"Bludgeoning hard times with a rolling pin"

"Bludgeoning hard times with a rolling pin"

Friday, July 23, 2010

The fresh scent of line-dried sheets. Not.

Who would have thought times would change so drastically that people would have to fight for the right to use a clothesline on their own property?

I would love to hang out my laundry, but I’m fairly certain particular covenants and restrictions prohibit such a thing where I live.

Let’s look it up.

The precise wording from our community association is as follows:
“No permanent poles for attaching wires or lines for the purpose of hanging laundry thereupon shall be erected, installed or constructed on any Lot.”

I spoke to the coordinator at the community association and he told me laundry poles were the issue, not the laundry itself. If we rigged up a retractable system, that would be fine. He also told me to check with the city to make sure they did not have an ordinance against drying laundry outside.

So, I spoke with the code enforcement representative for our city. She told me there was no ordinance she knew of against it; but that almost no one hangs their laundry outside here. She said maybe one or two people have done it within the last five years. And sometimes when residents do hang their clothes, their neighbors report them to code enforcement—even though there is no ordinance against line-drying.

She *helpfully* took my street name so there is now a record of my phone call, just in case someone complains about our laundry outside. Once again…I don’t know why it matters since there is no ordinance against it!

I doubt I’ll soon be so rebellious and radical as to hang out my laundry. Yet I hope someone will step up and be nervy enough to act within the city code and do something perfectly legal—to make hanging laundry outside acceptable once again.

Actually there is a movement afoot in favor of “right to dry” legislation--you may know about it. Check out the Action Center on Project Laundry List’s website at www.laundrylist.org. While you’re there view photos of how simply gorgeous a clothesline can be.

The benefits of hanging laundry are so many—energy conservation, sterilization by sunlight, money savings, aesthetics (clotheslines are beautiful, after all!).

Perhaps one day I'll be able to hang out the laundry without making the neighbors fussy.

What about you?

Do you love a clothesline? Or are you dryer-all-the-way?

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