LNIB partners with Logan Lake
The District of Logan Lake and the Lower Nicola Indian Band has come to an unprecedented agreement that will see land profit-sharing between a municipality and a First Nations band, says the man who brought the parties together.
“This is the first time this has been done, really,” said Chris Ortner, who was hired as a consultant to mediate negotiations. Ortner has a master’s degree in conflict management.
Members of the LNIB and the District of Logan Lake gathered Thursday to cut the ribbon to the agreement that will see the 16-hectare expansion of the Logan Lake borders.
“There needed to be a partnership agreement before the Province of British Columbia would sell the land,” Ortner noted.
While the district will pay for the costs, the profits are expected to be split 50/50.
“This shows there is expansion potential for municipalities, and I’m thinking also in the case of Merritt,” Ortner said. “If there is Crown land outside the district boundary and it has disputed title, which all of it does, then it shows it is possible to reach agreement with forward-thinking bands that want to be involved in economic development.”
The buildout of the area is up to 110 residential lots that will facilitate the expected boom to the local housing market when Highland Valley Copper expands, stakeholders explained. Phase 1 consists of 11 lots and expansion depends on market demand.
“There is the potential for expansion to reserve lands as well,” said Arnie Narcisse, executive director of the LNIB.
According to Narcisse, the development will be residential.
“They will pay for the development costs and we will share the profits after the costs have been subtracted,” Narcisse said.
He said the logistics about how the profits will be shared haven’t yet been determined.
The developments could also stretch to Reserve lands, but that discussion is ongoing, Narcisse added.
“Talks were very good,” he said. “So we are looking at a long, and hopefully fruitful relationship with Logan Lake.”
Logan Lake officials said the district attempted to acquire the land from the provincial government nearly 10 years ago, but faced continual setbacks.
The district paid approximately $505,000 for the land.
Approval from the band was needed because the proposed subdivision is located approximately 400 metres from band’s Pipsul Reserve.
Clearing for the first 16 lots had already began in October, ahead of the public announcement.
The district and the LNIB only negotiated a profit-sharing agreement for Phase 1. Any additional phases will need to come to terms between both parties.
The land was chosen because of its proximity to the existing water and sewer lines.