Not even sure what to say about this...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    By Jon Hurdle Jon Hurdle " 2 hrs 10 mins ago

    PERKASIE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) " Carin Froehlich pegs her laundry to three clotheslines strung between trees outside her 18th-century farmhouse, knowing that her actions annoy local officials who have asked her to stop.

    Froehlich is among the growing number of people across America fighting for the right to dry their laundry outside against a rising tide of housing associations who oppose the practice despite its energy-saving green appeal.

    Although there are no formal laws in this southeast Pennsylvania town against drying laundry outside, a town official called Froehlich to ask her to stop drying clothes in the sun. And she received two anonymous notes from neighbors saying they did not want to see her underwear flapping about.

    "They said it made the place look like trailer trash," she said, in her yard across the street from a row of neat, suburban houses. "They said they didn't want to look at my 'unmentionables.'"

    Froehlich says she hangs her underwear inside. The effervescent 54-year-old is one of a growing number of Americans demanding the right to dry laundry on clotheslines despite local rules and a culture that frowns on it.

    Their interests are represented by Project Laundry List, a group that argues people can save money and reduce carbon emissions by not using their electric or gas dryers, according to the group's executive director, Alexander Lee.

    Widespread adoption of clotheslines could significantly reduce U.S. energy consumption, argued Lee, who said dryer use accounts for about 6 percent of U.S. residential electricity use.

    Florida, Utah, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii have passed laws restricting the rights of local authorities to stop residents using clotheslines. Another five states are considering similar measures, said Lee, 35, a former lawyer who quit to run the non-profit group, 'RIGHT TO HANG'.

    His principal opponents are the housing associations such as condominiums and townhouse communities that are home to an estimated 60 million Americans, or about 20 percent of the population. About half of those organizations have 'no hanging' rules, Lee said, and enforce them with fines.

    Carl Weiner, a lawyer for about 50 homeowners associations in suburban Philadelphia, said the no-hanging rules are usually included by the communities' developers along with regulations such as a ban on sheds or commercial vehicles.

    The no-hanging rules are an aesthetic issue, Weiner said.
    "The consensus in most communities is that people don't want to see everybody else's laundry."

    He said opposition to clotheslines may ease as more people understand it can save energy and reduce greenhouse gases.

    "There is more awareness of impact on the environment," he said. "I would not be surprised to see people questioning these restrictions."

    For Froehlich, the "right to hang" is the embodiment of the American tradition of freedom.

    "If my husband has a right to have guns in the house, I have a right to hang laundry," said Froehlich, who is writing a book on the subject.

    Besides, it saves money. Line-drying laundry for a family of five saves $83 a month in electric bills, she said.

    Kevin Firth, who owns a two-bedroom condominium in a Dublin, Pennsylvania housing association, said he was fined $100 by the association for putting up a clothesline in a common area.
    "It made me angry and upset," said Firth, a 27-year-old carpenter. "I like having the laundry drying in the sun. It's something I have always done since I was a little kid."
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    This is ludicrous. People wanting their "glam" homes looking magazine perfect. That's part of the cause of the destruction of this planets natural resources. She may currently hang her undies indoors, but I swear to goodness, after anonymous notes and a phone call? I'd be hanging them front and center.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I WISH I had a clothesline. I literally cannot hang one by myself as the trees are so high and inaccessable by me and all of our ladders are construction type so they weigh a ton - can't drag them across the yard - and H won't help me get a line up. In our town, there is a small group that has been trying to pass a "blight law" and it gets voted down every year. Within the law, besides the usual junkyard looking homes with old cars in the yard, etc., the blight law would also have a provision for certain types of clothing lines. We're a town of less than 10,000 - most of which are single family dwellings on private property. When I lived at the condos, I once hung out some clothing behind my mini patio and a neighbor told me to take the clothing in because I could get fined. I was appalled!

    I think it's ridiculous that this has turned into a 'movement', but hey, it's just another small liberty being taken away from us and someone has to stand up and fight it....not to even go into the many ways in which it's environmentally friendly!!! omg.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It depends upon whether they knew of this restriction when they moved into the area. Like it or not, condos and neighborhood associations usually have very strict rules about what you can and can't do with and to the exterior of your home.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK when it gets dry and a little warmer outside I'm stringing a clothesline. Just in protest. I don't live where they will complain but still. And then the kids can help.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that there is a huge difference between the lady with the farmhouse hanging laundry out in her own backyard and the man in the condominium who was hanging his laundry in the common area. If I lived in a condo I wouldn't want the common area taken up with other people's laundry. I agree with Witz that it also depends on whether there were already covenants in place when these people decided to start hanging out their laundry.

    A word of caution . . . my mother hung her laundry out in our backyard all of her life. She refused to use a dryer because she like how the sun made the clothes smell and feel.

    The downside was that as she grew older she had to visit a dermatologist every six months to have skin cancer areas removed from the back of her hands and fingers. The doctor told her that it was from the years of having her hands bent over a clothesline out in the sun (combined with her pale skin due to her northern European heritage).

    If you hang your clothes on a line . . . use sunscreen!

    Me . . . I like the convenience of a dryer.

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It doesn't sound like this lady has a homeowner's association for her property. Maybe the people across the street. Otherwise, the homeowner's association would be involved, not some town official. She is free to do what she wants. It is her property. And it's not like it's out flapping in the wind 24 hours a day.

    My grandmother still hangs towels and jeans. I personally don't like the way clothes smell when they've been hung outside - never have. But, I respect the right of others to do so.

    My former neighborhood had a homeowner's association. They sent a letter to everyone stating that you can't put your trash out until 6:30AM the day of pickup and must bring it back in by 6:30PM the same day. People work. Several families worked 3rd shift and weren't home in time for trash pick up. My entire street - without talking to each other - put their trash out the day BEFORE pick up. We all have the same blue trash bins as distributed by the city. They only take what is in the bins, so it's not like there are piles of garbage bags.

    But, I digress. Sadly, what's going to happen to this lady is that people are going to complain and the town will pass some stupid law and she'll have to bring her laundry in.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I absolutely detest HOA's. But I understand why they exist and the purpose they serve. It's just that I hear of so many that abuse their power and regulate the community to death. Of course, we all have a choice about where we live. And so I don't think I'll ever choose to live where I'm under the thumb of an HOA.

    I have neighbors who should probably move to a community that has an HOA. They complain about people owning too many cars (my next-door neighbor had five adults living in the house -- two parents and three college-age kids, and they each had a car -- they were able to park all but one car in their driveway). They complain about where people park (one guy acted like he owned the strip of curb in front of his house; another guy didn't like the next-door neighbor parking in front of their own house). They complain about yard ornaments (didn't like the light-up palm tree one neighbor put up instead of a lighted Christmas tree in their front yard; didn't like the kitschy plastic flamingos in another yard). I have a neighbor that detests my pine trees and liquid amber trees because heaven forbid they drop needles or leaves once a year and the wind blows them hither and yon!

    THESE people need to move to an apartment or condo with all those lovely HOA's. They have no business living in a regular suburban neighborhood.

    I'm all for hanging your laundry, ANY laundry, in your own back yard. As far as I'm concerned, if I can't see it from the curb, it's none of my business.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My clothesline goes up in the spring and comes down in late fall. I love the smell of sun-dried clothes, and it saves a lot on the electric bill.

    I figure if no one has complained about the junkyard (aka my backyard), Son #2's dead Ford Taurus, and the random fence painting done by Miss KT and her friend when they got bored, my clothesline is safe. I'd be PO'd though if someone told me to take it down.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    As far as I'm concerned these Homeowners Associations ought to be banned out of existance. Just a bunch of nosey busy bodies wanting to boss their neighbors. in my opinion

    I agree if clothes were being hung in a common area.......they could at least use one of the clothes racks on their patios instead of lines. But for pete's sake, I think there are alot more serious issues in the world today than worrying about my neighbors undies hanging on the line. Like I give a hoot! sheesh!

    The only reason I don't have a clothesline is because my back yard is too dusty......I'd have to rewash my clothes, so would defeat the purpose. lol But I've had them before, and plan to do so again. I even had them while living in apartment communities and too bad if neighbors complained. Though no one did and a bunch more would always spring up. lol

    How can you complain about undies on the line with bra, underwear, male enhancement pills, and the like splashed all over television?? Does someone see the hypocritcy in that?

    It's laundry people. Get over it. Odds are your grandmothers, no matter what neighborhoods they lived in......hung clothes out on the line. And no one died from it, no one was scarred for life or truamatized into a therapy chair.

    I'm getting a little more than sick and tired of govt, be it city, state, or federal, telling me how to live my life.
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I can just imagine how these HOA idiots would've reacted to some villages in Europe that I've visited.

    They hang laundry on a co-op basis with their neighbors across the street. Basically they use a double line running from one window to the other one across the street. Pulleys on each end allow for moving the line to put out or take in clothing.

    You have laundry flapping and fluttering overhead. It looked a little strange to start with, but it makes a great deal of sense.

    If you think HOAs in the US are ridiculous, you ought to see some of the regulations put out by "Councils" in the UK.
  12. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think it is ridiculous to make rules like that in light of the energy crisis, global warming, etc. I do understand that when you have lots of people in a small area (apartments, etc.) you have to be considerate of your neighbors but whatever happend to the concept of your home being your castle?
    A lot of the time, I'm too lazy to hang may clothes outside but you can bet that if somebody told me I couldn't, I would. (And I wonder where my kids get their difficult child-ness from...LOL)
    Of course, I live in a rural area and we're pretty much free to do whatever we want: witness my neighbor's junkyard and their goats and sheep and cows that occasionally wander into my yard. And the peacock that sometimes perches on my roof and makes that horrible sound they make while I'm trying to sleep. And the jungle across the street. Oh well, it's worth putting up with those things just to not have somebody trying to tell me what I can and cannot do on my own property.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I hang my laundry out. I now have an HE washer, which spins a lot of the water out of the clothes, but back when I had a typical washer, I saved around $80 a month not using the dryer. Now I save about $50.

    I use the dryer for whites. I'm not patient enough to hang out 72 pairs of socks...
  14. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I dare them to tell me I can't hang laundry out. I use it mainly for bedding, but on occasion hang everything out. I love line dried bedding. I want to crawl into bed as soon as I take the sheets off the line, just so I don't waste any of that wonderful smell. I had a landlord refuse to allow me to put a clothesline up (didn't want poles cemented into the ground) so I tied line between the trees and deck. I think it would have looked better to have conventional clotheslines up, but she thought it would detract from her property, oh well, then deal with the lines I put up or pay the electric bill.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What is the big problem with hanging laundry out?? I don't understand it. Heck, I don't care if the neighbors put it in the front yard.

    I wish I could hang laundry out. Or even just open windows. Sadly, thank you and husband and I get SO SICK when I do. husband would open up, and hang out sheets, but he would then groan and moan about the allergies. We also have birds with varied diets and they have left very colorful evidence of this on items that are hung out to dry.

    If my spare room were emptier I would hang a line in there.

    This whole thing is just silly, in my opinion. Banning laundry lines. Don't they have something constructive to do? Like picking their' noses?
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I live in a rural town in a rural county tho I am 'in town'. No HOA but....lots of very strict rules - I saw this article this am in my paper. I hung laundry in my backyard when my dryer (brand new but a lemon) broke-for 2 years. it wasn't a problem but.....yes our garbage to the curb rules are same as someone said & I also did have difficulty cuz I did work 2nd & 3rd shift. we are rural BUT limit of 4 pets total....includes birds & hamsters etc. dog loose? someone complains? $500 fine. dog barks? same thing. stray cats? county euthanizes. garage sale -4 days per 12 months must buy a permit one sign allowed & if a neighbor complains about traffic you must shut down even if you've followed the rules. bicycles wagons skates skateboards even handicap mobility scooters-not allowed on our streets or our sidewalks only permutted on private property with permission. at all. we have a town square. it has benches all around a gazebo.....& around the square. people are discouraged from sitting in this park...'it makes shoppers nervous' no pets even on leashes & no smokeing in our several block downtown town square or x blocks around perimeter. all cars on property countywide MUST be operational...running & moved at least once every 10 days.or they can tow it. so many rules. no weeds must shovel must rake.....our rules are countywide but some neighborhoods are more strict....but the town population 20k is strict enough already. yes our neighbors can demand no childrens bikes in front yard.....& currently an ongoing court case over....a garden planter a neighbor didn't like. oh daughters molester who molested 7 girls from 99 to 05 the court dragged 4 years & then told the victims oh sorry we dropped the sex charges in a plea deal & be grateful county saved $ on trial. ug!
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :nonono: I don't think I could live in a community like that.
  18. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    If a bunch of busy bodies told me I couldn't have a clothesline? I'd be hitting the Goodwill store and the costume shop for ratty bib overalls and some real ladies bloomers.

    I live in town although we're small...maybe 15-20k. As far as I know there are no laws banning clotheslines and if there are, they aren't enforced. Half the people on my street use clotheslines. Personally, I generally only hang bedding and towels but will hang everything else but nice clothes. I too LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the smell of line dried bedding....makes me sleep like the dead.

    It's stupid really. Especially since everyone is promoting going green and energy efficiency. average family of 5 can generate some major laundry. If you only use the washer and then line dry things, can you imagine the savings on utilities? may have to occasionally rewash things (stupid birds) but it's worth it. If we didn't have pets I would probably hang more things on the line than I do. I need the dryer though to get all the pet hair off the clothes! LOL

    The only slightly off thing we do have here is that if you have a garage sale of ANY length, you MUST get a permit and have it displayed. They only cost a buck or two but the police do go around with the sale listings from the newspaper and check.
  19. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    The only reason I quit using a clothesline was because the neighbors on both sides use burn barrels and though they can only use them on certain days the smell was in the line and so the cloths would smell.