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It feels like we're being 'airbombed'

The Virginia Gazette

We feel in Lakewood as though we are being airbombed! Well not exactly, but we are under attack.

There are viruses, Airbnb being one. The good news is that we have a cure, a vaccine, if you will, to prevent its spread. It is called legislation, and it occurs when the collective wishes of we the people raise our voices in a full chorus that cannot be misinterpreted by our legislators. They represent us but, before they can act, they need our input. They have the cure for what ails us. Marvelous system!

The current issue we need to address has to do with companies like Airbnb and FlipKey that encourage people via the Internet to rent an overnight room in a "host" home that may or may not be your next door neighbor. Never mind that you have no idea who this traveling stranger may be, or what his/her intent may be. A quick Internet search of Airbnb discloses thefts, ramshackle residences, fires, deaths and even murder. The city of Richmond has made it illegal. Virginia Beach is currently reporting and investigating murder at an Airbnb rental. We need to ask ourselves whether we need - or want - to open our residential areas to this kind of worry and possible serious and devastating consequences of allowing this commercial activity to happen, especially when it is contrary to covenants of the neighborhood. In November, let's ask for a yes or no vote for operating an Airbnb in our communities. Majority wins; that's how our democracy works.

I am not persuaded by the argument that this commercial idea of "sharing" is best, or that what someone feels "led" to do should be the determining factor in what is decided for an entire community or residential-only neighborhood. We are being air bombed. Speak up and be heard! The next neighborhood to be air bombed may be yours.

James and Mary Carol


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