Posted on: January 19, 2018

Westbank First Nation sees increased building growth in 2017

The Westbank First Nation (“WFN”) government saw significant building growth in 2017, processing 169 building permits with a total construction value of $45 million. This is a 23% increase in the number of building permits approved, and a 96% increase in total construction value, compared to 2016. The total construction value includes $38 million of residential construction, $6 million commercial, and $1 million of institutional construction.

Permits for 149 new residential dwellings were approved in 2017, including single family homes, multi-family units, and secondary suites. This is a 64% unit increase from the 91 residential units approved in 2016. Major contributors included Elkridge, Sage Creek, Nancee Way Village, West Harbour, Sierras Westside, and Brookside Villas.

Since achieving self-governing status in 2005, WFN has processed 2,203 building permits valued at over $500 million. 2017 was the fourth busiest year for WFN in terms of building permit approval since 2005, with the highest number of annual building permit approvals occurring in 2007.

Building and business growth aligns with continued population growth of WFN residents, which increased 28% from 2011 to 2016 according to Statistics Canada. The increase in building and population growth also accompanies an increase in approved business licenses. WFN approved 69 new business licenses in 2017, increasing the total number of businesses operating on WFN lands to 457.

“The immediate development growth within WFN Land is anticipated to carry on at a strong pace as we continue to receive a good mix of residential and commercial development enquiries,” says Joe Mocilac, WFN Director of Development Services. “New developments continue to come forward and existing projects are looking to build additional phases.”

New Master Servicing Plans are being finalized for all major infrastructure and a new Land Use Law will be completed in early 2018, all of which will guide, assess and plan the current and future infrastructure upgrades.

“As a growing and developing community, WFN looks to continually improve local infrastructure by installing more sidewalks, lighting, utility corridors, pathways and bike lanes,” says Chief Roxanne Lindley. ”WFN also strives to showcase our vibrant culture and heritage through the incorporation of syilx art and language where possible throughout the community.”