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LETTER: Who will stand up for R-1 homeowners?

LETTER: Who will stand up for R-1 homeowners?

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I have always been a supporter of tourism. I first came here as one years ago, and on retirement chose to return to live in a quiet residential community. A family member owns an Airbnb in a North Carolina tourist town, so I get it. But, I never dreamed that my cohesive, lovely community with bad roads and a shrinking lake would become a tourist resort because of a system that is not working.

Greene County did have the forethought to create a special use permit (SUP) that allows neighbors to express their opinion on the “suitability” of a particular location for a proposed short-term lodging home, but that is where our input ends. Airbnb startups without permits are allowed to continue operating until they are either granted or denied an SUP by the Board of Supervisors.

The process is a lengthy, exhausting one, causing disharmony among neighbors with many not really realizing that the SUP runs with the property.

It does not end with the passing of the nice old lady letting rooms whose kids then sell the property to a corporation with the prize: a SUP.

Nor do they realize we the neighbors have no control over what happens in these Airbnbs and we end up becoming enforcers, generally on weekends, holidays and nights, when our only option is to call the sheriff, whose only power is noise and parking violations.

How many is too many in one neighborhood: 20; 40?

I live on a street with two whole-house Airbnbs within 4/10 of a mile. With an application in process to add another house for 12+ people and an unlimited number of kids under age 5.

The SUP process is not working for the tax-paying citizens of Greene who have made it the lovely place to visit. Why put short-term tourist housing in residential areas where the houses are not on acres? Would you like your bedroom to be 40 feet from a continuous party? Why put such a burden on our citizens?

Who is going to stand up for us to stop this invasion of our property rights plus our right to live in quiet enjoyment?

A. Lee-McClennan

Greene Mountain Lake

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