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The "Right to Dry"

The weather here in central PA is finally getting warm and I find myself thinking about clotheslines.  I want one.  I know that the electric dryer is a massive energy suck and sometimes I have to run a load through twice to get it dry.  I love line-dried clothes.  It gets me outside in the sun, it saves energy.  I don't like that the neighbors can see my stuff flapping in the breeze, but I can get over it.  Around here, there are clotheslines all over the place because the Amish and Mennonites hang out clothes all year long.  My development is new though and I wonder if lines are allowed even though I can see my neighbors two houses down have a line and another neighbor across the street does too. 

I'm looking out the window at my yard and wondering where I can put a line.  My preference is for the kind that is attached to the house and goes out to a tall pole in the yard and uses a pulley.  That way the clothes are high off the ground and out of the immediate line of sight.  I'll probably end up with two short t-shaped poles with five short lines strung between them so I'll have to walk around with a basket of wet clothes to hang them. 

I guess we could get the umbrella type clothesline thingees that only require one hole to be dug and sunk but those are really ugly and kinda suck because you don't get as much airflow. 

So now the big question is placement, depending on whether or not the landlord says we can install one.  My yard backs up to a busy-ish road and everything is all kinds of open.  Do I run it along the side of the house?  At the back of the yard?  Parallel to the house or perpendicular? 

I think I may take pictures outside and see if anyone has suggestions for me...

So I was googling clotheslines looking for options and apparently the "Right to Dry" is a big issue.  I thought that there would be more of a move toward line drying with an increased effort by people to reduce their carbon footprint and stuff and to go green.  Apparently, homeowners associations in CALIFORNIA (!!!!), New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut are really opposed to clotheslines because they make the neighborhood "look like a tenement" and bring down property values.

I say, "huh?"

Yeah, it's old school and all but it's such an awesome thing to use the breeze and sun to dry clothes and use absolutely no electricity.  I don't really care about seeing the neighbors' jeans and shirts drying outside.  I don't like having the poles and stuff taking up space but I think it's a small "price" to pay, you know?  Project Laundry List, which keeps track of neighborhoods where outdoor drying is banned, has found no-clothesline zones across the country, usually in subdivisions or condominium complexes. A handful of towns throughout the country also prohibit outdoor drying within their borders.

I've seen a Martha Stewart designed clothesline that doubles as a place to hang a hammock and I really like the idea of that.  I pulled it out of an old issue of Living and kept it in a folder for a later point.  Think I need to dig that up now.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
redqueenmeg
Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
We had one of the umbrella type ones at our first couple of houses when I was little. I remember helping pour the cement for the base each time we moved. It actually got good airflow since it could rotate with the wind. :)

In one of our subdivisions I have a hazy memory of outdoor clothes drying being against the rules, and I believe we had a line hung up in the basement instead since we had a dehumidifier down there anyway. It worked pretty well.
redqueenmeg
Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it is allowed in my neighborhood or not but the only place I could have a line would be out on the lanai. I may do it anyway. The homeowner's association would have to be specifically looking for it and going through my yard to be able to see it.
purplejuli
May. 19th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Hey Meg! Guess what? Your homeowners association cannot ban the use of clotheslines!!!!

See Florida's state law that allows clotheslines everywhere.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0163/SEC04.HTM&Title=-%3E2002-%3ECh0163-%3ESection%2004

Get help from Florida Solar Energy Industry Association at (800) 426-5899.
redqueenmeg
May. 19th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That's cool.
red_canuck
Apr. 2nd, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Interesting you put this. My city, is crazy environmental centre, yet there is an antiqued by-law that doesn't allow line-drying! It's horrid!! This summer I am totally breaking the law, I think it's ridiculous to use the dryer during the summer. hell, i hang my clothes inside during the winter! I' crazy like that ;) lol. But yes, ther eis nothing as pleasant and feeling the sun on your face and the smell of clean laundry drifting about you while hanging up clothes. it's a wonderful thing :D
purplejuli
Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
It just doesn't seem to make much sense, does it? Are looking at clothes really that offensive? I mean, yopu do it at the mall... is it a question of possession?
glass_lion
Apr. 2nd, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
I hadn't heard of the expression "Right to Dry" but I HAD heard that subdivisions' CCRs often ban clotheslines. Grrr.

Hoping for success for you!
purplejuli
Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
I guess if they have issue with it I could put a line in my basement but I want stuff in the sunshine. My whites are looking a little dingy, despite my best efforts, and I know the sun would be great for brightening them.
rockysmomma
Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
I think my HOA restricts use of clotheslines.

I hope it works for you!
purplejuli
Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Argh!
(Deleted comment)
purplejuli
May. 10th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm on my way out of the house but I have the Living Article from 3 or 4 years ago with the directions on how to build it. When I get home, I'll scan it and email it to you.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )