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Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Self-Storage Talk Discussion: NIMBYism Among Facilities?

By Teri Lanza Comments
Posted in Blogs

A buzzword within the developer's community is NIMBY, an acronym standing for "not in my backyard." It's a frustrating phenomenon that thwarts development projects—even when the project is in the best interest of the community—because the immediate neighbors quite literally don't want a new entity in their backyard. It might be OK in someone else's backyard, but not in theirs.

Usually, it's an aesthetic reason that either prohibit neighbors from granting approval or inspire them to complain to their local legislator. ("That cell phone tower will be such an eyesore!" or "I don't want to have to look out of my back window and see a wind farm!")

Self-storage facilities are often victims of NIMBYism. A large percentage of people stereotype self-storage facilities as targets for thieves and transients. They're also viewed as ugly, drab structures that take away from a neighborhood's charm. But similarly, some have suggested that self-storage owners and operators fall into the trap of NIMBYism themselves, especially when they fear a new development will either hurt their business (scare away customers) or create other nightmares, such as crime and vandalism.

A discussion is ensuing on Self-Storage Talk, the official online forum of Inside Self-Storage, about whether or not facilities would oppose a homeless shelter if it were to be located in their immediate vicinity. An ISS news item out of Texas from last month about a facility opposing a homeless shelter inspired the conversation.

SST members have taken varying stances on the issue. Because of the ongoing problems many operators have with the homeless (residing in units, loitering around the facility, etc.), some think the proximity of a homeless shelter would escalate these problems. Similarly, some members have brought up the locations of "troubled youth" homes and drug rehab centers, all of which can bring more people to the neighborhood who might be considered undesirable. On the other hand, some members have pointed out that, indeed, they have homeless tenants who pay on time and do not violate facility rules. In this view, having a place nearby where these people can reside could actually be a benefit to the facility.

Lastly, some have brought up that location and benefits to the facility are irrelevant. They argue homeless shelters are important for society, and they implicitly contend that opposing one simply because it's located adjacent to the business is wrong—NIMBYism.

Do you think it's acceptable for facilities to oppose developments of social-service centers because it could hurt business or create additional burdens? If you're already an SST member, jump in on the discussion. If not, you can become a member for free here.


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