Inside the mind of a NIMBY

I answered the poll "skews YIMBY" the reality is that growth and change are life and stasis is death. I want things to tip in favor of "let's make this work".

this is very well put. As much as I love "old Boston," stasis simply is not a choice - stasis becomes decay. So we have to choose between growth or decay.

So the growth has to be smart and well designed, but it's gotta be there. The development money has gotta flow in.

As a YIMBY-leaner, one thing I take exception to on this forum is when some of the anti-YIMBYs (I won't call them NIMBYs because they are not NIMBYs) imply that those of us who are pro-development have inferiority complexes about Boston and want big p___s in the sky. Also, some of said members imply to us pro-development folk that "we don't get out of town much" like we're some townie Boston-proud types. This is so precisely wrong - it is exactly because I do get out of town much that I am keenly aware of Boston's degree of "freshness and vibrancy" compared to other places. There are many places that have it much worse than us. I transitioned from being an engineer (where I had to travel a lot) to being an educator (where I work w/ 20-yr-olds here). These kids judge our city based on other reference points and based on somewhat superficial perspectives - and trust me, these are some of the kids we want to stay here in for our future (bringing valuable outsider perspectives and energy), but many of them will leave based on false perceptions of our city. My students convey to me that they perceive things as dated that I hadn't even thought about it - as a long-time resident, I was perfectly comfortable with things and didn't even realize they became stale. There are areas of our city that were "fresh" in the 1980's when they were recently redone, but appear incredibly stale now. Meanwhile there have been fantastic revitalization projects (e.g., Atlantic wharf, Lovejoy wharf) that have injected money to forestall or reverse decay.

Boston is special; I would never want it to be Manhattan, but one or two vibrant, tall-ish towers would transform (for the better) the perceived energy of this place, without at all destroying historic Boston.
Last edited:
NIMBYS and YIMBYS both suck. Both are outrageous and unwilling to meet in the middle. YIMBYS- "omgz you guyz if only we cud get 100000 more ft then wed has bigger dick than everyone" and NIMBYS wanna throw a chicken coop and kale farm in the middle of the financial district. Somewhere in the middle of these is the promise land.

Here's an amusingly strident National Review article leveraging NIMBYism into conservative politics, by Stanley Kurtz

Biden and Dems Are Set to Abolish the Suburbs

Fun excerpts:

Biden and his party have embraced yet another dream of the radical Left: a federal takeover, transformation, and de facto urbanization of America’s suburbs.

I expected that a President Biden would enforce the Obama administration’s radical AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) regulation to the hilt. That is exactly what Biden promises to do. By itself, that would be more than enough to end America’s suburbs as we’ve known them


Biden has embraced Cory Booker’s strategy for ending single-family zoning in the suburbs and creating what you might call “little downtowns” in the suburbs. Combine the Obama-Biden administration’s radical AFFH regulation with Booker’s new strategy, and I don’t see how the suburbs can retain their ability to govern themselves. It will mean the end of local control, the end of a style of living that many people prefer to the city, and therefore the end of meaningful choice in how Americans can live.

Progressive urbanists’ long-cherished dream of abolishing the suburbs is now within reach. With AFFH restored to its original form by a President Biden, enforced to the hilt, and turbo-charged by the Booker strategy, suburbs as we know them will pass from the scene.

With them will disappear the principle of local control that has been the key to American exceptionalism from the start. Since the Pilgrims first landed, our story has been of a people who chose how and where to live, and who governed themselves when they got there. Self-government in a layered federalist system allowing for local control right down to the township is what made America great. If Biden and the Democrats win, that key to our greatness could easily go by the boards.

For what it's worth, this is the process of the AFFH program:

The AFH Assessment Tool, which includes instructions and data provided by HUD, consists of a series of questions designed to help program participants identify, among other things, fair housing issues pertaining to patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; disparities in access to opportunity; and disproportionate housing needs, as well as the contributing factors for those issues.
  • The Assessment Tool is intended to help communities understand and identify local barriers to fair housing choice. The AFH provides an approach that will help program participants more effectively affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act.
  • HUD will review the AFH within 60 calendar days after the date of submission. An AFH submission is deemed accepted 61 days after submission unless HUD provides notification on or before that it is not accepted. Non-acceptance notifications will explain the reasons for non-acceptance and how a program participant may remedy deficiencies.
  • The AFFH rule establishes specific requirements for the incorporation of the AFH into subsequent Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans in a manner that connects housing and community development policy and investment planning with meaningful actions to AFFH.
  • The AFFH rule links existing community participation and consultation requirements to the AFH process to ensure program participants give the public opportunities for involvement in the development of the AFH and in its incorporation into the Consolidated Plan and PHA Plan.

And this is what Cory Booker had planned that freaked out Kurtz so much:
  • Incentivize localities to eliminate restrictive zoning rules in order to qualify for billions of dollars of designated federal loan and grant programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation.
  • Substantially increase funding for transportation programs and ensure that local governments that demonstrate progress towards reducing barriers to affordable housing have greater direct access to federal transportation funding.
  • Local strategies to create a more affordable, inclusive, and diverse housing supply could vary based on individual community circumstances, but may include reduced restrictions on lot size, fewer parking requirements, and allowance of accessory dwelling units and multi-family homes, among others.
  • Fund construction of new units for low-income renters by fully funding the Housing Trust Fund with $40 billion each year to build, rehabilitate, and operate rental housing for individuals earning less than the federal poverty level or 30 percent of the Area Median Income in neighborhoods with greater access to transportation, healthy foods and more.
  • Invest in rural America and Indian Country by properly funding the USDA 515 program, which provides loans to build apartments for low-income residents in rural areas, and the Housing Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Program, which helps preserve and improve the availability of affordable rental units, and provide essential funding and technical assistance for tribal housing authorities.
  • Fight for manufactured and mobile homeowners by boosting protections for homeowners and incentivizing landlords to sell the underlying land to mobile park residents.
Also, the President must have had the article tweeted at him, because now he wants to get rid of AFFH.

He wants that NIMBY vote!

I honestly sympathize for the people living in the Greater Boston area. With views like this obstructing residential development, more and more residents will struggle to afford goods or contribute to their retirements because more of their income will go into rising rents or mortgages.