I recently read an article in the New York Times that said people are actually forbidden from drying their clothes on outdoor clotheslines because they present an “eyesore”. It’s not just neighborhoods full of mansions where this rule is enacted. The article cited a woman in a trailer park who was asked to take down her clothesline! This is ridiculous. I mean give me a break, there’s nothing wrong with trailer parks, but colorful clothing might actually spruce up the place.
The article cited that dryers use at least 6% of household electricity consumption. Many people opt to use clotheslines to not only decrease their electric bills, but to also be environmentally friendly. While the raging “green” trend across the nation is great, it means nothing if simple eco-conscious acts such as hanging clothes on a clothesline aren’t even allowed.
At least some states see the insanity in this. Colorado, Utah, Hawaii, Florida, Maine, and Vermont have produced legislation to override such ridiculous rules and protect residents’ rights to hang their clothes. Luckily when I’m not at college I reside in the country where no one is within view to claim my clothesline as an eyesore, because my state (PA) has yet to ban the absurd policy.
The article claimed that those who are in favor of the restrictions on clotheslines view the lifting of the restrictions as an undermining of the autonomy of private communities and local property rights. Well, shouldn’t it be the resident’s right to decide what they do on their property? I mean, yes, eyesores can bring down property values, but should an environmentally-friendly act really constitute as an eyesore worth eliminating? It’s not as though people are sticking gigantic windmills in their yards, and even if they were, at least this would show that the community is environmentally conscious and cares about our slowly degrading Earth.
What’s next? Pretty soon gardens are going to be proclaimed as too much of a dirty mess. “They create too much of an eyesore; we need to get rid of them and replace them with perfectly watered, neighborhood green grass.” The neigborhood mindset has gone too far. Houses should not sacrifice practical usage for decorative purposes.
Enough of my ranting about clotheslines…They should simply be allowed, case closed.