Here is a roundup of Insider Voices reflecting recent news developments.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood

The most vocal negative is that “Airbnb destroys the neighborhood,” but how do you define that?

Is it knowing all your neighbors so you can walk next door and borrow a cup of sugar? Society has moved on from that ideal decades ago. When we lived in J-town, we never spoke to our neighbors unless first spoken to and only knew a couple of their names.

When we moved to La Grange, we knew everyone on the street and several others nearby. My wife never asked to borrow a cup of sugar. She’d text me to pick it up or order it on Amazon.

An Airbnb investor should know their neighbors. If guests are disruptive, the owner will want to intervene. The owner can leave a negative review for guests, affecting their ability to book in the future. If there’s damage, Airbnb has policies to protect and replace. Neighbors are vital to an Airbnb owner. They’re the eyes and ears, like a neighborhood watch. It affects the investor’s bottom line. Airbnb owners need a good relationship with neighbors, more so than a residential owner. You could still borrow a cup of sugar from an Airbnb house too because we’re hospitable and it’s stocked.

If you define “the neighborhood” by maintaining the properties themselves- the curb appeal, the structure and safety of the houses… Airbnb investors have your back. What the neighborhood often trades, is an irresponsible homeowner for one that takes care of the property for its rent potential. Wouldn’t the community rather have an owner that’s motivated to maintain the property?

Many of the homes investors buy are either dated eye sores or not livable. Most buyers don’t want the renovations of those properties. The profits from Airbnb go back into the homes for repairs and other properties in need.

A current listing has the following description:
“Located in the very desirable Highlands… Owner and agent have no personal knowledge of property condition and make no representations or warranties as to the condition of the property, improvements or appurtenances.”

This property isn’t a home… it’s a health/safety hazard. Don’t visit it without a filtered mask. The owner was not an occupant, and most likely rented through a third party or inherited it. Who do you want to be your neighbor?

The other major pros to Airbnb are that most investors are local and support local businesses. Airbnb makes desirable areas more affordable by offsetting mortgages and other living expenses.

The commercial hotels and entertainment surrounding them are often owned by out of state developers. These investors send the profits away and are not redistributed in our community. Airbnb investors use local contractors, and often local financing.

They target areas that are walkable to local restaurants, attractions, and shopping. They bring outside money into the city, keeping it there to develop the community. Airbnb owners are not evil or negligent, nor do we live in an ivory tower.

We’re connected to our neighbors and community. We’re real people providing for our families. Strengthening local small businesses is building the community, not destroying it. The pros of Airbnb outweigh and often flip the argument of the cons. Joel Kleyer

Problems with short-term rentals

I see a lot of problems in this idea of short-term rentals. Because it serves as an alternative to hotels, a short-term rental must be inspected as often as a hotel or more often. It must collect the same tax as a hotel collects. Garbage must be removed from the premises daily. There should be unanimous consent from all the neighbors.

If there is no driveway to provide to the guests, and street parking is required, then the guest must pay for the parking, get a receipt, and move the car daily. Non-compliance must result in pulling the license on the first infraction. Greg Moore

Misconception about charter schools

Some previous posts here have given the mistaken impression that charter schools would siphon the “best and brightest” of students away from Traditional Public Schools, leaving fewer positive role models in the TPS system.

In fact, Kentucky law does not allow charter schools to “cherry pick” such students. Under the law, which was approved under the previous Commissioner of Education, charter schools must accept all applicants.

In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the school’s capacity, then students are selected on a random lottery basis. Here’s a great resource that explains how Kentucky Charter Schools would work.¬†Rich Gimmel is a member of the Kentucky¬†Board of Education.

Believe the survivor

The University of Louisville should strive to believe the survivor of sexual assault. If needed, move the alleged perpetrator to a different dorm, not the survivor. Report it to the police immediately and let them investigate. Make sure the survivor feels supported and is not in fear of retaliation by their assaulter or the school itself. Ashley Woolsey

Due to a production error, a previous version of this roundup published on Friday.

Insider Voices

Insider Voices

Insider Louisville is on a mission to give a voice to our readers who want to weigh in on the critical issues of the day. Insider Voices is a regular Sunday feature for those who want to keep the conversation going when it comes to our five cornerstone coverage areas: culture, economy, education, government and health.