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From the Forum – Fighting NIMBYism

by Prince Of Petworth July 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm 109 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

Fighting NIMBYism

“I went to a civic association meeting last night, and it seemed like everybody there was universally opposed any dense development for fear that it’ll block people’s sunlight and/or increase traffic for residents (who apparently drive around their own neighborhood for some reason?). Simultaneously, they lament when businesses close because of high rent and lack of customers.

I believe dense development, if executed responsibly, is the key to getting people out of their cars, lowering real estate costs, and increasing customer- (and tax-) bases. The opposition is irrational and vitriolic. My wife and I want to be civically engaged, but I don’t think we want to make a habit of arguing with roomfulls of people that just aren’t going to get it.

Is there any organized force against the NIMBYism? Should we go it alone and just write dissents to our ANC, CM, and the zoning board? Is this an especially effective strategy? It’s a shame, because it’s easy to sit back and let the developers take on the fight themselves, but it seems like their buildings are constantly being trimmed down and scaled back because of community opposition, and we probably only have one chance to rebuild these neighborhoods!

I’m specifically talking about the Edgewood/Brentwood/Brookland/Langdon area, where there’s a lot of development activity, but I’d be happy to join a District-wide urbanism effort as well.”

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