"Clothesline Dispute Pits Aesthetics vs. Energy Savings"

"CHAPEL HILL -- Devin Ceartas would no sooner give up drying his laundry on a clothesline than he would dig up his spice garden, overturn his rain barrel or get rid of his compost heap.

Air drying is one of the simple, old-fashioned ways the 42-year-old computer programmer and his wife try to make their life in a leafy Chapel Hill subdivision kinder to the environment.

So when their homeowners' association told them to take down the clothesline, they organized their neighbors. Today, laundry hangs freely from the backyard balconies of Village West townhouses, and aesthetic complaints can be taken up with the association president: Ceartas.

Switching to low-tech drying saves energy but can get residents in hot water with associations, landlords or towns that see clotheslines as eyesores. Now states from Maine to Hawaii are stepping in to override local laws and rules."

Jordan Schrader reports for the Asheville Citizen-Times September 9, 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009