Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

New NIMBY (Union) Tactic

NIMBYs fight local development, and if they want to protect perceived threats to their property values, more power to them -- despite their general ignorance and over-amped angry attitudes. But when they serve as a cloak of secrecy for unions, truly bad stuff can happen.

In Bakersfield, a NIMBY group is suing to have two "big box" developments torn down because of flaws in the environmental impact reports. Here's how:

The two developments, both including a Wal-Mart, which the unions hate, received approval of their EIRS and the developers started construction.

The NIMBYs, no doubt funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, filed a lawsuit. Routine. Development continued, and the lawsuit progressed through the courts. Small retail outlets -- Radio Shack, Starbucks, Petco and the like, employing about 200 folks -- opened for business.

A judge found the EIR was, in fact, short in a couple areas. Normally, new studies would be done and the developer might have to put in a new traffic signal to address the additional impacts uncovered by the new study.

But in this case, the NIMBYs, Bakersfield Citizens for Local Control, who will not reveal their membership list to anyone but use a union spokesperson as their spokesperson, have filed a motion stating that the construction was illegal and should be torn down.

As Bakersfield American columnist Marylee Schrieder wrote,

Superior Court Judge Kenneth Twisselman will rule on (NIMBY/Union attorney) Herum's ludicrous motion [to tear down the stores] by Sept. 16. Herum insists that Castle & Cooke and the city acted illegally when they approved the construction of the stores and now they must pay.

So, apparently, must Starbucks, Panda Express, Petco, Radio Shack, Walgreens and the 200 employees who work in these stores. And so must the residents of the area who have no doubt come to appreciate the services these businesses provide.

And so will Bakersfield if the Citizens and their dubious acquaintances are allowed to call the shots.