We hope all of us well appreciate our landscape and its people, ones, who over thousands of years, have contributed to it. As I teach my biology students, we are all related, even to the simplest of lifeforms (e.g. we share at least 50 percent of our DNA with the bacteria that live on and in us), and the times seem to call for us to better support each other and appreciate the natural world, one essential to our very existence.
Let’s try to keep this in mind as we support our representatives (e.g. zoning and county board members) to well consider fair and reasonable ways to share what we enjoy here. For example, for short-term rentals (a different market than those for the long term), let’s remember that those who come here typically are couples or young families who simply want to hike or fish or relax among the natural beauty surrounding them.
They are met by the owners or their representatives and, typically, are respectful of property, of neighbors, of the landscape; as with renting a home, say a week at the beach, nothing other than a damage deposit is needed. Too, renters support local businesses and contribute to our economy. As for many of us, to rent our property helps us keep it and us in the county, especially when one of us changes jobs or has financial challenges otherwise.
We greatly value living in Rappahannock County, along the Hazel River which flows so beautifully from Shenandoah National Park and allows our remarkable interconnected life, the caddisflies and brook trout and kingfishers, to thrive. Please let’s consider ways to keep people here, to allow them to enjoy retirement here, to fairly and reasonably share what we’re blessed with while passing it along to others, to future generations.
Peter K. McLean