Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) is developing its 724 hectare (1,800 acre) property on the north side of Highway 17 between the Deltaport Terminal and 52nd Street

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Tsawwassen First Nation breaks ground on new development


“We’re building a better future for our members and for the community,” said Chris Hartman, CEO of the TFN Economic Development Corporation, speaking to members of the Richmond/South Delta/Gulf Islands division, on February 2.

“This project will be the most attractive seaside community in Canada and we estimate it could generate as many as 1,200 person years of employment during construction and employ more than 4,500 part-time and full-time workers.”

Hartman explained to REALTORS® that there are agreements in place for a 175 acre mixed use development. Ivanhoe Cambridge will develop two-thirds of this property or roughly 1.2 million square feet into a project known as Tsawwassen Mills, which will feature major retailers, smaller stores, restaurants, entertainment such as movie theatres and a resort hotel.

The Property Group Development will develop the remaining one-third of the mixed use development into a 600,000 square foot outdoor retail space according to Hartman.

Other development will include an industrial park by Roberts Bank, known as The Tsawwassen Gateway Logistics Centre. “The TFN received $3 million in federal and $3 million in provincial infrastructure stimulus funding and contributed $3 million to upgrade infrastructure on industrial lands,” says Hartman. Before the TFN’s historic treaty signed in 2009, which gave the TFN jurisdiction over lands, resources, governance and social programming, the federal government owned the TFN lands under the Indian Act. Members were issued certificates of possession.

“Now, the TFN members own land as individuals and communally with other members in a modified form of fee simple. They can sell their land to other TFN members or they can lease it for up to 99 years to non-members,” explains Hartman. “Title is registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) of BC.”

The TFN now has powers roughly equivalent to a municipality and a province. The TFN also has a seat on the board of Metro Vancouver and the TransLink Mayors’ Council.

Its 13-member Legislature sits twice a year and has a constitution and powers of taxation. There are bylaws and processes for public hearings and community consultation. Recent consultations have taken place with the Ladner and Tsawwassen business communities, the Delta Chamber of Commerce and local residents.

The TFN Land Use Plan and the TFN Neighbourhood Plan and regulations detail regulatory processes for zoning, subdivision, building permits, development permits and off-site levies.

Residential development on a 250 acre parcel will include 1,600 -1,800 homes. Of these:

·         50% will be large lot (no lane access) and small lot (lane access) detached homes;

·         35% will be townhomes; and

·         15% will be apartments.

The Property Transfer Tax and the Harmonized Sales Tax will apply. Once the HST is phased out, the GST will apply on new homes. Residents will pay property and school taxes to the TFN.

“Our goal is to have a sustainable, walkable community of attractive, affordable homes built to a variety of performance-based standards (such as LEED), where residents live, work and recreate,” says Hartman.

There will be a new town centre, parks and green space and passive recreation including walking and cycle paths. (Currently there are paths which follow the dyke all the way to Ladner).

The TFN has service agreements with Metro Vancouver to provide flood management, roads, parks and recreation; and agreements with the Corporation of Delta for fire, police, library, animal control and other services.

“We’re building a vibrant, prosperous and complete community that will flourish for generations,” says Hartman.

For information go to: www.tsawwassenfirstnation.com/ and read the TFN Neighbourhood Plan and the TFN Land Use Plan.

© Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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