Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Environmental NIMBYism knows no bounds

Ryan Avent's response to the recent NYT piece on liberal NIMBYism contains a mention of Brookland's problem regarding the potential redevelopment of the land currently occupied by Colonel Brooks' Tavern:

Of course, the obstruction of development is offensive for lots of reasons: it makes housing and access to employment unaffordable, it reduces urban job and revenue growth, it tramples on private property rights, and so on. But the environmental hypocrisy is galling, and it’s not limited to New York. My old neighborhood, Brookland, voted overwhelmingly for Obama (about 90-10, as I recall). Many of the locals are vocally supportive of broad, lefty environmental goals. And yet, when a local businessman wants to redevelop his transit-adjacent land into a denser, mixed-use structure, the negative response is overwhelming, and residents fall over themselves to abuse local rules in order to prevent the redevelopment from happening.

I wonder what Avent would say about the Takoma Theatre's situation. Parallels to Colonel Brooks' can be drawn due to the transit accessibility of its location, and its controversy.

The following screed was posted on the Takoma listserv this morning (partial reprint):

I officially am sick of all things related to the Takoma Theatre, the Conservancy, and all things related to it. Here's why:

1) The building may be historic, but it's not beautiful. Who was the architect? FLW? Gehry? Copley? Ugly is ugly.

2) Would you rather put your tax dollars into building a theater that will continue to suck up city resources or get it back on the tax rolls? There is a $400Million deficit in DC that gets fixed one property at at time.

3) I am far more interested in when the city is going to renovate TEC than the Takoma Theatre. There are 300 children who used to use it every day.

4) Given the complaining on the listserve about traffic patterns and noise, the response to having 500 people arriving and departing at one time is predictable. They won't all be using the Metro.

The people in our community waste a whole lot of energy at meetings and hearings on this dump of a building. Guess what - it's not going to get any better. McGinty isn't going to sell it anytime soon to anyone and now we are stuck with a deteriorating eyesore.

1 comment:

  1. As much as I like the idea of a local community theater, I have to agree with this poster. There are so many great theaters in the District already, why would people come to Takoma? I'd rather see new residences built that feed the existing businesses.