The series consists of appraisals, in the form of individual reports, which establish the value of parcels of real property in British Columbia.
In this time period the function of appraisal fell under the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, and was carried out by different offices over time, including “Land Assembly,” “Acquisition and Development,” “Appraisal and Acquisition,” and "Acquisition and Project Services." The Ministry acted to determine the value of parcels of land that the government intended to sell, acquire, assemble, exchange or transfer from one ministry to another. The government’s goals also included promoting the building of new housing in the province.
The real estate appraisals were usually carried out by independent real estate appraisers; occasionally the appraisal was done “in-house.” Typically the appraisal includes: a description of the property; a description of the community and region where the subject property was located; a declaration of the highest and best use of the land; an estimate dollar value at a specific date; and, a statement of the methodology used to estimate the value. Each appraisal report typically includes photographs (black and white and colour) and cartographic materials. The latter are local subdivision maps, village plans, sketches, diagrams and drawings. The front matter in the report typically includes correspondence indicating acceptance or rejection of the appraisal, and the discussion of other issues surrounding the parcel.
Property appraisal reports frequently contain considerable background and historical information about the property and the surrounding region where it is located.
Typically the appraisal reports have a cover letter from a local contracted appraiser, addressed to the local office of the ministry (for example, to the “Ministry of Lands, Parks & Housing, Lands and Housing Regional Operations Division, Housing & Development, Cranbrook BC”). The report was then forwarded to the manager in Victoria in charge of “Appraisal and Acquisition” or “Land Assembly.”
Examples of Crown properties being appraised are: vacant lots, surplus highways properties, unused government-owned sites and buildings used by such entities as the BC Forest Service facilities, ICBC or the Liquor Distribution Branch. Other Crown land parcels were at the time of appraisal leased to an adjacent land owner, and the government was entertaining an application by the adjacent land owner to purchase the subject parcel.
The 1976-1977 annual report of the Department of Housing stated the function of its Technical Services Branch as follows: "This branch is involved in the acquisition, planning, servicing, designing, and development of land."
The Acquisition and Development Branch, within the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing "provides professional and technical services to promote development and marketing of Crown land including appraising, engineering, planning, architecture, marketing and conveyancing of land." (Source: Organization of the BC Public Service 1977/78, p. 204).
The 1979-1980 annual report of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing stated, regarding its Lands and Housing Regional Operations Division, that the purposes of that branch included "acquiring private land and developing and marketing Crown land for residential, recreational, agricultural and commercial uses ..."
The 1985-1986 annual report of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, p. 25, states: “Acquisition and Project Services Branch acquires and exchanges land for public purposes, develops and administers land appraisal and marketing policy and maintains an inventory system for marketing Crown land parcels.”
Long term archival value is relatively high since the records are evidence of land use in the province, a representation of property values of the time, and showing the methods of assessment and land appraisal used at the time.
The series consists of the following sub-series:
Sub-series 1, Property appraisal reports 1973-1977, in containers 914292-0001 - 914292-0010
Sub-series 2, Property appraisal reports 1976-1980, in containers 914292-0011 - 914292-0024
Sub-series 3, Property appraisal reports 1979-1982, in containers 914292-0025 - 914292-0040
Sub-series 4, Property appraisal reports 1978-1984, in containers 880583-0001 - 880583-0014
British Columbia. Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing