“Yes in my backyard”? Yes, it’s possible.

Posted by Compass Group on Jan 25, 2023

Finding the positives in construction projects can improve your relationship with the community


A hand giving a thumbs up.The NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) is a well known persona in construction and development. NIMBYs like things in their community just as they are and aren’t keen on new construction or development in “their backyard.” NIMBYs appreciate the consistency of the route home one so familiar they could drive it with their eyes closed. They hold dear the open fields that help create colorful scenes at sunset. They're quite content going to the same restaurants they’ve been visiting for years. Simply, NIMBYs love the familiarity of their community. 

But sometimes, “the way things have always been done” creates problems that the community may or may not recognize. By helping NIMBYs understand the opportunities that development can create, can help you create an attitude of “Yes In My BackYard” – or YIMBY. 

Below are some specific scenarios with development projects in established neighborhoods. You’ll see some examples of how a NIMBY would respond and how a YIMBY would respond.


Scenario 1: The ribbon is cut on a town center project in a suburban town, which includes a Super Foods grocery store, bringing four grocery store options in town instead of three. 

Jack the NIMBY’s Response: What did we need another grocery store for? We have three! Yeah, my local spot was crowded, but only on Saturday and Sunday! 

Jen the YIMBY’s Response: I still shop at Food Mart, not Super Foods, but having another grocery store in town has lightened the crowds at Food Mart. And, Super Foods has a great hot bar. We’ve picked up dinner a couple times, and it was fabulous! 


Scenario 2: A small rural town is opening a new strip mall with three restaurants and five shops. Construction has been ongoing for six months, and the mall finally has an opening date next month.

Mary the NIMBY’s Response: All of this construction is ridiculous! We don’t need this. Main Street has two great restaurants and some shops. Why can’t the town focus on the roads and schools… You know, important things!

Greg the YIMBY’s Response: This construction was a bit of an eyesore, but it’s almost done.  Our neighbors and friends are making their dreams come true by opening small businesses. Plus, it’s more jobs and tax revenue to help the town improve our community.


Scenario 3: A 10-story apartment building was placed in the center of a mid-sized community, which consists primarily of single-family homes. The building attracted other development, like a fitness center and a new daycare center. 

Randi the NIMBY’s Response: Apartments! Here?! This is going to attract a bunch of young party animals to our quiet town. Did you see the buildings they added around the apartment complex? What nonsense. Our community is changing. 

Tasha the YIMBY’s Response: Did you know anyone can get a membership to the new fitness center beside the apartment complex? I joined two months ago and feel great! And the new daycare center had a spot for my neighbor’s baby – she was on a waitlist for weeks at the other place. Her mother is so relieved!


Scenario 4: After years of debate and planning, a small college town is moving forward with a second hotel in its downtown district, right next to campus.

Patty the NIMBY’s Response: There’s already a hotel here! You can’t tell me we need another. The college can’t possibly be attracting that many visitors. If the one we have is full, then visitors just need to drive 20 minutes to the next one.

Mark the YIMBY’s Response: The hotel is great news for the college. It’s new and modern. It will leave an impression on families visiting the college and overall represent our town well, too.


As these scenarios show, NIMBYs and YIMBYs couldn't be any more different. So how possibly can you influence more of a YIMBY mindset in the communities you’re prospecting for development projects? Communication, collaboration, and understanding areas of opportunity to improve the existing community.

With Compass Group as your partner, you can leave the construction plans to us, freeing up your time and energy to focus on researching communities and fostering relationships with their residents. Reach out to us today to discuss how we can help make your next development project a success.



Topics: construction industry