Redwood Meadows (RWM) a community of about 350 homes and 1200 people is situated on Tsuu T’ina Nation land, 6 km north of the hamlet of Bragg Creek. The community is built around a championship golf course, which is owned and operated by the Tsuu T’ina Nation, and is bounded to the West by the Elbow River and to the East by Highway 22. Lot sizes range from about ¼ – ½ acre, with most being about 1/3 acre (roughly 3 times the size of a city lot).
RWM is responsible for its own infrastructure. It has its own water treatment plant, municipal sewage system, community hall/townsite office, a firehall and EMS service, garbage pick-up, cable TV, high speed internet, snow removal, fire hydrants, parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, playing fields, basketball court, ice rink and beautiful pathways along the Elbow River.
RWM was created by the Sarcee band, (now the Tsuu T’ina Nation), as a business venture to generate income and to create jobs for band members. The community is wholly contained within a single lease, covering 1,023 acres, with a 75 year original term that extends until August 2049. At the outset, the land was conditionally surrendered back to the Crown by the band for the term of the lease. Conditional surrender means that, at the end of the term of the lease, it is the choice of the band whether to renew the lease or not.
The Crown subleased the land back to Sarcee Developments, who service, subdivided and sold the lots, as happens in the city, except with a 75 time frame. The purchase price included prepayment in full of all lease fees until 2049 so there are no annual lease fees paid by residents.
RWM is self governed by an elected mayor and townsite Council, with a Townsite Manager and small staff reporting to him and responsible for the day-to-day operations of the community and its infrastructure. There is no Tsuu T’ina involvement in the management or finances of the community.
In October 2000, the community voted in, by plebiscite, a Property Value Protection Plan, as a proactive measure to prepare for future negotiations toward the renewal of the lease. The PVPPis a substantial investment account, started with the specific purpose of purchasing a lease extension, purchasing an Option to Renew or, in the event of no renewal, providing homeowners with an equity pay-out for their properties. The PVPP was initiated with a seed of $400,000. of community reserves, and, since July 1, 2000, each homeowner contributes $25. per month ($300. per year), added to property taxes, with this money going into the PVPP account. Contributions to the PVPP are locked in, and are not available for refund to residents who sell their homes in the interim.