Dealing with NIMBY Type Opposition

Land Deveopment Training
October 11, 2012 — 1,520 views  

Dealing with NIMBY Type Opposition

The NIMBY syndrome has killed more than one potentially profitable development. NIMBY, “Not In My Back Yard,” usually starts with one or two local residents who are against a particular development. Then, like a virus, the syndrome spreads to others.

NIMBY is usually based on ignorance of the facts and fear of the repercussions. The locals feel that no matter the benefit the industry, factory or warehouse may bring, the bad will outweigh the good. The promise of jobs may circum to the fear of on-the-job injuries. The hope for a larger tax base may give in to the fear of large corporation takeovers. The much needed economic benefits may submit to the fear of environmental degradations.

The fears may be real, and the concerns merited. Many large companies move into unsuspecting areas with the promise of prosperity and go out of business leaving the area defenseless and environmentally bankrupted.

It is the responsibility of the proposing company to quell the fears of the locals by telling the whole truth about the impending development. Anyone who is planning to set up a new industry, plant, sub-division, etc., should consider all the possible effects the plan may have on the area, how the local residents may receive the idea and how to answer any question that may arise. 

The representatives of the proposed project must do their homework. They must find out what the concerns of the residents are before being misunderstood and mistrusted. This action requires some footwork but it is well worth the results.

It is always best to present an example of a similar project that was successful in another location. Express to those questioning the overall benefit versus detrimental possibilities exactly how the sample undertaking was established, operated and continued. Be truthful about any drawbacks that your company has experienced and the changes put in place to correct any problems.

Educating the public is the most important part of any venture. Untruths, half-truths, and altered realities are always revealed at a later date and the results can be devastating.

Therefore, the best actions are:
1) Know your business and how your plan will affect the location.
2) Know the people and the possibilities of opposition.
3) Be aware of the drawbacks and be willing to share the information.
4) Work with planning and zoning boards and development commissions.
5) Most of all, you must be honest. Ignorance may be blissful but it’s not profitable.


Land Deveopment Training