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Banning Clotheslines

By Bea McManis

What do you think?  Should clothes lines be banned?

I say, no way!

Charlie Mallow

I don't really see hanging your clothes as an everyday option for us. We can not count on good weather. This might be a bigger concern in the south, were it's a real option.

I remember watching an environmentalist on TV talk about who needed SUV's. The guy said, it's not like everyone lives around Buffalo.

Oct 18, 2009, 9:56pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

We have a clothesline, Charlie. It's great when weather permits. WNY with attics can do what their great, great grandparents did -- hang their clothes to dry up there.

Billie doesn't dry everything on the clothesline, but used it often this summer.

Oct 18, 2009, 11:22pm Permalink
Lorie Longhany

I will hang sheets out in the dead of winter (nothing smells better) and rarely use my dryer in the summer months.

My cousin lives in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, an upscale suburb of Detroit, and they are zoned no clotheslines and no garden hoses.

Oct 18, 2009, 11:56pm Permalink
Bea McManis

I seem to remember, a few years ago, that there was something in the paper about banning clotheslines in side yards in Batavia. I wonder if that ever went through?
Charlie, you'd be surprised how many people stll hang out clothes. Frankly, I think it is a healthier option during flu season and easier on the clothes too.
I never had it happen, but I can remember my mother bringing in sheets that were frozen solid.
Most of the time, in the winter, she would hang clothes in the basement where my father had strung lines.

Oct 19, 2009, 7:02am Permalink
John Roach

Yes it was passed. And you can not have them out in front of the house either.

It code change worked very well and people now just put the clotheslines in the bakcyard.

Oct 19, 2009, 7:36am Permalink
Bea McManis

John, that works well if you have a back yard. I remember it because, I was in an apartment without a back yard and if I wanted a clothesline, it would have to be on the side of the house. I never asked the landlord to do it for me because of that proposed ban.

Oct 19, 2009, 8:30am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Bea, our basement is a little too musty to hang clothes; I’m trying to fix that problem now. We also don’t have an attic so; my wife hangs cloths all over the house. It actually drives me nuts but, I guess there isn’t much of a choice for some things.

The close line debate must have been before my time. I don’t remember anything about it. It seems to make good sense to keep the lines in the backyard. I’m not sure who would want to hang clothes in the front of their house.

Oct 19, 2009, 8:32am Permalink
Bea McManis

Me either, Charlie, but I would have loved to hang the clothes in the little space I had in the side yard. I guess the city didn't think of the close quarters some houses have when they enacted that one.

Oct 19, 2009, 8:35am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Howard, with anything political there has to be some type of outcry to change the current law. It is pretty obvious the current law was enacted because, people complained. I have never heard anyone complain about the current law. To be honest, until a few hours ago, I didn’t even know it existed.

Lucky for me, my days of counting clothes lines are coming to an end.

Oct 19, 2009, 10:43am Permalink
Chelsea O'Brien

Hanging clothes on a line is one of the easiest ways to reduce gas/electric usage. While this summer was a crappy example, my parents and grandparents always use the clothesline in the summer, the sheets and clothes always smell better, the dryer doesn't run to keep the heat down, and it costs the environment and people next to nothing to do.

If Peter didn't hate how the clothes feel after being on a line, I'd have strung one this summer. And if I had been fined, you bet I'd make a stink about it to our government.

Oct 19, 2009, 10:31am Permalink
Bea McManis

I have a feeling there are many people who don't know about the law either.
At the time, I found it insane that the City was enacting what essentially is a 'blue law', a throwback to the late 1800s.
I don't ever recall seeing clotheslines in anyone's front yard. The side yard rule is unfair. I thought so then, and even though it is no longer an issue for me, I still think it is.
Hanging out one's laundry shouldn't be considered unsightly. It is an economical, healthy and natural way to dry clothes. I agree with Howard, go for the legacy
of permitting our citizens to utilize solar power to dry and sanitize their laundry.

Oct 19, 2009, 10:38am Permalink
John Roach

I do remember seeing people hanging clothes in the front, and some of them had backyards.

This was debated alot when passed, and for the most part has worked well. In fact, if it was not for the web link, it would not even have come up here.

It will be interesting now to see if anyone goes to the next City Council meeting to demand a change

Oct 19, 2009, 10:58am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Sorry Howard and Bea. The last thing I’m going to do is give my wife a reason not to use the dryer. I don’t care for how clothes feel after they have air dried and I don’t like how they look either.

The answer is to build more nuclear power plants. :-)

Oh, and make more of those dryer sheets. I prefer the synthetic fresh outdoor smelling ones.

Oct 19, 2009, 11:11am Permalink
Mardell Lamb

I love hanging clothes out on the line. It's actually quite relaxing, believe it or not. If there's a nice breeze the clothes are virtually wrinkle free. Now on a drop dead Africa hot summer day with no wind, the clothes are terribly stiff (and wrinkly!) Have to take the good with the bad I guess. I have friends in other states & they aren't allowed clotheslines in their neighborhoods either. As John Roach said, "so much for going green!"

Oct 19, 2009, 11:58am Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Mardell Lamb on October 19, 2009 - 11:58am
I love hanging clothes out on the line. It's actually quite relaxing...

Maybe it is a throwback to hunter/gatherers, but I loved hanging clothes out. It was relaxing and a chance to gather my thoughts. Something about the routine of hanging clothes that you don't have with taking them out of the washer and tossing them in the dryer gives one time to reflect on the day's activities, or to resolve whatever issues mar the day.

So, while it seems like the men prefer the softness they get from clothes in the dryer and don't mind paying the high electric bill for the convenience, I bet more females appreciate sheets fresh off the line.

No matter what the ads tell you, there is no product on the market that will give you that natural, fresh smell one gets from line drying sheets.

Now towels, are another matter. I believe they should only be machine dried...way too scratchy for me off the line.

Oct 19, 2009, 1:21pm Permalink
Lorie Longhany

Lucille, that's exactly what I do. Fluff for about 8 minutes with a dryer sheet. Not quite as soft as the entire experience in the dryer but it won't scratch your skin off when ya go to use them.

Bea, when I hang I listen to the birds singing and forget all my cares and woes. We've had a pair of Mockingbirds in the back lots and they had babies this year. It was "loads" of fun listening to them mimic the other birds. I feel like I'm communing with the outdoors and it gives me some "me" time. Sorta like taking a Yoga class in my backyard.

I love this clothesline conversation.

Oct 19, 2009, 2:24pm Permalink

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