What does the Community land mean?
Each individual lot is Torrens Title (individually owned), with title deeds reflecting equal ownership of common or community land. This is managed under the Strata Scheme Management Act, 1996.
Who manages the land?
We do. The maintenance is contracted to varying companies and individuals which are oversighted by the Executive Committee.
Who is the executive committee?
It is a group of residents (generally nine) who are elected by the community at an Annual General meeting. Their function is to work with the managing agents and ensure the integrity of the estate is preserved. They are volunteers and devote their personal time to maintaining the estate. The executive committee meet approximately four times a year and the notice of the meetings and the agenda are posted on this website as well as the estate notice board in the BBQ area at least three days prior to the meeting. The minutes from every executive committee meeting are posted on the estate notice board in the BBQ area, within seven days of the meetings, and also available electronically from the strata manager if residents complete the attached form requesting the agenda and meeting minutes. The minutes are not posted on the website.
Who are the managing agents?
Are there fees associated with living in a community estate?
Yes. They have remained fairly stable since 2002 but there was a special levy added in 2016 to cover the cost of the vineyard maintenance after Bradcorp handed it back to the community. The funds are divided into Administrative funds (annual operating expenses) and a Sinking Fund (to maintain infrastructure). This is largely offset by the fact that we are not required to pay Sydney water sewerage connection fees.
Who owns the Vineyard?
The actual Vineyards are located on Lot 3. They were initially planted by the developers Bradcorp to comply with the development requirement for an agricultural concern. The cost of planting the vineyard was approximately $75,000.00 per hectare. The land always remains the property of the community. The land size of the vineyards are 18 Hectare.
How can we ensure the land is not used for other purposes?
The entire Estate is protected by 'covenants' (aka Community Management Statement - updated September 2012) (56 page, 2 Meg pdf file - not recommended downloading using a dialup connecton) which are registered with the land titles office. These covenants regulate building types, land use etc. They currently prohibit the use of any community land for any other purpose as it is now defined. To change these covenants, there must be 100% agreement by all residents present at an AGM.
Does the council have any control over the land?
At the time of the initial development, the development approval required a 40% agricultural concern within the Estate and a minimum Lot size of 4000 sqm. The council still retains authority to monitor building codes, however even if the council were to amend the current restrictions, the covenants remain and protect the integrity of the estate.
Who maintains the vineyard?
Bradcorp used to maintain the vineyard but in June 2016, they handed the vineyard back to the community for ongoing maintenance.
Who pays for it?
Bradcorp used to pay for the operating of the vineyard up to June 2016 but now the community pays for the up keep.
Does that mean there are indirect costs?
The Vineyard is fully irrigated, with the grey water from the sewerage treatment plant being used for that purpose. Original sale contracts outline the obligation on the Estate to maintain the irrigation equipment. This is included in your annual fees and fully budgeted for.
How does the Sewerage treatment plant work?
A unique feature of the Estate is our ability to be self sufficient for sewerage treatment. The Estate won the Housing Industry Award in 2000. The sewerage plant is maintained under contract by DUTEK at Lane Cove. Each house pays a connection fee which is consistent with the Sydney Water rate. This is also included in your community fees.
Does that mean we pay more to live on the Estate?
Marginally yes. However the benefits are the ability to closely manage the appearance of the Estate which in turn enhances the value of your property. We also pay lower council fees and Sydney Water rates.
Are the covenants effective?
Because they are legally binding, they can be enforced; however it is largely the community spirit and acceptance of the terms of your individual sale contract that make them effective.
What happens to the wine produced from the Vineyard?
The Wollondilly area remains prone to a fungus (Phylloxera) and as such is subject to strict disease control. The grapes can only be processed within the area and currently there are no processing facilities. The grapes are therefore put to sleep well before harvesting.
Can we buy the wine?
Currently no wine is produced, therefore there is nothing to purchase.
Can I use the Barbecue and Tennis facilities?
Absolutely. Each resident is issued with a key which will open all locks on the Estate. You are free to use the facilities, but you are asked to keep them clean and respect other people who may have pre-booked them. You are also asked to remove your rubbish as there are not facilities for storage and removal of rubbish.
Do I need to book them?
Not always. If there is no one using them, you are free to do so. However it is strongly recommended that if you are planning an organised day, that you pre book via the booking calendar, especially on weekends.