Opinion » Letters

Restrict rentals

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As a resident of a neighborhood where the average age of my neighbors is 74, I am quite shocked and appalled that my closest neighbor has continued to rent her home on VRBO. I am even more shocked and appalled to see that this is actually considered an essential service in this county during this global pandemic.

Travel spreads this disease. There is no reason for people to be vacationing in our county until this pandemic has been contained and the shelter-at-home order lifted. It is horrific from a public health standpoint, and it is ill-advised from a marketing standpoint as the first impression some will get of our lovely county is shuttered businesses and angry stares from residents. I urge the Board of Supervisors to immediately amend the emergency ordinance. If they are looking for examples, I have included language from the Board of Supervisors in Rappahannock County, Virginia, where a friend resides.

"Be it further ordained, that effective April 2, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and continuing until such time as the state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia is lifted or until such other further notice, the advertising of and rental of a hotel room, motel room, room(s) in a B&B, tourist home, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite, rental cabin, or similar accommodation for less than thirty (30) consecutive days is hereby prohibited, except to those contractors, medical personnel, and employees performing essential services within the commonwealth. Persons displaced from their homes in Rappahannock County due to fire or for such other reason rendering such a home unsafe to inhabit are not prohibited from renting short-term rentals in the county. Current guests in a hotel, motel, vacation rental, or other short-term rental housing unit may remain in their occupied quarters for the duration of their existing rental agreement, but may not extend such agreement to beyond the date the term originally expires."

Save lives. Restrict short-term rentals except to those contractors, medical personnel, and employees performing essential services within our county, now.

Kimberly Wells



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