Imagine this if you will: It’s Friday evening, and you are settling down after a long week. You may have just put your baby to sleep, or finished cutting the grass. You are looking forward to a pleasant evening, maybe reading a book, watching TV or having friends over. But here come the cars, the tourists, the pets, the parking issues, the trespassing issues and of course the noise.
Welcome to the world of living near an Airbnb. The enjoyable evening you were just looking forward to may now have to be spent not only living with these disruptions, but possibly enforcing the rules that neither the home owner nor Airbnb are enforcing—because they are not around.
For many of the residents of Greene County this scenario has been playing out in their neighborhoods, with homes that are operating as Airbnbs in residentially zoned communities. We are not talking about country homes on large acreage lots, situated far away from each other. We are talking about homes built on much smaller lots, situated quite close to each other, on very narrow streets.
I ask you to consider whether you would want to live next door or down the street from a tourist lodge, with a different set of guests each week, cars coming and going at all hours and the related noise, garbage, pet and trespassing issues that are inherently associated with Airbnb homes—particularly higher occupancy homes. I doubt any of you would. But if special use permits continue to be approved for residential neighborhoods, this is where you may be headed.
As tax-paying homeowners, we are all in favor of increased county tourism, which will in turn increase needed county revenues. However, neighborhoods with residential zoning status are unsuitable for tourist lodging. They are simply too disruptive, and will certainly change the character of these neighborhoods.
E. Galt Kennedy
Greene Mountain Lake