In B.C.'s 2018 property value assessment, residential property on Tsawwassen First Nation lands increased nearly 45 per cent, the largest average increase in the province.
Chief Bryce Williams attributes the increase to the recent commercial developments, Tsawwassen Mills and Tsawwassen Commons, as well as the residential complex Tsawwassen Shores.
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"The rise in property values means that demand is growing for our real estate developments, and it's a positive sign that the market is confident in the economic development model we're pursuing," Williams told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.
The First Nation has law-making authority over land use and control of development decisions on the land, according to a spokesperson, which gives it the authority to directly collect property taxes and levy fees similar to development cost charges in other municipalities in order to provide programs and services.
Industrial development planned
The First Nation also has powers of self-governance under the treaty with full membership on the Metro Vancouver Board.
"We're going to be able to fund the many programs and services that we have for our members and there's obviously lots of benefits in terms of jobs," Williams said.
Industrial development is also on the horizon, according to Williams.
"For us, it's about sitting back and finding the true value out of the projects there because we only have one opportunity out of the gate at this."
Plans also include new community facilities like an elders centre and recreational space as well as a youth centre that is on schedule to break ground this year.
With files from the CBC's On The Coast
An earlier headline referred to Tsawwassen instead of Tsawwassen First Nation. It has been updated.Jan 08, 2018 12:09 PM PT