We are Denver YIMBYs FOR GOOD!
The term YIMBY, which stands for “Yes, in my backyard,” has historically been used by developers to say that they are building in the name of low-income and affordable housing. Developers use the negative nickname, NIMBY (Not in my backyard) for anyone who wants to protect our neighborhoods and city. They call local residents NIMBYs, labeling them as racist and elitists. This is so far from the truth! Many of us so called NIMBYs live in the most affordable small historic homes available in Denver. The Park Hill area for example, is a diverse mix of all races, income levels and age groups. This name-calling and shaming by greedy developers has to stop.
We're taking the YIMBY name going forward, and we are YIMBYs for GOOD!
We do not promote endless development, construction, pollution and overloading our infrastructure. We believe in responsible, slow growth, and protecting open spaces, parks, community gardens, and affordable historic homes from development.
Developers lie and deceive us all, making deals with the city to allow them to build more units, cover more permeable ground, and build less parking, in exchange for promising low-income units. Typically, these “low-income” promises cover a small insignificant portion of the total number of units. Often there are only one or two units that are designated as “affordable,” and, in the East Area of Denver, what is considered low-income is a tiny studio apartment that rents starting at $1300+ a month! Affordable? I think not. Developers are just calling them affordable so they can make deals with the city to break zoning rules and get other financial benefits. The worst part of it all is that the small number of units that are considered “low-income housing” or “affordable housing” are RENTALS and are short-term – often these units only remain affordable for a certain period of time (15 years in most cases), which means at the end of that period, the low-income people who benefit from the units will have to pay whatever the property owner deems as market-value. This means that many of them will be forced out of their homes not long after moving into them. This only causes more homeless issues and problems for Denver, and does nothing to help it!
The Denver metro area experienced 131 days of poor air quality in 2018, according to a report released today, January 28, by advocacy group Environment America. That's up from the 98 days of poor air quality — defined as days on which at least half the air monitors in the area recorded at least "moderate" levels of pollution on the Air Quality Index (AQI) scale — that Denver experienced in 2016, according to the group's previous report. (Source: Westword) The greater Denver population has grown by nearly 20 percent since 2010–and our traffic, air pollution, overtaxed healthcare and school systems have been burdened with this influx of residents. Our infamous blue skies have turned hazy over Denver. There is now a perpetual hazy purple cloud hanging over Denver. All the increasing traffic and endless construction has only made things worse. And it's not just commuter traffic, when people move to Denver, they come here for our mountains – and there is a mass exodus from Denver to the mountains on a daily basis all year-round, causing notorious traffic delays on I-70. Then you have the millions of campers, burning thousands of campfires every night all summer. Denver's Endless, Unsustainable Growth: In downtown Denver alone, developers have added nearly 10,000 new residential units in the past five years. The metro area of Denver's population in 2019 was 2,790,000, a 1.34% increase from 2018. There are 5.759 million people living in Colorado – it's hard to even fathom!
If developers have it their way, they will keep stuffing and stacking people in as densely as they can, developing poorly-built rental housing that is NOT made to last. In fact, there are entire businesses devoted to fixing “Construction Defects” – including leaking walls, roofs, foundation issues, structural issues, non-connected plumbing, the list goes on and on. Just Google construction defect in Denver, and you'll see the long list of law firms who are chomping at the bit to get a piece of the action. There are even construction companies that specialize in fixing Construction Defects!
We have to keep fighting the good fight and tell our city planners to slow this endless growth down. Denver's streets, schools, hospitals, water system, energy grid, and public transportation is not able to adequately serve residents as it is, and the problem only gets worse as new units are thrown up as quickly as possible by developers.