What is a NIMBY?

NIMBY is an acronym for “Not In My Backyard.” The term, coined in the 1980s by British politician Nicholas Ridley, is used to describe citizens that oppose proposed real estate developments in their neighborhood or town.

A NIMBY group typically opposes projects that its members fear will lower their property values or have an adverse affect on their quality of life. In the last ten to fifteen years, NIMBYism has increased dramatically across the United States, Canada and Europe as residents organize politically to fight projects that they believe will have a negative impact on their local environs.

More and more citizens have found that when they unite, organize and commit to fight developers and investors at the local political level, they can and do win. Over time, they have become increasingly sophisticated in their techniques. A prolonged fight against a well-funded, organized and committed NIMBY citizen group can cost a developer tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and even prevent them from building at all.

Why write a book about NIMBYs?

We have spent the last twenty five years working to help developers, land owners, investors, and commercial real estate professionals succeed in getting their land use projects approved, and we have learned a number of valuable lessons. We have also worked extensively with the citizens who form community groups to get involved in site fights. As a result of our work, we have found that the traditional methods of dealing with residents – such as “marketing” the project as if it were a product, or “fixing” the deal by hiring a lobbyist or PR firm with ties to the Mayor or City Council – are ineffective.

The key to getting real estate projects approved lies in understanding why a NIMBY group opposes the project, how individual NIMBY citizens can be turned from opponent to ally, and how to use the same political tactics that the NIMBYs themselves use to counter their efforts. We wrote Nimby Wars – The Politics of Land Use to address the ins-and-outs of the political process that determines whether a developer or NIMBY group will win the day, explain which tactics work and which do not, and ultimately, give readers on all sides of the issue insight and perspective that will help them in a land use fight.

Who should read this book?

Nimby Wars – The Politics of Land Use is a must read for anyone who seeks victory in a zoning or planning battle, or who may find themselves caught in the crossfire:

  • Developers, lawyers and engineers
  • Real Estate investors and financiers
  • Planners & zoning professionals
  • Local politicians & commissioners
  • Commercial Real Estate professionals
  • Heads of corporate real estate departments
  • Campaign managers
  • Citizens who want to learn more about how they can get involved in local land use decisions

Why should we take your word for it?

In the last 25 years, we have been involved in over 1500 land use political fights in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. We have served clients in a myriad of industries, such as retail, grocery, aggregates/quarries, power plants, landfills, casino and racetrack gaming, windfarms, hospitals, even an oil refinery; and, along the way, we’ve run into more than a few NIMBY groups. If you’d like to know more about who we are and what we’ve done, you can visit us at The Saint Consulting Group or read our daily land use politics blog, The Saint Report.

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