Takoma Park to Build ‘NIMBYLand’ Theme Park on Former Hospital Site (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

This is the contination of our exclusive coverage of the construction of NIMBYLand Part 1.

Any theme park requires a cast of cute, lovable mascots, which is led by none other than national icon and opponent of change, Nimbee. Nimbee can be found wandering around the park fighting against developers, YIMBYs, and anyone who chose to ride a bike to NIMBYLand. Other characters include Chimney Cricket (a know-it-all grasshopper looking down from the rooftops and spying on anyone who alters their historic homes), Flo White (a middle-aged mom in Lululemon attire running through the park speaking out against affordable housing by making racist comments), Cruella De Villa (an evil villain who appeals every neighbors’ building permits and constructed her own million dollar mansion out of materials from ADUs she successfully got the city to tear down), and last, but not least, Eyesore (a depressed, curmudgeonly donkey that mopes around the park, complaining that the neighborhood has gone to complete shit and all hope is lost).

Theme park characters are located all around NIMBYLand, especially in EPNOT, an area dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely groundbreaking innovations like cars, single-family zoning, email listservs, and the Nextdoor app. EPNOT was originally conceived by Takoma Park’s founder, B.F. Gilbert, as an experimental planned community that would serve as a model for American suburban living, but was abandoned after the city learned he was a Republican and a developer.

“We wanted EPNOT to pay tribute to Gilbert’s gigantic golf ball-shaped building that he originally designed for a future city,” said Lawrence. “So we decided the best way to do that was to build an 18-hole private golf course instead.”

There are many other “small town” features of NIMBYLand. The heart of the park includes a retro food hall with half empty diners that are always about to close. Visitors can also join in the fun with the cast and crew of NIMBYLand for a lively pop-up protest on Main Street every day at 4pm! Unfortunately, due to noise ordinance regulations, the evening fireworks shows will be canceled every night. However, two or three moderate booms at 11pm will still allow visitors to play make-believe that they heard gunshots.

NIMBYLand is slated for construction in 2027. Unlike other major theme parks, it promises to have very short lines for all rides and attractions as they will only allow a very small number of people into the park per day. To achieve this, ticket prices will be unaffordable to most and tickets must be purchased several years in advance. Massive discounts are available for local residents with a Takoma Park library card showing that they’ve been in the city for at least 20 years. Children under the age of 18 will get in for half price, but only for the first 20 kids, after which they must pay a $25k impact tax.

Fearing NIMBYLand could grow powerful enough to fight against his proposed property tax increases and development impact taxes, County Executive Marc Elrich attempted to fill the park’s Board of Directors with members of his own administration but was thwarted by when NIMBYLand pushed through an agreement with the outgoing board, securing control of its development rights for decades to come.