View Full Version : 'Right-To-Dry' Movement In Concord Flap.

01-12-2010, 11:09 AM
Letting it hang out

A Concord woman says line-drying is her right - and the right thing to do. A fight’s just up the line.

By Jennifer Fenn Lefferts
Globe Correspondent / January 10, 2010

Every few days, even with snow on the ground, Peggy Brace’s front porch on Liberty Street in Concord is awash with hanging laundry.

Neighbors have complained about the unsightly display, but it doesn’t stop Brace from drying her family’s laundry the old-fashioned way.

“It’s so silly,’’ Brace said. “I don’t know what the hang-up is.’’

Brace said using a clothes dryer is a waste of energy, and she wishes more of her neighbors would take advantage of fresh air and the wind to handle the job.

But Brace said there is a stigma associated with clotheslines, so not everyone in this well-to-do community is tolerant of the eco-friendly practice: “It indicates poverty if you hang out your wash.’’

Brace has filed an article for the April Town Meeting warrant that has two goals. As a broad movement develops throughout the country for more environment-friendly laundering, she said, she is encouraging Concord residents to give up their dryers, and also trying to make sure everyone has the right to hang out their laundry. There are no town bylaws in Concord prohibiting clotheslines, but private homeowner associations can impose such restrictions.

Concord Green, a 220-unit condominium complex in West Concord, for example, does not allow residents to set up clotheslines on balconies or in common areas. Housing developments can also include such restrictions on property deeds, said Marcia Rasmussen, the town’s planning director.

Paul Vander-Lee, Concord Green’s property manager, said some residents have put up clotheslines but were asked to take them down after neighbors complained.

“Our buildings are very close together,’’ Vander-Lee said. “People have nice views they’d like to keep. Something like this tends to detract from their views.’’

Rasmussen said she isn’t sure how private associations that restrict clotheslines would be affected if Brace’s article is adopted.

She said it depends on how the article is written and how it’s interpreted by lawyers.

But going forward, associations would not be allowed to impose new restrictions if the article is approved, Rasmussen said.

“This is intended to take away the potential for anyone to say you can’t do it,’’ Rasmussen said.

The so-called right-to-dry movement has been growing in the United States, according to Alexander Lee, executive director of Project Laundry List, an advocacy group based in Concord, N.H., that promotes cold-water washing as well as air drying.

I'm guessing the objections are happening mostly because she's using her front porch.

Boston (http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2010/01/10/for_a_concord_woman_its_life_liberty_and_the_right _to_line_dry/)

01-12-2010, 12:30 PM
I'm guessing the objections are happening mostly because she's using her front porch.

Boston (http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2010/01/10/for_a_concord_woman_its_life_liberty_and_the_right _to_line_dry/)With the snow up to her crotch where else could she hang them ?

01-12-2010, 12:42 PM
With the snow up to her crotch where else could she hang them ?

When I went years without a dryer (or a line), I used folding racks in my house in the winter. It's not particularly good for fabric to freeze and the sun will fade fabrics.

I don't use a line now because I don't want to spend all that time ironing. I still iron today but much less with the dryer.