The SpaceThis location has exceptional views of the river valley for miles and a ~4500 sq ft house that sits atop the Mississippi River Bluffs. Enjoy the view, conversation, a fun AirBnB experience, T-Shirt. Guest AccessThe house, yard. Interaction with GuestsWill be available or reachable. Enjoy welcoming visitors and discussing a variety of topics, sharing activities, enjoying this area. The NeighborhoodQuiet neighborhood with golf course and ski area nearby. Other Things to NoteThis is not a solicitation to provide lodging. This is a social gathering, a basic human right, affirmed by the First Amendment right to Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech. You can also find this house gratis on CouchSurfing for short term visits, without the added value Airbnb provides. This is a private residence, not "lodging" which the City of Wabasha defines as "furnishing for a consideration of lodging at a hotel, motel, tourist court, municipal campground, houseboats, bed and breakfast, resort, and rooming house other than the renting or leasing of such a premises for a continuous period of 30 days or more to the same occupant."
Airbnb is a great example of Freedom of Speech. Visitors learn a lot about an area that isn't on brochures. Airbnb is also a great example of Freedom of Association, which is an intrinsic human right, both as a individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems, including the United States Bill of Rights, article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and international law, including articles 20 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labor Organization.
Some cities and other municipalities try to claim that the people living within their boundaries don't have these basic human rights, simply due to those rights being asserted using Airbnb. Considering that the only nations that don't allow Airbnb are Syria, Iran, and North Korea, all of which have horrific human rights violations, it seems safe to say that municipalities that are attempting to deny these rights to individuals will be on the wrong side of history, much like people who once told Rosa Parks she should just take a seat in the back, rather than refuse to be owned and subjugated by politicians and bureaucrats.
If individuals don't have the freedom to associate with others in their own private homes, where do they have that right? As the President of the United States recently stated in his speech, Airbnb is fundamentally a social media and reputation tracking site. Social media is NOT lodging.
Wabasha City officials were very concerned by rumors and speculation that visitors met through Airbnb may be welcomed with "fresh baked cookies," or that Airbnb somehow magically turns a private home into a "bed and breakfast," so they filed criminal charges, and a jury trial was scheduled. Yes, this is the type of issue the City Officials in Wabasha force taxpayers to fund to litigate. It was to be an interesting trial, with the City of Wabasha possibly needing to call the Cookie Monster as an expert witness regarding any alleged fresh baked cookies, until a settlement was reached.
This area has very little crime, yet a few years ago local politicians forced taxpayers to build and finance a new nearly $22M criminal justice center that they are now attempting to justify to irate taxpayers. Building the CJC has resulted in exceptionally high property tax rates, compared with other counties and cities in the state. Increasing the caseload is one way to attempt to justify the facility, and bringing cases to court that are without malice and without proof is one way to accomplish that. Fortunately, most people aren't falling for that tactic.
I'm not a lawyer, but here are a couple of legal rulings that seem to affirm that a right, such as the right to peacefully associate at a private home, is not subject to license or government approval are:
“No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore." (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)
“If the State converts a right into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right with impunity." (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262)
Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham was a case in which the Supreme Court struck down a Birmingham, Alabama ordinance that prohibited citizens from holding parades and processions on city streets without first obtaining a permit. Birmingham's ordinance was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. This seems VERY similar to what the City of Wabasha was attempting by claiming residents need a permit, and threatening residents with litigation and possible jail time, to peacefully have Airbnb visitors to their private homes.
It seems that the Big Bad Wolf of Wabasha Officials is back in its cage now, after a lot of huffing and puffing, but no blowing any house down.
Short term Airbnb visitors will result in funds being donated to a 501(c)3 organization, often, but not limited to, those organizations that provide legal representation to disadvantaged individuals who face harassment and abuse from government. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Institute for Justice, ACLU, and the Fully Informed Jury Association are good organizations that help people who may not have the resources to fight abusive government.
So, what are you getting by making contact through Airbnb, rather than using other sites that are available gratis? Airbnb users receive the following items. It seems obvious to most people, but City of Wabasha Officials don't seem to understand that these items are NOT LODGING:
1) The assurances, reputation management, and privacy services of Airbnb.
2) The ability to make contact through the secure Airbnb platform and exchange personal information and URLs.
3) The ability to express yourself through creative writing of reviews on Airbnb. Reviews seem to be of particular interest to City of Wabasha officials who read them profusely with their abundant free time. City officials apparently seek to stifle freedom of speech and creativity. I'm a big advocate for freedom of speech, freedom of association, individual freedoms, and creativity in general. I spent 20 great years living with and encouraging a very creative artist. Her legacy and wishes are a big part of why I choose to invite other interesting, creative, adventurous, and kind people to visit. I encourage Airbnb users to be very creative in review writing, in order to entertain Wabasha City Officials and other viewers.
4) A custom T-shirt. Note that clothing is exempt from sales tax in Minnesota.
5) Unlimited technical and graphic design consulting services during your visit.
6) Access to visit and enjoy/photograph the "Million Dollar View" that gets the property tax assessor so excited.
7) Stories about the interesting architecture and history of this home.
8) Free speech, by supporting peaceful resistance to government overreach into private homes.
Since this is NOT LODGING, you should understand that there IS NO OFFER OR GUARANTEE OF LODGING IN EXCHANGE FOR CONSIDERATION. Any money exchanged is solely for non-lodging items. This is also not a restaurant or commercial food establishment and no money is exchanged for any food or beverage related items. This is a private home, where owners should have the freedom to welcome friends, family, and other visitors they choose.