NIMBY Bites Developers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 8, 2003
HARRIS, MINNESOTA--You've heard the term NIMBY (Not In My Backyard)?
Well, the NIMBY way of thinking just cost Dennis and Susan Gustafson $250,000.
The Gustafsons are the developers of a new housing development called Whispering Pines.
Last year they refused to sell three lots at Whispering Pines to Randy Perron and his family. Perron, a former Washington County sheriffs deputy, has been paralyzed for seven years since he had a stroke related to Hodgkins Disease. He wanted to have a house of his own and rent out rooms to three other people with similar disabilities. Randy's parents and a sister wanted to buy land on either side of his house so they could live nearby.
The Gustafsons said they did not want a group home in their development -- especially one across the street from them.
The Perrons filed complaints against the Gustafsons with state and federal agencies. The U.S. Attorneys District of Minnesota Office then filed a complaint against the developers claiming they violated the Fair Housing Act last August.
A settlement was reached on New Year's Eve. The Gustafsons must pay $250,000 to the Perron family, a realtor and a home builder. They must also sell the lots to the Perrons for $49,500 each.