As far as her tomatoes were concerned, Northbrook resident Dora Lyakhovetsky’s was a NIMBY. Not in my back yard, she said, not enough sun. And so, she planted tomatoes in her front yard. The neighbors objected. Not in my front yard, asked Dora? Why not?
Six months, and much discussion later, the Northbrook Village Board has issued guidelines clarifying what residents can and can’t do in their front yards, and Lyakhovetsky’s may be permissible.
If you’re considering a move to the suburbs, be aware that your yards are virtual public property. A dense weave of regulations, embodied in subdivision covenants, utility easements and municipal regulations, governs what you can do, and local, state and federal environmental protection agencies may have some say in how you can do it. And, if you successfully navigate all of those obstacles, you may still have some NIMBY or NIMFY neighbors to contend with.