The Many Colours Of NIMBY: The Call Of The Wild

great blue heron fishing
Do not disturb: is the Great Blue Heron at the centre of Connecticut NIMBY objections?

NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

For those determined to man the neighbourhood battlements against change, any and all weapons are used to stave off development plans which alter ‘neighbourhood character.’

The term ‘neighbourhood character’ is used in and of itself as a defence against projects that threaten change. In this role, neighbourhood character is invoked as a moment of perfection frozen in time with no significant past, nor future. ‘The way things were at sunrise this morning’ is a suitable definition for the perfection of neighbourhood character.’

Otherwise, neighbourhood character is merely a descriptive concept for a broad range of NIMBY ‘no-no’s’ that describe objects or events that may be caused by undesirable change. For example, current neighbourhood traffic levels: acceptable at best. Adding one four-plex affordable housing project and traffic levels become totally unacceptable.

The same NIMBY no-no’s crop up over and over in neighbourhood defence against projects proposed for one neighbourhood in one nation, then again in another neighbourhood in another nation. New colours of NIMBY have been thin on the ground recently.

Until now.

The talk of planet-threatening climate change has given birth to a proposed, controversial ‘Green New Deal’ in America that provides neighbourhood defenders with a new range of environmental no-no’s to be co-opted by NIMBY. And so we’re proud to announce we’ve discovered a new ‘Colour of NIMBY’ in Fairfield, Connecticut.

NIMBY opponents of a new project in that town are up in arms over disruption to traffic (ho hum…snore) . . . AND to disruption of wildlife (bingo!). We’ve captured a ‘Call of the Wild’ NIMBY!

Now, what can ‘disruption of wildlife’ mean? Do birds fly into affordable housing windows more often than other housing windows? Do affordable housing residents deliberately run over skunks instead of more neighbourly and civilized ‘long-time residents’ manoeuvring to avoid them?

Who knows? The local press is not so far helpful.

So alas, we can only offer hints as to the ultimate meaning of a possible powerful new NIMBY. Further enlightenment would be greatly appreciated by Meanwhile, you can read more (but only a little more) at Patch: Thousands Donated To Fight Fairfield Affordable Housing Proposal


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