New England Clothesline Measures Up In Air

<p>Measures are moving forward in Connecticut and Vermont that would protect the rights of residents to dry their laundry on clotheslines -- an act many opponents say drives down property values.</p>
March 13, 2008, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Homeowners' associations, which enforce bans on clotheslines at thousands of residential developments across the country, say the rules are needed to prevent flapping laundry from dragging down property values. But in an age of paper over plastic, as people try to take small steps to protect the environment, more residents are chafing at the restrictions. And some lawmakers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut are taking it a step further, seeking legislation that would guarantee the freedom to let one's garments flutter in the breeze."

"If successful, the measures in Vermont and Connecticut would be the first in New England, and among the first in the country, to protect the age-old custom of air-drying laundry. (The proposal in New Hampshire died in committee, but proponents say they plan to try again next session.)"

"In some minds, though, clotheslines connote a landscape of poverty rather than flowering fields. Opponents of the proposed legislation say homeowners' groups have the right to protect property values by forbidding practices they consider unsightly, such as storing junk cars in driveways - and hanging wet laundry outside."

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Published on Thursday, March 13, 2008 in The Boston Globe
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