The “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) sentiment is one you commonly see in local government. If someone wants to build something that requires a permit, there’s often someone who lives nearby who thinks it is going to ruin their life. Sometimes, the complaints are simply ludicrous.
Case in point: the January 25 Jefferson County Council meeting at which the council considered a rezoning request for a planned paintball facility. Here are some of the public comments, according to the Leader:
- “There are a lot of elderly people in our neighborhood,” Kristie Wicks said. “A shot in the right place could kill someone.”
- We have horses and other livestock and chickens,” Jackie Greene said. “They’ll be so spooked (by the noise). They’ll be going crazy.”
“It’s a sure thing they’ll [youths] shoot paint at the road signs, stop signs and speed limit signs,” said Greene.
- “We’ll have people coming across our property carrying something that looks like an assault rifle. You could have a civil war out here,” said Wicks.
Keep in mind as you read the above comments that the county would have required a 100-foot buffer around the facility, which would have been located on a wooded 20-acre lot. But alas, the council gave in to the complaints and nixed the request by a 6-1 vote, killing the paintball proposal, even though the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval. I salute Bob Boyer, the only council member to vote against denying the request. He said:
“To me, it made sense what the petitioners were asking for,” he said. “I understand the questions about traffic and noise, but I think those questions were answered. I didn’t hear any reasons to deny this. These guys own their property, and I think they should be allowed to do what they want on it, within reasonable standards.”
The council will hear another paintball proposal on February 23. What kind of NIMBY madness will we hear then?