Drying Your Undies in Lawmakers' Hands

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    NEWSLETTERS

    State Legislators must end the battle over whether stringing delicates, along with khakis and all other fashion, from a line is acceptable in places where people live right on top of each other.

    On one side are the people who hope never to know whether the neighbor wears boxers or briefs, thongs or granny panties. 

    On the other are those who want to stop hurting the environment by turning on the dryer and letting electrity do work the sun can do.

    In the middle are Connecticut state Legislators, who must end the battle over whether stringing delicates -- along with khakis and all other fashion -- from a line is acceptable in places where people live right on top of each other.   
     
    Tuesday, the state’s Energy and Technology Committee took up the battle.

    The bill, called “An Act Concerning Freedom to Dry” would prevent home ownership associations from banning clotheslines or drying racks, the New Haven Register reports.

    Environmentalists, it will be of no surprise, think people should be able to air their laundry openly. They are in favor of letting the lawmakers decide rather than boards of people create bylaws banning the flannel from flying.

    The sun helps people save the planet while saving on energy bills, Martin Mador of the Sierra Club told the Register.

    The bill does offer some protection from complexes looking like frat houses after a drunken party.

    If temporary things like folding racks could do the same trick as permanent ones, or there are drying rooms that do not rely on electricity or fossil fuels for drying, those would suffice and the lines would not be needed.

    Connecticut is not the only state taking on the battle of public airing of laundry. About six states are having the clothesline debate. Hawaii passed a bill and the governor vetoed it.

    Joanne Mueller-London of the Community Association Institute told the newspaper that many condo developments have limited common space and rules help people who live in close proximity to get along.

    Mueller-London said associations could change the rules by a two-thirds vote.

    Lynne Bonnett of New Haven favors the law and said in submitted testimony that racks with screens could “prevent neighbors from having unwanted laundry in their midst,” the newspaper reported.