Are homeowners’ rights at risk?
Charles Swafford justifies his business, a home rented through the Airbnb short-term lodging service, by claiming he has the right to do what he wishes with his property (“You might love staying at an Airbnb, but would you want one on your block?,” Sept. 26)
He says those who want regulations should move to neighborhoods with homeowners associations.
But aren’t the rights of resident homeowners being violated? Homeowners in neighborhoods zoned as residential have a rightful expectation their community will be free of businesses, traffic and other issues involved.
Absentee owners appear to have little concern for local laws or the rights of others. They’re gaming the system by paying only property taxes, not hotel taxes, allowing them an unfair advantage in area hospitality business. Additionally, safety standards can be ignored.
There’s nothing fair about absentee owners buying houses and creating hotels in family neighborhoods, often driving down property values. Mr. Swafford, would you live next door to an Airbnb?
Jane Pavelko, Arlington
Disrespectful tenants can be reported to Airbnb and excluded from future rentals anywhere on the planet.
I suggest the following compromise to the Airbnb/short-term rental controversy:
Issue permits to operate Airbnbs only to owners who live in the same ZIP codes as their properties. Create an Airbnb Dispute Resolution Board to hear all complaints and review facts. This body will protect the interests of owners and neighbors.
Let’s preserve but regulate a major economic driver that helps to pay city expenses. As the old saying goes: “ Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
John L. Crawford, M.D.,
No lofts, condos — just apartments
In 2015, Bedford announced a development called Bedford Commons, supposedly high-end retail with lofts and condos. Recently residents became aware that it was to become only apartments.
The mayor and other council members campaigned on “no new apartments.” Obviously this is not the case!
On Oct. 23 early voting to approve a $70 million bond begins. So they didn’t keep their word to the residents, but they want us to approve $70 million for them to spend!
Elections have consequences. I’ll be voting no!
Joyce Powell, Bedford
Times have changed for the better
I am a white male who grew up during the 1930s and ’40s, when most whites thought it was right to have separate schools, drinking fountains, bathrooms, etc.
My great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War for the South. However, I am not proud of my heritage.
When I was a young father, a white friend asked: What if my family were black and my wife and children had to enter a restaurant through an alley, stand up on the bus while whites got to sit, go to the zoo and public swimming pools one day a year (Juneteenth) while you paid taxes every day just like the whites? How would I feel?
I changed my perspective and my life changed.Today I have many friends of different races.
Bunn D. Butler Sr.,