The “NIMBY” Factor is Alive and Well in Sault Ste. Marie

I’m surprised anything gets done in this city. It always seems that when a new development is proposed , the Not In My Back Yard factor (NIMBY) is applied – usually delaying the project or worse, the plans just goes bye-bye.

Look at last week’s city council meeting surrounding the housing development planned for Manitou Drive. The proposal was to be build 49 housing units that included townhouses and apartments. The council chamber was full of Manitou residents not in favour of the development. Some of them saying the Sault doesn’t have a housing shortage – what?

Now, I’m not saying that residents shouldn’t have a say in the developments that come before council and some of those opposed to the housing development did have some real concern, especially when it comes to traffic concerns. Those are legitimate concerns for that area. But when it comes to building new homes in a vacant piece of land and the developers and the City have worked on making sure the plan fits into the existing neighbourhood, it should be accepted by all as long as it adheres to planning department rules and regulations.

All too often, the NIMBY factor comes into play , forcing the developers to change their original plans and we’re often left with a much smaller plan – insomuch that the developer ends up scraping the plan altogether.

Another example of this was the planned 12 storey condo development for Gladstone and McDonald Ave. Two years ago.

A beautiful condo tower was to be built on an overgrown piece of land. The homeowners surrounding the property were against this development. There were some concerned about the lack of affordable housing attached to the plan. Since the number of units surpassed 50 , some community members wanted the City bylaw of providing so many of the units to be deemed “affordable” should be applied. The developers came back with a much smaller plan overall chopping off five floors from the plan. To this date, I don’t know what’s going on with it. There hasn’t been any action on the site and it appears that there is no hurry to get it built now. That’s a shame.

I totally get opposition to large retail developments that can change the overall appearance of a certain area and traffic problems those developments can create, but when it comes to housing, something that is badly needed in this city, developers should be welcome by all and praised for wanting to invest in our city.

Because of the NIMBY factor, the planned housing development on South Market has been delayed. I mean if there’s ever a perfect spot for a housing development , it would be there where there’s already a mix of multi-storey apartments and townhouses. But no, the NIMBY factor applies and that development is now delayed . I just shake my head.

It’s time to grow this city, the status quo should no longer be acceptable.


  • Craig Huckerby

    Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 43 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching and Craig has also won numerous International Film awards for director of the documentary, "Was I Next?, The Sean Cribbin Story"

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3 thoughts on “The “NIMBY” Factor is Alive and Well in Sault Ste. Marie

  1. Easy to criticize when it doesn’t affect your property and quality of life the way you are accustomed to. These developments bring unwanted headaches to once peaceful and quiet neighborhoods.

  2. agreed Craig. this is by it’s very definition NIMBY. and in some cases the concerns are prejudiced against lower income families. the notion that providing someone else a much needed place to live is going to ruin a neighbourhood is classist and snooty. if you don’t want any development in your neighbourhood move to a rural area.

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