People rarely say they are NIMBY, but look at their concerns

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Planning and Zoning, saintblog1 Comment

P. Michael Saint, Chairman and CEO, The Saint Consulting Group

Are you a NIMBY, or are you just worried about legitimate planning, environmental, or taxation issues? People who do not want something built near them almost never say that they are NIMBY’s and that is the reason for their opposition.

They almost always put forward a strong opposition argument that goes something like: “I am not against the project, but this will create flooding, or it is the wrong location or we need more taxes than this would pay.”

It is hard to separate the selfish NIMBY’s from those with legitimate concerns.  Take a look at the excerpts below from three recent news stories and then ask yourself, “are these arguments sincere or simply nice sounding reasons to mask the NIMBYism that is in play?”
WORRIED ABOUT FLOODING: Several Flanders residents expressed opposition to a proposed 284-unit age-restricted development off Pleasant Hill Road Thursday at the project’s first planning board hearing (see Daily Record article). The majority of the nearly two dozen residents who turned up are concerned that the development, which includes 227 single-family, age-restricted homes and 57 affordable-housing apartment units, would worsen flooding of the Rosewood ditch, a 30-foot-wide channel behind the Clover Hill development’s Knollwood and Bolton roads notorious for its slow drainage into Drake’s Brook.

WRONG LOCATION: On the evening of Thursday, February 18, 2010, scores of Sayville residents and business owners spoke up and prevailed at a public hearing before the Town of Islip Planning Board at Town Hall on the proposed construction of an Assisted Living facility on Lakeland Avenue. Let me be clear at the outset, the residents and business owners are NOT against an Assisted Living facility in Sayville. The residents and business owners, in attendance, however, are against the construction of the facility in the proposed location – the east side of Lakeland Avenue, 300 feet north of Manton Street. After the presentation by the Engel Burman Group and their architect, many Sayville residents, the Chief of Sayville’s Community Ambulance Company and other environmentally informed men and women delivered impassioned, poignant and location-specific speeches against the construction of this type of building at Lakeland and Johnson Avenues. The Planning Board unanimously voted, 7-0, a ‘motion to reserve’, in order to gather more information regarding

NOT ENOUGH TAXES: Rallying against a proposed 10-unit housing complex for the mentally ill, several dozen residents of a condominium association attended last night’s Gahanna City Council meeting. Dr. Dan Heinmiller, a pediatrician and resident of the Courtyard at Beecher Crossing condominiums, a neighbor of the proposed group home, said last night: “Multifamily projects generate far less property taxes, virtually no income taxes and create a significant cost increase to the city of Gahanna for basic city services.”Heinmiller admonished those who said that he and other condo owners are discriminating against the mentally ill. “I and my fellow residents would never ask this council to discriminate against people with disabilities,” he said.

Mike Saint is chairman and CEO of The Saint Consulting Group, email


One Comment on “People rarely say they are NIMBY, but look at their concerns”

  1. Why don’t come see what we’re talking about before using us as an example of NIMBYism? We’re not so much opposed to the project as to having a second –yes second –open drainage ditch built behind our homes.

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