If you haven’t been accused of being a NIMBY, just be patient. Chances are you will be, sooner or later.
NIMBY, for those few that haven’t heard the term, is short form for Not In My Backyard. It usually finds its way into sentences like ‘That’s a nice idea, but not in my neighbourhood.’
And let’s face it, rezoning or variance applications rarely get through the municipal public hearing process without some degree of opposition.
In some cases, the opposition is warranted, like an application for a variance that would fundamentally change the nature of someone’s property, like being thrown into permanent shade by an overlarge apartment building or a parking garage that would funnel exhaust fumes into a neighbouring home.
All too often, people only engage with politics or city hall when they are opposed to something that affects them personally. The larger picture of what is good for the community is rarely looked at.
Proposing developments on agricultural land brings its own special kind of opposition. First, there is the very real need to protect agricultural land, to be sure we don’t pave over all our productive land. But NIMBY manages to creep in too. After all, who wouldn’t want orchards instead of buildings?
But as much as we need agricultural land for food production, we also need housing for people and growth for our communities.
That leaves council with a very fine line to walk as they do what we elected them to do, make decisions for the future of our community.
Change is hard to deal with, but minor change or major, it is also inevitable.
The goal should not be to avoid change at all costs, but to work with it and weave it into the fabric of community.