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Monday, May 10, 2010

NIMBYs, meet the enemy

When your neighborhood's being wrecked, there'll be a guy like this helping the developer weasels get the job done.

"There are two types of people that oppose development: those who have legitimate concerns and those who have way too much time on their hands and just like to hear themselves talk," Owendoff said.
I'd like to see them put a methadone clinic on the same elevator bank as that guy's law firm.

Comments (9)

There are two types of people who work for developers: those who legitimately care about their impact they make on other human beings and those who just don't give a sh$% about anything but lining their pockets.

He takes pride in degrading our community.

He helps developers rob the public for subsidies. Then he assures that they increase the number of users of public services in whatever local area the developers have increased the number of residents. That is the expected outcome.

But nobody ever says anything about how such a strategy degrades the limited public services, which are NOT being expanded to meet the increase in residents.

More residents...but no more park space.

More residents...but no more clean water service.

More residents...but no more traffic flow. Even if mass transit worked, it, too, would face the same inexerable result...degradation through excessive overuse by too many users.

More residents...but no more...anything else other than more residents. More people using the same things as before means degradation. It is unavoidable.

Owendoff and his clients are degrading our community by their mere presence.

I didn't know there were methadone clinics in Irvington.

Actually, bjc, there's at least one locked psych facility in Irvington -- or at least it was the last time I looked:

It occupies the erstwhile nun's residence on the SW corner of NE 24th and Siskiyou; the "non-profit" that runs it rents from the pastor of the Madeleine Parish. Previously, the site had housed a discreet Kaiser Permanente drug-treatment center. During discussions prior to the pastor's assent to the locked facility, there was considerably more consternation among neighbors than is suggested by the Catholic Sentinel piece.

I do not know whether methadone has ever been administered at the locked facility. The representatives of the "non-profit" were very anxious to obtain the space and hardly transparent; they looked upon Irvington neighbors as rather ignorant NIMBYs.

When last I looked, you can't legally dispense methadone within 1,000 feet of a school or licensed day care facility in Oregon -- although the methadone clinic on SE Belmont is perilously close to that limit (and may violate it, depending on how you measure the 1,000 feet) from Central Catholic. You couldn't sell methadone at Madeleine for that reason.

I live near the Madeleine mental health facility, which was bitterly opposed by many parishioners and neighbors alike. I didn't join in the protests, and as it turned out, the place has not been a problem -- at least, not that I have heard.

“At the core of NIMBYism is a fear of the unknown,” Grillo said. “Citizens don’t want development to affect their routines and the way they live, so being in good listening position and responding to these fears is essential throughout the process.”
= You don't know what you know you know, so listen to me now as I tell you what I hear you saying.

Opposition can be combated by hiring a planner, a land-use lawyer and a construction firm that is known and respected within the community, the attorneys said.
= Co$t the neighbors out of the conte$t.

The diamond in the rough:
“Real estate is a margins business and time is a killer,” Owendoff said.

Take Five

“At the core of NIMBYism is a fear of the unknown,” Grillo said. “Citizens don’t want development to affect their routines and the way they live, so being in good listening position and responding to these fears is essential throughout the process.”

I would say at the core of NIMBYism is a fear of the known. The known is that the citizens know it is pretty much set to go and that the process is not set up in their favor. What is wrong with standing up for one's neighborhood and livability? Why has that been painted a bad thing? Who created this term?

I would say NIABYism is more like it as far as I am concerned, Not In Anyone's Back Yard! We wouldn't want any neighborhood to have to deal with projects that lesson the quality of this city. This whole NIMBY thing has been carried too far.
Years ago the Northwest Examiner had an article about this. (I will submit it later if I can locate it)

In cases where there is still opposition, Grillo suggested drafting a good neighbor agreement - a written promise to the surrounding community that isn’t required through the land-use process, but helps allay concerns.

Oh great, can always pull out from the bag of tricks the good neighborhood agreement as if that will appease the situation.

“Life is inertia,” Owendoff said. “You are either moving forward or backward, and if you are standing still you are moving backward. In development, you really have to plan ahead in order to always keep moving forward throughout the process.”

In many cases to the developer of some of these projects it does means moving forward, to the people living next door, it means moving backward on their livability.

Sorry but the jargon these people use just doesn't wash with many anymore. If one doesn’t go along with the program, then one is painted as “the troublemaker” or “one needs to compromise”. Why would the people be expected to compromise their financial investment in their neighborhood, and/or to compromise the level of their well being? Usually the sharpies who are trained to push these projects onto the area know exactly what they are doing, and most likely would not live in the area into which they push these projects.

I could go on awhile adding to Owendoff's list of things developers and their teams should do.

One that I see repeated many times by developers and agents when things are stalled is to have themselves or city planning staff suggest or require having a few selected citizens meet with the TEAM and city staff.

The TEAM makes a few conciliatory suggestions. The citizens (always not the most opposed but "reasonable people") think accepting just two of the four suggestions would be a favorable compromises.

They haggle.

The three citizens end up accepting one. Notice the "three citizens", the other side always picks an odd number so that there will be a decision and not a deadlock.

Then they all go back to the large group and present their "compromise" and see if the "conquer and divide" worked.

It does, after the City staff makes any still opposing citizen seem "unreasonable".

The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.

Source: (Japanese)

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