Re: NIMBY opposition
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 09:53:51 -0800 (PST)
 Single family housing neighborhoods have every right to not want
multi-family housing in their block. It changes the densities, increases
traffic, and multi-family housing is often viewed in a negative light
because it brings in changes. Once you let in one via zoning, then dozens
more can come in, developers start buying up houses and putting in
apartments. This is a very real dynamic in many places and people who buy
homes in residential neighborhoods do not generally like this change.
Cohousing might not have ANYTHING to do with it, its just peoples desire to
keep single family homes.  

Another aspect I became aware of is that when you sit in the audience and
watch a cohousing presentation it comes off as a very liberal political
thing,  often the promoters of cohousing talk about environmental stuff,
social stuff that is very liberal and this too adds a spin.  

I once knew a guy who was a successful small neighborhood developer and I
watched him work a small town city council for a proposal. Prior to his
first meeting he went and got information about the politics and interests
of the council members. I recall in the pre-meeting small talk he made up
some story about fishing and in doing so, he connected with one of the
council members who was an avid fisherman, and by the time the meeting was
starting they were chatting together like old friends. This developer never
spent a day in his life fishing but he knew how to work the politics.  His
proposal was accepted at a later public meeting, but he laid the personal
political ground works several weeks prior to the actual public hearing.  I
concluded from this experience that this is how the system works, and if you
want to get in on it, you have to get yourself into the good ole boy
network, or whatever political network exists EARLY.. If your only
connection is at the actual public meeting, then it is WAY TO LATE to impact
the outcome.  This theory has actually paid off for me  in some local
environmental politics.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
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