aged/health care, hospitality and farming. Kelp & Co, the onsite community café, employs a roster of local staff, mostly using the local exchange currency (CENTS) and the onsite motel, Parsons Bay Retreat, occasionally requires additional housekeeping staff – especially in the busy holiday periods.
Given our good internet reception, you could also work remotely, run a business from home, or perhaps work part-time in the city. 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 costs come from a separate body corporate administrative fund.
What are the ongoing fees if I purchase?
Body Corporate levies were recently increased for the first time since the village was established and are now $2500 p.a, which includes a 2% CDF levy and a component (approx $300) to cover all common and private buildings insurance (including your house).
Until you have a residence built on your land, levies are set at 50%.
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 p.a.
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 - either directly or through a self-managed super fund - could be easily rented for short or long-term accommodation. Tenants are encouraged to participate in community life and those staying longer than six months are required to apply for membership of TEVA.
Can I use the sauna?
Sorry, the Recreation Room is currently off limits until repairs can be done.
How much car parking is available?
Each lot has a designated car space on common ground in a car parking area within its pod. There are parking spots allocated for motel guests and overflow parking for visitors.
I don’t have the money to buy. How can I be part of the village?
Long-term rental accommodation is sometimes available and we are working on creating some short stay accommodation. 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.
When can I come and visit Tasman Ecovillage?
We occasionally advertise Open Days on our website when we welcome visitors to the village and invite them to enjoy a taste of our village life. Outside of these days, we do try to accommodate casual visitors, but please note that we are a residential community and unless you have a prior arrangement, there may not always be someone available to show you around. If you are interested in visiting us, please contact Reception on 6250 2000 to arrange a site tour.