Bioswales are coming to your neighborhood, but the process should start at the local community board. Each board should be given a set number of bioswales that need to be installed in their district, a number decided after careful planning.
Then the community board should start an outreach campaign to get homeowners to volunteer to have a bioswale installed.
If they can't reach the number, there should be some small incentive. Maybe a tax credit or a lower monthly water bill.
The absolute last resort should be installation without consultation. But even then, there needs to be an opt-out.
It seems unreasonable to think that the city won't be able to hit any sort of quota if they take this approach.
The city is routinely dogged for its failure to include the local community in many decisions, and this is another stark example. In fact, it was a process that never included the community at all.
But a full attitude of “not in my backyard” is really never going to work either. The city needs to make it clear that it is moving forward with the bioswale program, but would like local residents to have a large say in how and where it happens.
That should be the only way to govern.