There but by one rodeo, circus, gas station or fast-food restaurant go you and me.
Add to that list bridge, cell phone tower, road widening project, fence, assisted living facility, big-box store and used car lot.
Any amenity that we enjoy, or find absolutely essential, but don’t want next door to our home, can bring out the NIMBY in us.
Not in My Backyard.
Sometimes NIMBYs are disparaged by those trying to push their pet project. Calling their opponents NIMBYs is like using a cleaned-up expletive. It’s a way of mocking the opponent, painting them as a parochial, selfish, narrow person who is against progress.
That’s not fair. There is something endearing about Americans who used their constitutional rights to speak out, lobby for a redress of a grievance and cooperate with their neighbors in a common cause.
This past week, more than 1,000 River Club residents who signed a petition opposing a 150-foot cell phone tower in their midst won a victory. The Manatee County Planning Board voted against allowing the cell phone tower to be erected. The final say will be the county commission’s Dec. 3.
Many of the River Club opponents promise to be at that meeting.
Another notable battle is being waged over a new chain-link fence that separates some of the residents in Palm-Aire from the beautiful new Conservatory Park.
John Bartley and several other Palm-Aire residents are so upset with the fence that they have filed suit against the county. They would prefer that nothing stand between them and nature. Furthermore, they say that the fence violates the county’s own rules, an allegation that county officials deny.
Give the advantage to this county in this dispute, for now, because the fence is already up. But anything can happen if it makes it to trial.
Opponents of the proposed bridge over the Braden River which would connect Honore Avenue with Tara Boulevard also appear to have gotten the short-end of the stick. On Oct. 29, a circuit judge granted an eminent domain request for the county to take the land needed to build that bridge. The actual amount the county will have to pay the owners will be determined in trial next year.
Neighbors don’t always object to changes. Consider Autumn Conservatory, which would be a 130-unit assisted living and special care facility in the 3700 block of University Parkway between University Pines and Palm-Aire
In calling several neighbors, I didn’t hear a disparaging word from anyone.
Typical reaction: “I know there are several assisted living facilities in the area. What’s one more?”