COVID Place making
March 20, 2020

Not in my Town! The Ultimate NIMBY in the COVID-19 Crisis

What happens when NIMBY (Not In MY BackYard) behaviour impacts the health of the whole community? In Darien Connecticut   the town  was going to have their first drive-through COVID-19 testing site set up.

The testing was to begin in a parking lot at the Darien Town Hall. But residents complained copiously to town officials, not wanting a testing facility so close to their residences. The town Mayor and Council nixed the facility.

What exactly is Darien? It is a small town of 21,000 people that is one of the wealthiest in the United States, and is ranked in the top ten of Bloomberg’s current list of “America’s Richest Places. The average household income is over $350,000.

Most of the residents here commute to Manhattan for work.  Here are the amenities in Darien: there’s eleven parks, two public beaches, the private Tokeneke beach club, three country clubs including the first organized golf club in Connecticut, a hunt club, the public Darien Boat Club, and Noroton Yacht Club.”

The drive-through testing was to be in a lower parking lot adjacent to the Town Hall for residents that had a doctor’s order and had already been screened and given an appointment.

“In a post on Twitter, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin called the decision “maddening,” and said that homeowners near where the testing was scheduled to take place should not be “offended,” because it was only going to be temporary.”

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