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Friday, December 9, 2022
Letter: NIMBY isn’t always a bad idea

Dear editor:

In my personal opinion the term NIMBYism (not in my backyard) is widely misunderstood and misused, and is invalid in many cases.

In it's simplest form, it seems that it could be applied to anybody who is against a development or project purely for personal or selfish reasons. (Naturally, some would say that they have every right to feel this way and resent being told how to think by others.)

However, in many cases it is used by some simply as a weapon hurled from a safe distance in what I consider to be a dishonest attempt to embarrass or force others onto the defensive, and is simply a disguised way of bullying or name calling.

Who hasn't heard the phrase, “They're just a bunch of NIMBYs”? It is also dishonest in the sense that these same people would in all probability be the first to complain loudly if the town decided to build a treatment plant adjacent to their property.

Nevertheless, it would be foolish to argue that there are not cases of genuine NIMBYism and these instances should be confronted by those concerned.

However, it cannot be disputed that there are also cases where there is genuine opposition to a project for valid reasons and where this term is misused. 

I believe this to be the case in the Rand Estate, an iconic site where there is an honest attempt to preserve its valuable historical assets in the face of what many consider to be an inappropriate and badly conceived development. This effort is widely supported by many people who have no hidden agenda and nothing to gain financially.

Call it NIMBYism if you like, but in my opinion, opposing a developer who is bent on ruining a historic and iconic site just to accommodate a highly controversial and destructive project is a positive force that is to the benefit of all, now as well as in the future.

Derek  Collins