Victorian planning law

Under Victorian planning law, a landsharing community is defined as a "residential village".

This is "Land, in one ownership, containing a number of dwellings, used to provide permanent accommodation and which includes communal, recreation, or medical facilities for residents of the village."

A residential village falls under the broader category of "accommodation", which is "land used to accommodate persons".

The Victorian Planning Provisions, which provide a template for all planning schemes in Victoria, define in which planning zones residential village accommodation is allowed, in which it is prohibited and in which it may be permitted with the local council's permission.

Of the rural zones, the Rural Living Zone permits residential villages with the approval of the council.

In farming and rural conservation zones, residential villages are not permitted, but similar structures for temporary accommodation are permitted ("group accommodation, host farm, and residential hotel").

Residential villages are not permitted in rural activity or green wedge zones, but similar temporary accommodation is permitted, in this case also including backpacker lodges (in the case of rural activity zones) and camping and caravan parks.

In most of the residential zones, residential villages are allowed with council permission. This includes in general residential zones, neighbourhood residential zones, residential growth zones, residential 3 zones, township zones and low density residential zones.

Most of the other zones in the Planning Provisions prohibit residential villages, although some permit similar temporary accommodation (urban growth zones for example).

Interestingly, no permit is required for "accommodation (other than corrective institution" in a Commercial 1 zone. This would include residential villages. However, this is on the condition that "Any frontage at ground floor level must not exceed 2 metres (other than a bed and breakfast and caretaker's house)."

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