The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure released the findings from an independent appraisal it commissioned to determine the value of Crown land subject for exchange in the land swap with Westbank First Nation.
The appraisal, conducted by Inland Appraisers Ltd., suggests the value of the Crown land is $6.18 million.
The province commissioned the appraisal after numerous objections were voiced with regard to the WFN-commissioned appraisal that suggested the land was worth $5.9 million.
The variance between the two appraisals is less than five per cent.
In early August, the District of West Kelowna claimed that the real value of the Crown land was worth between $28 and $42 million undeveloped and as much as $60 million developed.
The findings of the independent appraisal seem to favour WFN.
On Wednesday afternoon, the District of West Kelowna released the summary of findings they used to evaluate properties involved in the land exchange.
DWK council engaged the services of Site Economics, a real estate financial and market advisory consultant, in the spring of 2011 to review the valuation of the 698 acres of Crown land adjacent to the Rose Valley Reservoir.
In the summary, Richard Wozny, principal at Site Economics, wrote, “I provided a general valuation estimate based on development potential, along with an estimate of the wider impact on municipal finance.
“Given the large scale and complexity of these future development lands, detailed development planning information such as site servicing and net usable and salable land areas were not available.”
This meant that the firm could only prepare summary draft reports using a series of general, industry standard, assumptions.
“The analysis was intended to make the reader aware of the range of potential values under different scenarios, not to estimate the actual value of the lands,” Wozny wrote in the summary.
“I think it’s important that all information be made public and that includes our findings,” said DWK mayor Doug Findlater.
All relevant information including the DWK’s summary of findings and letters exchanged are available for public viewing at: www.districtofwestkelowna.ca (under mayor and council/current issues/land swap BC Government/WFN).
A summary of WFN’s land valuations from the original appraisal can be found at http://www.wfn.ca/newsreleases.htm.
A summary of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure appraisal findings can be viewed at: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/index.htm.