Economic Development in BC’s Lower Columbia

The future looks bright! It is important to note that the Lower Columbia has a resilient economy that does not experience economic cycles; in part due to the stability of the world’s largest zinc and lead smelter, a regional hospital, significant summer and winter tourism, and hydro generation on the Columbia River.

Take a look at our Regional Outlook, which highlights some of the key investments in the Lower Columbia Region for 2015-2016. Interested in more targeted information on a specific sector? Check out our Sector Fact Sheets, which feature the Lower Columbia’s primary industries such as Technology, Metallurgy, Tourism and more!

Residential & Resort DevelopmentScreenHunter_06 Aug. 31 12.49

Municipalities and electoral districts that make up BC’s Lower Columbia have experienced some new economic development in recent years.

Red Mountain and the Redstone Resort, Rossland’s ski resort and 18 hole golf course respectively, are the cornerstones of the residential development here. Full build out will take place over the next 10 years, and includes commercial spaces as well.


Commercial & Industrial Development

A new development of a Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS) facility will be located in Trail. MIDAS is a sector-targeted applied science research and commercialization centre providing downstream metallurgical expertise, a digital fabrication laboratory and business development estimated at $1.5M.

In addition to this, in the next year another $35 million is expected to be invested in the region from other municipalities, employers and funding organizations which include Atco Wood Products, Retrieve Technologies, AMEC Forster Wheeler, and Walmart.

There are other economic development opportunities as well, especially – given the region’s long history – in heritage building restorations and in brown field development. Forward-looking companies will also take advantage of growing interest in sustainability, LEED and Built Green certifications, and water and energy-efficiency retrofits.

The Lower Columbia Region also has prime industrial land available for purchase, for more information ask us about the Waneta Lands and the Airport Lands.


Other Development

In addition, the City is working on the finalization of plans for RiverfrontPlacea new integrated Library and Museum Facility that will be built downtown with an estimated cost of $6.5 million.

City Council has reviewed the City’s long term capital plan and revenue transfers into the City capital funds indicate ongoing investments in municipal infrastructure, beyond the projects noted above, will exceed $3 million annually.

The City is also undertaking a feasibility analysis for a new Trail Regional Airport terminal building and other related improvements that will be in the order of $5 million of airport modernization.


Planning Contacts

For lands outside of municipal boundaries, contact the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Planning and Development Department. They will advise on an Official Community Plan Amendment or a Zoning Amendment; a Development Permit or a Development Variance Permit.

Visit the Warfield, Fruitvale and Montrose websites to find the most recent information related to permits and zoning within their municipal boundaries.

The City of Rossland Planning and Development Department is the best first point of contact regarding land use and development in Rossland.

Finally, the Planning Department of the City of Trail regulates development in Trail, and is a good initial point of contact.