ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not In My Back Yard!

I live and work in the City of Santa Clara - in Silicon Valley, California.  We are a city dedicated to safety, quality of life, and growth.  Our city fathers/mothers have been very wise and our residential tax base has been kept low due to great business planning in the past.

There is an area of our city devoted to light industry and entertainment - the taxes received from these ventures makes life easier for the rest of us.  For example, we have outstanding police and fire departments and our own utility company (our electricity almost never goes down.)

There is a movement to urbanize the area - all the cities in the area - and to create two or three - and sometimes even four story housing about retail and business in what is being called "urban villages."

I love the idea.  As a displaced New Yorker I don't see these places as "stack and pack" as their opponents call them.  I see them as an opportunity to create community, to enable people to afford to live in the area, and to enable and encourage walking.

I miss walking.  New York City is a walking city - and because of it people bump into each other regularly and there is a sense of safety (yes, safety in NYC) and community.  You never know who you are going to bump into - and friends often take walks together as a way of visiting.

Here though - anytime there is new development proposed the Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) people put up a hew and cry.  Of course they fail to realize that before the homes they are currently living in were built - there were the others crying NIMBY -

In my opinion, this represents short-sightedness and incredible lack of regard for others.  We need to develop homes for people who work in our valley.  we are landlocked because of the forced open space (which, by the way means people owning land have not been allowed to develop it) and the only way we can house people is to build up.

NIMBY always has an argument about noise, traffic, vista, and other excuses.

NIMBY also fights against growth of any kind.  For example, there is a group called "Play Fair" that fought the new Levi's (49ers) Stadium - which is going to be a huge boon to the city both financially and in lifting community spirit and pride.  They are now fighting any opportunities to replace some of our fifties style strip centers with new and modern combined usage retail, housing, parks, walking spaces, etc.

NIMBY - go move somewhere else and let the rest of us have the advantages that the planners and others in the City of Santa Clara so wisely wish to provide for us.

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