NIMBYism - NIMBYism 2008 Page 1 NIMBYism Assessing the...

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NIMBYism 2008 Page 1 NIMBYism Assessing the feasibility of a housing or commercial development generally focuses on the regulatory barriers to the development of a site. There is, however, a serious non- regulatory barrier that can be frustrating, time and money consuming, and extremely difficult to overcome. The barrier is encountered when the neighborhoods adjacent to or surrounding the selected site do not want to have the proposed development “in their backyard.” It is referred to as NIMBYism or the “Not In My Back Yard Syndrome”. Not-In-My-Backyard Syndrome NIMBYism is a serious problem for housing development of nearly any kind, but in particular it can be the downfall of an affordable housing development. It is the same emotional reaction that a neighbor has to the construction of a gas station or pig farm next door. The NIMBY syndrome is a neighborhood or community reaction to an undesirable facility proposed for an area. In the case of affordable housing, the NIMBY reaction is an emotional response to the perception that “affordable housing” is associated with “government subsidized housing.” It is important to recognize that you are dealing with an emotional reaction rather than a reaction based on fact. Many communities have implemented exclusionary zoning that effectively precludes “undesirable” development. In many instances this regulatory action is the result of political pressure applied by the NIMBYs. The factors generating the NIMBY reaction are attributed to three primary concerns: Negative impact on property values Concerns about increased traffic Changes in neighborhood character It is important to understand NIMBYism, how it develops, and some of the suggestions for neutralizing the reaction. To begin with, the NIMBY reaction almost always progresses through three stages 1 : youth, maturity, and old age. Youth is the stage when the news breaks regarding the proposed development. Opposition tends to be confined to a small, local group from the area close to the proposed site. NIMBY sentiments are usually expressed in blunt terms, often reflecting an irrational response with fear of reduced property values, increase in traffic, and/or changed neighborhood character. 1 Dear, Michael. Gaining Community Acceptance . The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, P.O. Box 2316, Princeton, NJ 05843. May 1991. 70 pages.
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NIMBYism 2008 Page 2 At Maturity , pro and con forces have solidified and debate has moved from behind the scenes to the public forum. Once in the public view, opposing positions are usually more rational. Old Age
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This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course BCN 4023 taught by Professor Stroh during the Spring '11 term at University of Florida.

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NIMBYism - NIMBYism 2008 Page 1 NIMBYism Assessing the...

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