NIMBYs block Kentucky drive-in

A man who wanted to build a two-screen drive-in near Crestwood KY has withdrawn his rezoning application after strong opposition led by its prospective next-door neighbor. The story was extensively reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the video above is from WHAS, Louisville’s news leader.

Stephen Sauerbeck of La Grange KY wanted to buy an 80-acre site on Old La Grange Road from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, then rezone 40 acres for the drive-in. Tom Nelson, who lives in a nearby “historic home” on 270 acres called the plan “preposterous” and successfully organized neighbors to block the application. The Courier-Journal wrote that Nelson said he “doesn’t object to the concept of a drive-in” but noted that the proposed site had too many problems.

Of course, this is classic Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) talk. Everyone knows that something is of value to the community, but no one wants to rub elbows with it. On the other hand, when this story first surfaced a few weeks ago, I looked at the proposed site (via Google Street View), and the roads there really are pretty thin and rural.

Sauerbeck says he’s continuing to scout locations, and I hope he finds something that works. (Psst, try sites next to highways.) Meanwhile, let this be a reminder that anyone trying to start a drive-in had better make sure he’s got the neighbors on board.

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