Should NIMBYs Decide a City's Future?

As much-needed residential development projects in Boston prepare to seek their necessary approvals, George Thrush explores how a plague of "refusenicks" threaten to cost the city its competitive edge.
April 26, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Thrush describes a convoluted approvals process in Boston that requires "every large-scale development proposal be approved by a citizens' advisory committee" to which "only committed anti-development gadflies show up."

As Thrush argues, in this system, only the high-end projects with deep pockets are able to commit to the lengthy and uncertain process, while "affordable projects that run on a tighter margin get killed by the protracted review process."

"Crazy as it sounds, in one of the nation's largest cities, a few local characters who regularly show up at public meetings somehow have the power to completely derail major projects. This has to change. If it doesn't, Boston could lose its competitive edge."

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Published on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in Boston Magazine
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