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What type of community is Niles going to be?
I am seeing some troubling patterns: (1) postings calling groups of people names (i.e. street homeless people being referred as "bums"), (2) reaction to new proposed projects without any basic information gathering being done first (Joe's Corner or Niles Grove) and most troubling (3) a general NIMBY "Not in my backyard" stand on any and all new housing development in our area.
I hasten to add that I have seen many quick reasonable responses to
the posting types I listed above but I want to propose we get more
organized and thoughtful about how this community addresses new
potential projects. I am the executive of an organization that
develops affordable housing project as will a board president of
another housing developer for people with special needs and in these
roles I have had the opportunity to work with many neighborhoods about
their concerns about new people coming to their community. I have
experienced at least two types of communities those with self
appointed leaders who work out of a set of NIMBY assumptions and those
communities working out a desire to make sure new projects are well
done and managed while at the same time that new residents are
welcomed to their existing community.
After reading the Niles egroup for six months now I conclude that
Niles has yet to form a consensus as to what type community it plans
to be. I want to suggest that we consider the community's self
interest and realize the benefits of a more inclusive community
strategy. These communities in my experience get better designed and
operated new projects then do the NIMBY communities who 99% of the
time end of losing the battle and opportunity for positive input in to
the project. One these NIMBY groups just lost a law suit naming the
non-profit whose board I sit on opposing an affordable housing project
in a another city leaving this group with legal bills and no say in
improving project design and operation. Community's self interest was
not served by the self appointed NIMBY group.
I highly recommend that we begin to form a more thoughtful approach to
new neighbors because like it or not they are coming. Yes, it is
about new neighbors. We don't know them yet but they will soon be
part of our community. New housing or commerial capital projects are
just the legal means by which our community expands. What current
members of our community have control over (to some extent) are how
those projects look and operate and more significantly the values that
the Niles community work out when reviewing these projects.
Main Street Assoc. or another community group could take
responsibility for forming a Niles Project Review Committee which
could gather information on new projects, meet with project developers
and work to improve new project design and operation. Again, it is my
experience that communities with this sort of group fair the best in
improving developments. Further, this group could begin to lead the
community in determining consensus around core community values. Are
we going a community of exclusion opposing new neighbors particularly
those who are not "normal" or like the majority of the current Niles
community who are middle class, able bodied and lucky/blessed enough
be able to own a house in Niles? Or do we have a community of
inclusion recognizing that healthy communities welcome new members and
focus energies on making new developments look good and operate well.
Posted – 09/05/05 10:20am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/05/05 10:24am
Perhaps the most interesting statement made above is "New housing or commerial capital projects are just the legal means by which our community expands". The reason I feel this is interesting is because this statement implies that people *want* the community to expand. I'm pretty sure that there is no concensus, at
least on this list, that this is the case.
You portray "NIMBY" as a bad thing. If the people who live here want to preserve the existing community, and not replace all the open space with new development, I don't think that's a bad thing at all.
I certainly agree that working together is the best way to proceed. But I also think that those who believe in expansion should realise that not everyone shares their view that bigger is necessarily better. Preserving the community without consuming more of our open space is a perfectly valid perspective to take.
Posted – 09/05/05 10:22am by Lynn R Slater
This list is populated by passionate residents first and foremost - Thanks to Nancy. Journalists, government officials and more came on board second hand. And, most important, the passionate residents founded in Niles (thank you Nancy), to this list with a love for Niles. And, so many diverse opinions, within Niles.
Niles residents may be diverse, and argue over things, but we are
always in cahoots at heart. What other division of Fremont has such a
passionate... or ANY... email group? Niles has an email group with
residents, journalists, government, etc. on board. Niles is unified,
even if we disagree on some things.
At heart, we all want our old town feel, and respect the history of
our historic town that was the first Hollywood. We all appreciate we
can walk at night and say HI and meet our neighbors. We love that we
are small town and appreciate those around us... clouded out of a
massive suburb full of politics and crap. We NEED our council
members to understand that.
And, residents subscribed are far diverse, but all in Niles. And,
said residents lend their diversity, and each voice is worth hearing.
One cannot speak for all in wishing preservation of Niles... or our
Community. One cannot speak for local government whom has portabled
our schools, plagued our paths with wasted money, all to lure in
> whole reason for local government is to give the residents a voice
> in what happens in THEIR community.
You think? You think that what residents of a community know, can
give ideas, for their best worth, for their best knowledge of living
in a place for over decades, or new resident, and what we know is
best? And it be taken seriously? No, it's about revenue. Come on
If any of the above mattered, we wouldn't have elementary schools
overloaded with portables from hell with no air conditioning,
nothing, just a trailer to teach in. Our teachers in Fremont would
have the means to give the best of their ability. But they don't.
Even substitutes don't. Walk into a portable trailer trash park,
hold class in a trailer portable. Nevermind all the traffic
congestiion. Try to educate in a mobile trailer.
Nevermind the traffic congestion along Niles Blvd... and the horrid
conditions of 2nd St. and Niles Blvd.
Posted – 09/05/05 10:24am by Lynn R Slater
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