Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Please do SOMETHING, Mr Mayor!" (Just not THAT.)

It was recently announced that the City of Columbus would seek to purchase or claim up to 900 vacant and derelict houses in various neighborhoods in order to raze them. The initial announcement was met with positive reaction from citizen's groups and individuals alike, but then the NIMBYs started in.

Their line of thought went something like this: Yes, we asked the City to do something about these blighted and condemned properties, but we really wanted someone to fix them up so our property values would start to increase as people moved into these houses.

For years these people begged the city to tear down these houses as many were used as crack houses. Now that the City has proposed making the soon-to-be vacant lots into small parks or community gardens, the NIMBYs are against the idea. How many community gardens can you have?, they ask. And who will maintain these parks and gardens? (The answer appears to be: Not Me!). These buildings are in many of the poorer areas of the city, most vacant for years, and not one person or group or corporation has moved to buy even one to remodel or build new, so I am at a loss to see how they believe a run down neighborhood would attract people with enough money to want to move into such an area. They really seem to want it both ways, it appears.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, you can't please all of the people even some of the time.

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