Commentary: Is business destined to wither on vine?
Thus, in the process of crushing homeowners’ rights, the Board of Supervisors is also squelching Front Royal’s main industry: tourism. In a local economy such as Warren County’s, where Kmart used to be sitting empty and Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced its intent to not enter a community that over-regulates businesses, this board should be doing everything in its power to increase business and tourism — not drive it away.
Like countless others, I again find myself a victim of both my state and local governments’ inability to communicate with each other. Years ago at another business I owned, I faced a similar situation and solved the problem by helping to rewrite Virginia’s laws, returning power to the state after local government overstepped its authority in over-regulating small business. However, when I recently approached my friends at the Virginia legislature to ask for help in protecting homeowners’ rights, I was told that they can’t pass a bill for something that already exists — i.e. the freedom to rent out one’s own property!
Today, I will again face the Warren County Board of Supervisors in my uphill fight to protect not only my rights, but the rights of all local property owners, businesses and tourism agents here in Front Royal. What might seem like a small local matter will have a ripple effect on others: boutiques, restaurants, zip line parks, canoe rentals, breweries, wineries and so on. I fervently hope that the circuit judge will protect those individual freedoms for which our founding fathers fought — many of whom were proud Virginians who risked everything, even death, for their rights, which are now our rights, as both Virginians and American citizens.
Our nation’s capital might be an hour’s drive east of Warren County, but next week, our community will serve as the forefront of the battle for individual freedoms. If you’re a fellow homeowner and care about protecting your rights, I encourage you to be concerned.
The fate of business, tourism, real estate and any property owners, as well as the various industries here in Front Royal, hangs in the balance and I hope that my beloved Warren County does not wither on the vine as it appear to be on track with the evident for sale signs scattered throughout the communities, abandoned shops and a community clearly in desperation.
Tareq Salahi is a Warren County resident.