Comment bodes ill for homeowner property rights

In a front-page story of the Nov. 22 Daily Progress, the Housing Advisory Committee of Charlottesville discussed Airbnb use of properties in the city. The committee chair stated that “… if it’s happening once, it’s happening too much…” as regards using properties for Airbnb.

I would like to point out that in the United States, property owners still are somewhat free to do what they like with their properties as long as they comply with local laws and ordinances.

Such a sweeping position by Chair Phil D’Oronzio is unsettling. He seems to be suggesting that property owners should have no rights to use their property as they choose.

I would like to push back against this point of view. Later in the story, planning Commissioner Lyle Solla-Yates said that the city doesn’t get a lot of complaints about the issue” but added, “There so many people breaking the law.” This suggests to me that there is a certain amount of perhaps emotionally driven exaggeration going on, as his statement appeared to contradict his earlier statement.

In a democracy, one expects that there will be struggles between parties holding different points of view. That is our strength. I would just like to point out that there are alternative points of view to those of the members of the Housing Advisory Committee.

Barbara Haskins

Charlottesville

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