By Ahtee Chia
Lead Architect, Designer & Consultant for Polkadot LivingFree
Ahtee Chia has a background in architecture, town planning, permaculture, personal and spiritual development and is a trainer in qi gong.
He has over 45 years of interest and advocacy in personal and social change, and sustainable community development.
He is writing a book titled- “The Village Project - changing the world one village at a time”.
Without even noticing it, we have lost what it feels like to live in a close knit community where we connect to each other as extended family with love, respect, compassion, benevolence, and with a spirit of acceptance, sharing and cooperation for the welfare of each other.
We had a close connection and sense of belonging and caring for the place we grew up in. We roamed the fields and forests and know and delight in the creatures that live there. We live in a world that is plagued by seemingly insurmountable personal, social, economic, political, and environmental problems. Many of us has fallen into despair contemplating the huge task of reversing the almost inevitable slide into the catastrophe of a 6th mass extinction on this planet.
Some of us have become victims of social isolation, falling into depression, or into poverty due to circumstances out our control, caught in the ever diminishing rental supply cycle of standing in the quest of 30 or more to secure, or more often than not, missing the chance to secure a temporary home for the next six months, only to join another another long line of desperate renters. If you are a woman on the age pension with little or no super, having devoted your life to raising a family and now without a bread winner partner, a huge proportion of your pension goes into rent leaving you little for the other necessities of life. Life is not meant to be like this. What has happened to put us into such dire circumstances?
Community is the starting point of regaining our dream of a world of abundance and goodwill for all, of peace on Earth where there is abundance for all, where there is love and goodwill, where there is no greed, hatred, and war.
An impossible dream? Do you dare to dream the impossible dream with others, and together help to make this dream come true? Maybe you are one of those courageous souls who who have woken up to what is wrong with the present state of affairs and have started to take steps to manifest your dream of the benefits of community.
You are planning to set up a community but is unsure of the planning rules that allow for, or restrict what you want to do? Most people believe that they can only have one house, plus in some circumstances, a secondary dwelling on a block of land. This is not strictly true. There are ways that are perfectly legal within the town plan that allow multiple families to reside on a block of land. The additional difficulty is that each local government town plan have different rules regarding such development, unless you understand how the town plan document is set out to find the relevant information impacting what you want to do.
If you are planning to use tiny houses on wheels there are special rules that are applicable that class them as caravans, often with strict limitation of stay on any one block of land; unless you have taken measures to have them classed as houses and not caravans.
Polkadot LivingFree can help you to navigate the minefield of regulations governing multi-family housing, co-living or co-housing development. It is best to contact us to help you with site selection before you buy land because the zoning of the land and the site characteristics can promote or restrict what you can do.