Join the YIMBY Brigade
When it comes to building housing, we often hear "not-in-my-back-yard", or NIMBY attitudes. We understand that there are a lot of different reasons people find themselves on the NIMBY path—distrust of developers; fear of people who are economically, socially or racially different; inability to imagine any new development that could make the neighborhood better;
fear of increased traffic and parking; school overcrowding; fear of change, the list goes on.
Livable Places and the Alliance for a Livable Los Angeles have come up with a NIMBY antidote—the "Yes-In-My-Back-Yard" Brigade! The YIMBY Brigade brings information about the key components of quality housing—good design, superior property management, access to transit and other services—to the boards, commissions and elected officials that make the decisions on individual projects.
Join the YIMBY Brigade by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
YIMBY Victory on Lorena Terrace
The YIMBY Brigade’s first appearance was at the Los Angeles City Planning Commission’s March 2003 hearing on a proposed Lorena Terrace development by the East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC). ELACC needed a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a child care center as part of the development. Opposition to the development seemed to stem from fear of the future tenants—low-income renters, although the usual issues of parking, traffic and density were also raised. Prior to the hearing ELACC had made a number of changes to the design to address neighbors’ concerns.
Appearing in support of Lorena Terrace were about 50 people, including a number of Boyle Heights residents, Justice for Janitors—SEIU Local 1877, ACORN, LA Alliance for a New Economy, Livable Places, the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, and a resident of another ELACC development. The Planning Commission approved the CUP unanimously! ELACC is waiting to see if the decision will be appealed to the Los Angeles City Council.
Alliance members have gone on to support more quality affordable residential developments at public hearings:
- Supported AmCal in 2003 in their request to rezone an obsolete industrial area near the Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park Gold Line station to allow for housing construction generally and an affordable senior and an affordable family development specifically. The rezone was approved and the apartments were under construction in late 2004.
- Supported Skid Row Housing Trust in their request for a substantial parking reduction for the Rainbow Apartments - 85 apartments for homeless people who have an extremely low rate of car ownership. The parking reduction was supported by the City and re-affirmed on appeal to the Area Planning Commission in late 2003.
- Supported Beyond Shelter’s Central Village which is part of a mixed-use development that would include a unionized grocery store, affordable housing for 85 low-income families and social services for community members. The South LA Area Planning Commission denied an appeal by residents who called for a library to be built on the privately owned site.
- Supported Mercy Housing and the Los Angeles Community Design Center’s re-development of Dana Strand -- a 25-acre dilapidated public housing project in 2004. New Dana Strand will include new affordable apartments for families and seniors and new market-rate and affordable single family homes. Opposition from community members, backed by the City Council office, led to a height reduction which forced the removal of a community child center from the development which is otherwise proceeding.
- Supported Meta Housing’s Northwest Gateway 276-unit development just west of downtown in the Central City West area. Opponents of the mixed-income development wanted to preserve the site as a graffiti park. In late 2004, the City declared part of the site historic in a way that preserved a historic tunnel entrance and transmission building, but did not interfere with the residential development.