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Our View: Another bad example of NIMBY

Updated: April 20, 2013 6:29AM



You’re probably familiar with the acronym NIMBY, which stands for Not In My Back Yard and serves as a catchall phrase for residents’ opposition to a proposed development nearby.

It’s an occasional occurrence in suburbia and is usually accompanied by a degree of hyperbole among the opponents. And that tendency toward exaggeration is alive and well in the latest example of the NIMBY syndrome in Tinley Park.

A group of residents in Tinley Trails, a small subdivision near 194th Street and Harlem Avenue, is fighting a planned gas station/car wash at that intersection — fearing that it will result in more noise and traffic congestion. Those are understandable concerns, even though they don’t appear valid in this instance and should not deter the Will County Board from approving the station this week.

But some of those opposed to Lenny’s Gas N Wash see more potential problems than merely more noise and traffic. They’ve called the planned station a “monstrosity,” arguing that it would pollute the air, endanger their children, increase crime and generally ruin their lives.

C’mon folks, it’s a gas station with a car wash, the kind you see along about every major road in the Southland. It’s not a landfill or a junkyard or a sewage plant.

The plan is before the county board because the site is unincorporated. It’s zoned for commercial use, but the developer needs special-use permits to have the car wash and a drive-through food window and packaged liquor sales at the convenience store.

The county planning commission in November voted against the permits, but the board’s land use committee rejected that recommendation last week, advising the full board to approve them.

We think the county board should do so. We see nothing unusual or particularly objectionable in the proposed station, which would be similar to the Lenny’s at 191st Street and 88th Avenue in Mokena that’s clean and impressive-looking.

We can’t find much sympathy for people who buy houses near a major business thoroughfare and then complain when a business proposal surfaces. That’s NAREP — Not A Realistic Expectation, People.



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