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Billionaire VC Marc Andreessen advocates YIMBY insurance policies, but he’s NIMBY about his hometown

In 2020, when the pandemic was going sturdy, billionaire Marc Andreessen turned heads by publishing an essay on his firm web site titled “It’s Time to Build.” 

“I expect this essay to be the target of criticism,” he wrote whereas expressing a mindset that has come to be known as YIMBY, for “yes in my backyard.”

“You see it in housing and the physical footprint of our cities,” he wrote. “We can’t build nearly enough housing in our cities with surging economic potential — which results in crazily skyrocketing housing prices in places like San Francisco, making it nearly impossible for regular people to move in and take the jobs of the future.” Then he expressed dissatisfaction with the state of city structure. “We should have gleaming skyscrapers and spectacular living environments in all our best cities at levels way beyond what we have now; where are they?”

Andreessen additionally lives in Atherton, California, America’s richest city, which has held the title of the costliest ZIP code within the U.S. for 5 consecutive years, in keeping with knowledge from Property Shark. Atherton additionally topped Bloomberg’s Riches Places annual index for 4 years, till 2020. And as a outstanding native citizen, new reporting by the Atlantic reveals that he could also be extra of a NIMBY.

Andreessen, co-founder of the enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz, is thought for being an early investor in main tech firms together with Meta, GitHub, Skype, and Twitter. In June, Andreessen and his spouse Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote an e mail expressing their opposition to a proposal that may improve zoning capability for multi-family house development in Atherton. 

“I am writing this letter to communicate our IMMENSE objection to the creation of multifamily overlay zones in Atherton,” the 2 wrote of their e mail, signed by each, as reported by The Atlantic’s Jerusalem Demsas. “Please IMMEDIATELY REMOVE all multifamily overlay zoning projects from the Housing Element which will be submitted to the state in July. They will MASSIVELY decrease our home values, the quality of life of ourselves and our neighbors and IMMENSELY increase the noise pollution and traffic.”

The remark, which was additionally reviewed by Fortune, was revealed on July 14 by Atherton’s planning division. Andreessen didn’t reply to The Atlantic or Fortune’s request for remark.

In his authentic essay, Andreessen tied the necessity to construct extra housing to the American dream. “The things we build in huge quantities, like computers and TVs, drop rapidly in price,” he wrote. “The things we don’t, like housing, schools, and hospitals, skyrocket in price.” With proudly owning a home out of attain for thus many, he mentioned, the American dream was in peril.

His essay additionally included a call-to-action, citing the necessity to “break the rapidly escalating price curves for housing, education, and healthcare, to make sure that every American can realize the dream.” The solely means to do this, he wrote, is to construct.

Elsewhere within the Bay Area, pro-housing metropolis council candidates are dropping out of races as a result of they will’t afford to stay there, whereas the overall lack of latest constructing initiatives has spurred others to hunt out modern options. Atherton particularly has an issue staffing its fireplace and police departments as a result of civil servants can’t afford to stay there and are delay by the lengthy commute. The Bay Area public transit is relatively underbuilt, along with its housing.

Andreessen was removed from the one Atherton resident to specific sturdy opposition to the housing proposal. “Nearly all the comments received expressed opposition to the use of overlay zones,” wrote the city’s planning division when publishing the slate of public feedback it had acquired on the topic. 

In his 2020 essay, Andreesson pinned the rationale that there’s any housing disaster in any respect on the query of need. “The problem is desire,” he wrote, referring to the need to spend money on main constructing initiatives. “We need to *want* these things.” 

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