Introduction

What do you see for the future of Fruitvale? Further, what if we could achieve the exceptional as a community? What kind of community do we want to leave behind for our children and grandchildren? How do we create the transformative in our plans that help get us to our aspirational horizon line?

The Village of Fruitvale is creating an Economic Development Strategy that aims to answer these questions. Economic Development Strategies speak the language of jobs…the heartbeat of community vibrancy. It can be the ONE plan that answers the question: who is Fruitvale in future and why does it matter to us as residents, to visitors, and to new investors? We can embrace big ideas about the future. We also need to focus on clear actions that generate progress toward our vision of the future.

We need your input and ideas with this Community Survey! This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and is open to all Village of Fruitvale residents. Your input is important to the Village’s future.

All responses are confidential. Only aggregated results are used to shape development of the Strategy. The survey will remain open until September 15, 2021.

Thank you in advance for spending your valuable time completing this survey.
I. TELL US ABOUT FRUITVALE

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* 1. Using single words, how would you describe Fruitvale to someone who has never visited?

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* 2. Using single words, from your perspective how is Fruitvale unique compared to other places in BC?

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* 3. Think of Fruitvale as a logo. What image or object comes to mind?

II. QUALITY OF LIFE

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* 4. We typically move to or live in a community because we appreciate the lifestyle it offers. What factors do you think are core to your present lifestyle in Fruitvale? (choose your top 3-5)

III. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

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* 5. 15 years from now, what do you want Fruitvale to be known for? (choose your top 3-5)

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* 6. In your opinion what priority level should Fruitvale place on the following potential Village-driven economic development-related strategies and initiatives:

  Urgent Priority High Priority Neutral Priority Low Priority Very Low Priority
Create a co-work/co-business location space where space is shared (affordability)
Housing innovation that nurtures affordability
Better enable  temporary commercial uses (e.g. food trucks, pop-up commerce, pop-up buildings on vacant land that can be moved)
Create tax incentive (Revitalization Tax Incentive Bylaw) to encourage downtown infill/revitalization
Reduce commercial parking standards to incentivize downtown infill/revitalization
Faster Internet
More permissive home-based business regulation
Village-owned artist co-op space
Village marketing and promotion of investment, tourism, and resident relocation opportunities
Attract development of an agrihood (a residential development where farm/vineyard/orchard is part of the neighbourhood)
Attract/incentivize a craft brewpub/cidery/distillery
Placemaking/beautification initiatives (resident pride, helps attract independent entrepreneurs/creators)
Enhance Creekside Park (behind Memorial Centre)
Promote development of mixed-use buildings downtown   
Focus on quality recreation facilities
Investment in high quality basic infrastructure (water, sewer, roads)
Attract/incentivize investment in hotel/motel accommodation
Create a “lazy creek” float on Beaver Creek
Develop connectivity to a future regional trail network (to Montrose, Trail, Rossland, Castlegar)
Commercial kitchen designation at Memorial Centre/offering to local entrepreneurs for craft food production
Streamline development approval process to fast-track non-residential development
Allow for smaller lot subdivision downtown (affordability, current minimum 2500 sq. ft.)
Create more industrial land for more non-residential tax base/job creation, even if it requires annexation
Promote agrifood growing, harvesting, and entrepreneur craft products
More aggressively market Memorial Centre and recreation facilities for regional events
Seasonally rent or purchase a fruit press to enable resident use of fruit/business ventures

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* 7. Do you have some other economic and community development ideas…big or small/bold or pragmatic that haven’t been mentioned in the previous question (Question 6)?

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* 8. What challenges do we need to overcome in Fruitvale? (choose your top 3-5)

III. HOUSING

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* 9. What kinds of additional housing choice do you think would be most supported in Fruitvale? (choose as many as you wish)

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* 10. Should Fruitvale have policy that allows for home rentals (e.g. Airbnb) as tourism accommodation – where the homeowner doesn’t have to be present? Note: Fruitvale currently permits B&Bs in residential areas, in which the homeowner must be present

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* 11. Would you support housing innovation if policy adjustments were made to enable at least some of these options in the area of the village you live in?

IV. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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* 12. 95.5% of Fruitvale’s tax revenues in 2020 came from residential development, while 4.5% came from commercial/industrial development. The average ratio for urban communities in the West Kootenay is 87.6% residential/12.4% commercial/industrial – which means there is room to boost Fruitvale’s commercial and industrial development to be “comparative.”
 
Business and industry is typically welcomed because it can provide local employment, and generates tax revenue that pays for desired services and amenities. However, business can generate environmental impact (e.g. noise, lights, pollution, traffic) that residents may have varying degrees of issue with, or the type of activity doesn’t meet the vision people have for the community. The desire for local jobs and the desire to enjoy other features of community quality of life can be competing goals if not planned well.

Of note to help to answer the questions that follow:

-Commercial development includes office, hotel, retail and/or professional services activities.
-Industrial development includes manufacturing, processing, warehousing or other activity that may generate more external impact (e.g. storage, noise, emissions) than commercial activity.

In this context, do you agree or disagree with the following statements:

  Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree Unsure/don't know
Economic growth and development would improve Fruitvale quality of life and community experience
We need more employment opportunities in Fruitvale
I support commercial expansion in Fruitvale
I support industrial expansion in Fruitvale
The Village should purchase and develop industrial lands for sale if the private market won’t or can’t provide enough
We should prioritize downtown growth and enhancement
We should have strict development conditions to strengthen appearance and minimize impacts (e.g. noise, pollution, traffic, visually compromising) even if it prevents some from developing or doing business here
We should require “green” standards (e.g. alternative energy use, drought tolerant landscaping, reduced water use, green construction techniques that contribute to climate change mitigation)
We should enable more types of commercial activity (e.g. pop-ups/temporary uses, work-live buildings, markets) 
We should further enable neighbourhood commercial activity (e.g. corner store, restaurant, hair salon) outside the downtown

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* 13. 2.9% of Fruitvale’s workforce works out of the home (Src: Census Canada, 2016). Home-based business can be an important economic activity, job generator, and lifestyle choice. Communities regulate home-based business to varying degrees and are concerned about potential negative impact on the neighbours.

Fruitvale currently permits Home Occupations at a maximum 25% principal dwelling or 430 sq. ft., 3.2 sq. ft maximum size business sign - which can be freestanding no taller than 5 ft., no employees unless they live in the principal dwelling, no outside storage, retail permitted if product produced on site, commercial vehicle that can’t exceed 5500 kg, 1 parking stall required, and most activity permitted except auto/marine repair unless parts, welding/fabricating, meat processing, drinking/eating, wrecking yard, crematorium/funeral home. There are no restrictions on hours of operation. Business can be conducted from a principal dwelling or accessory structure.

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following regulation modification ideas that would be more enabling for home-based business:

  Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree Unsure/don't know
Economic growth and development would improve Fruitvale quality of life and community experience
We need more employment opportunities in Fruitvale
Allow up to 50% of principal dwelling
Remove space limitation
Allow up to 2 employees that don’t live in the residence
Allow for more than 2 employees that don’t live in the residence
Allow for larger business sign
Permit general retail
Remove parking requirement
Create a new “Home Industries” category for larger rural residential (RR1) and rural large parcels (RLP1) in north and west Fruitvale that permits up to 4 employees, allows for outdoor storage, and allows general retail sales
No permitting or licensing required for Home Occupations with permitting/licensing only required for Home Industries
Minimally regulate but establish a mediation process to resolve neighbour complaints

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Missing Middle Commerce

Missing Middle Commerce

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* 14. As an entrepreneur in BC and Canada, there are gaps – in either availability of the right type of space, or support programs – that can stand in the way of a business idea coming to life, or that constrain business growth. As one example, cost barriers can be too big to jump from home-based business to large commercial space. A little help from others at a key time can be critical. These entrepreneur challenges are often called “missing middles.” The space gap can be visualized in the above image (Src courtesy: Strong Towns https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/11/6/theres-a-missing-middle-for-commercial-spaces-too)

We can add to this visualization of missing middles: Accessory Commercial Units (like a garden suite but a visible commercial enterprise in a residential district typically in a mixed-use zone or adjacent to a commercial area); co-work spaces, incubator/accelerator/hub space to grow companies – particularly tech companies; market spaces and buildings; and the “corner store.”

There’s no end to the types of financial, mentorship, learning, start-up and other support programs that can help support entrepreneur development and business growth. What is ultimately offered is about considering programs that best work for local business. 

In this context….

What types of “middle ground” spaces do you feel would best help businesses and entrepreneurship grow in Fruitvale? (choose your top 5)

VI. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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* 15. Economic development is about creation of local employment opportunities. Community development is a broader effort to nurture a great community with high quality of life. What elements of a community development agenda should we emphasize to enable economic development? (choose your top 3-5)

VII. FACILITIES

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* 16. As Fruitvale grows, it’s important to ensure that recreation and other municipal facilities meet local needs while also supporting economic development (i.e. investors want to see good community amenity) and tourism. Fruitvale presently has an indoor arena, curling, and Memorial Centre, and outdoor ball, soccer, campground, and community garden. What recreation/culture facilities do you feel will be needed and/or enhanced over the next several years that could be financially supported by the community? (choose up to 3 that are most important to you)

VIII. VISION OF THE FUTURE

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* 17. Using 25 words or so what is your vision for the future of Fruitvale?

IX. LAST QUESTIONS

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* 18. How likely is it that you would recommend living and/or investing in Fruitvale to a friend or colleague?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely

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* 19. Are you a business owner or business investor in Fruitvale?

T