Mon, Apr

Revolt of the NIMBYs


LA WATCHDOG--NIMBY is a pejorative label used by real estate speculators when they are having a hissy fit about local residents fighting their oversized, out of character, luxury developments that will create even more traffic congestion and gridlock, adversely impacting small mom and pop businesses, affordable housing, and the quality of life of the renters and homeowners in the surrounding communities.  


NIMBYs (an acronym for “Not In My Back Yard”) have normally been associated with local projects, such as the Millennium Hollywood, a controversial 1.2 million square foot development consisting of two monster skyscrapers.  This deal is opposed by local residents because of it violates the Community Plan, is out of character with the neighborhood, and will have an adverse impact on traffic in Hollywood extending all the way up to and including the Hollywood Freeway.  

But now that the opponents of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative have been characterizing the supporters of this reform ballot measure as NIMBYs, the label is now a badge of honor, helping to unify all the NIMBYs in our City who have objected to the City Council’s policy of allowing the campaign funding real estate developers to “up zone” their projects without regard to the impact on local neighborhoods. 

If approved by the voters in November, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will require the City to update its General Plan and its 35 Community Plans, eliminating the practice of “up zoning” individual projects that result in massive profits for the developers.  For example, the New York City developers of the Millennium Hollywood are expected to increase the value of their project by well over $100 million as a result of the doubling of the density, thanks to the efforts of Eric Garcetti and Mitch O’Farrell. 

The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will also make the City responsible for the environmental reviews and impact statements, not the developers as is often the practice, and place a 24 month moratorium on projects that have benefitted from the unsavory practice of “spot zoning.” 

There are many NIMBYs throughout our City that are opposed to the “density hawks” who have little to no respect for the local community and neighborhoods, especially when it gets between them and a thin dime.    

In Koreatown, NIMBYs are opposed to a 27 story luxury apartment building that is completely out character with this low income, low height neighborhood.  But the Beverly Hills developer will make an extra $15 to $20 million as a result of the zoning change that was facilitated by a $1.25 million “contribution” to slush funds controlled by the local Councilman, Herb Wesson. 

In Brentwood, the NIMBYs are opposed to the Martin Expo Town Center, an 800,000 square foot development at the already stressed intersection of Bundy and Olympic. 

In Boyle Heights, the NIMBYs are opposed to the gentrification and overdevelopment of Mariachi Plaza that threaten to destroy the local character of this tight knit community.  

In Sherman Oaks, the NIMBYs are opposed to the Il Villaggio Toscano, a 325 unit apartment building at the already clogged intersection of Sepulveda and Ventura Boulevards. 

In congested North Hollywood, the NIMBYs are opposed to the massive mixed use development of Laurel Plaza and the potential redevelopment of nearby Valley Plaza.  

There are also many other NIMBYs who are upset about the failure of the City to show leadership in addressing issues relating to AIRBNB, Small Lot Subdivisions, and McMansions, and the continuing destruction of affordable housing by developers of luxury apartments.  

In November, NIMBYs all across the City will revolt against the real estate cabal and the bought and paid for City Council and vote for the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. And while they are at it, the NIMBYs may also express their lack of confidence and trust in City Hall by rejecting any proposed tax increases, including the new half cent increase in our sales tax to fund even more County wide transportation projects and the proposed Transfer Tax on DWP Ratepayers.


(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and a member of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at:  [email protected])


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