Friday Catchall: Not In My Back Yard not so simple anymore

The Friday Catchall:

• NIMBY — Many people play the Not-In-My-Back-Yard card. It can be opposition to a new subdivision, business, powerlines, cell towers, … even billboards, or more.

In the news this week was a story out of Phoenix and the Arizona Court of Appeals, regarding people suing to control billboards and their placement. The unanimous decision saw the three-judge panel rule against those suing, adding that anyone seeking to overturn such actions has to show they have suffered a “sufficient particularized palpable injury” to have legal standing to go to court.

And what that means, the judges said, is something more than concerns about the aesthetics of the area.

I see this as a precedent, meaning anyone wanting to fight such government actions cannot sue (or be successful) if they simply don’t like something.

The case decided Wednesday involves efforts by Clear Channel to relocate three billboards onto the facade of a newly planned tower at Central Avenue and Thomas Road in Phoenix to be built on the site. The company also wants to convert two of those billboards to digital. A zoning adjustment hearing officer approved relocation but not conversion. But that last half was overturned by the board of adjustment.

Several individuals and the Arcadia Osborn Neighborhood Association appealed. One way to do so is to be any “person aggrieved” by a decision.

Appellate Judge James Morse Jr. wrote that: “To have standing to bring an action under the statute, a plaintiff must allege ‘particularized harm’ resulting from the board’s decision. … In other words, general economic losses or general concerns regarding aesthetics in the area without a particularized palpable injury to the plaintiff are typically not sufficient to confer standing.”

Do you see it? You cannot just be someone who, now or in the future, will be walking or driving by the site … or using a public café next door.

I can think of a lot of proposals locally that have come to light in recent years that fall into that category.

You either have to be a taxpayer within so many feet, or be one of the people who will suffer that “sufficient particularized palpable injury.”

The attorney for the plaintiffs added, sadly, it could take you “two and a half, three years to even figure out if you have the standing to make the argument.”

I can see both sides; yet, how far does this go?

Think about it.

• FLIGHTS — Thoughts and consideration are underway as to which airline will get the new contract for service out of the Prescott Regional Airport. That decision is expected not before October, and commercial flights into and out of the airport will remain unchanged this year.

The current airline is United Express (operated by SkyWest Airlines). The City of Prescott has received two proposals for the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidy program: SkyWest Charters and Contour Airlines.

Contour would offer daily round-trip flights to Phoenix and Burbank, California, while SkyWest Charters’ proposal includes flights to Denver and Los Angeles. Both feature 12 round trips per week.

A little bird told me the contract could lean toward the company that goes to full-size airports — which is SkyWest. I figure this would allow passengers greater ease for connections. We’ll see.

In the meantime, know that the number of enplanements (boarding passengers) at Prescott Regional Airport is up for the first seven months of 2023. While 13,134 passengers had boarded flights in Prescott by the end of July 2022, the total for the same period in 2023 was up to 13,825.

• HORSES — We used to have two horses (at one time, we had three). I miss them, even the smells — which is another story.

Well, if you want to see some of the best horses around — and I’m sure they wouldn’t object to you buying one — plan to attend the Legacy Ranch Horse Sale on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The sale is a collaboration between two historic ranches — the K4 Ranch and Diamond A Ranch, and offers the public an opportunity to buy horses carrying the brands of outfits that have a history of producing quality horses and cattle.

And, these are working cattle ranches on some of the roughest land around, which demands a horse that can do it all.

I know one of the men who trains these horses. If they’re half the horse he normally works or rides, they’ll be amazingly intelligent and capable — whether on a ranch or in an arena.

The event will be at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. Visit for more information.

• PARTING SHOT — Intelligence isn’t knowing everything, it’s the ability to challenge everything you know.

Follow Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or

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