Urban scrapyards face growing pressure to pack up and leave

Dec 16, 2005 | 09:28 AM | Michael Marley

Terms of repugnance often expressed by the acronym "nimby" (not in my back yard) that some urban scrapyards have endured for decades are moving up to a new, more threatening level that might someday be expressed simply as "get outta here."

This has been exacerbated by the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial ruling giving local governments greater latitude in the use of eminent domain laws to condemn property and take it for other uses.

Scrapyards and other less-attractive industrial operations like auto wreckers are finding that they are more and more unwelcome in neighborhoods where many have been in business for decades. Now, developers and municipal officials are jealously eyeing once-undesirable locations where many of the scrapyards stand. Some see seemingly inexpensive land where they can erect silk-purse developments like offices, shopping malls and parks along riverfronts that were long regarded as an urban sow's ears.

Nor is this just an isolated phenomenon. Scrapyards and auto dismantlers in several cities along the East Coast are under the gun or experiencing increased pressure from city officials to find a new home.....

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