Letter to the Editor: Response to NIMBY allegation

Friday, October 7, 2016

To the Editor:

I must respond to Chris Nielson’s allegations (see letter) that we are all just a bunch of “NIMBY’s” if we dare to challenge the City’s Radical Rezones.

So, if standing up for 6000 neighbors who will eventually be displaced and driven out of their homes, or standing up for wetlands and critical areas, or standing up against Dumb Density for the sake of Density is being a NIMBY, then consider me guilty as charged.

Our group, Shoreline Preservation Society, has been fighting back with the help of hundreds of supporters for two years, against a ridiculous proposal to rezone two Mile-wide areas into high density. This was an unprecedented policy change that has very little support, except from a few representatives of Futurewise and Forterra imported from Downtown business interests.

Neilson asks where should density go if not across two mile-wide, perfectly decent affordable neighborhoods in Shoreline? We said from the beginning, and Sound Transit actually agreed, that keeping a small footprint right near the stations would be logical. (ST recommended only about 700 units would be plenty.) 

And Chris, perhaps you didn’t know that I worked with developers at Northgate to achieve an amazing outcome there of High Density with a Daylighted Thornton Creek? It’s true.

And “Greenhouse Gas” impacts from tearing down thousands of perfectly good, affordable homes and building blocks of 7-story buildings? Well, there is plenty of documentation available. For instance this articlefrom Initiafy last year:

“According to new research by construction blog Bimhow, the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, and 50% of landfill wastes. In separate research by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the construction industry accounts for 40% of worldwide energy usage, with estimations that by 2030 emissions from commercial buildings will grow by 1.8%. “

Or this Telegraph article discussing the fact that building new emits “4 and a half times as much” greenhouse gas as remodeling the old.

Another article, Deep Green Renovation: Broad Scale Strategies for Achieving Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings states,

“The building sector is the largest contributor to climate change in the United States, responsible for almost 50% of the energy consumption and 40% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.”

So, you see Chris, if you want to be truly “green”, stand up for our existing neighborhoods. Being a NIMBY is pretty Green it turns out!

Janet Way


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