Friday, June 4, 2010

Woman's Laundry Habit Lands Her in Hot Water with Neighbors

Susan Taylor, a part time nurse and resident of the "exclusive" neighborhood community of Awbrey Butte in Bend, Oregon has her neighbors bent out of shape over her method of drying clothes. Ms. Taylor erected a clothesline on her property and hangs much of her laundry out to dry.

Neighbors are offended by the blight these wet clothes bring to their community, citing concern over property values and what others will think of their otherwise nice neighborhood.

To be fair, Awbrey Butte had its codes and covenants in place prior to Ms. Taylor moving into the neighborhood. These rules state that any "clothing apparatus" must be screened from the view of others. Since erecting fences is strongly discouraged in the area, how such screening could be accomplished is uncertain.

Ms. Taylor asserts that she has always hung her clothes out to dry, both because she likes the way the clothes feel after coming off the clothesline and because she saves energy by using this method of clothes drying. And there is an advocacy group called Project Laundry List based in New Hampshire that could not agree more with Ms. Taylor's assessments and activity (Wall Street Journal).

While Ms. Taylor works to change her communities rules about hanging clothes out to dry, she does need to abide by the rules and stop such activity. While I am not offended by anyone's laundry habits, I do understand that people choose to live in one community association or another because of the codes and covenants.

There is a larger issue here than laundry habits or even community association rules. Where a person chooses to live--the country, the state, the county and city--will have laws and ordinances by which that person must choose to abide. Fewer rules make a positive living situation for me, but there are others that prefer to enjoy the "safety" that more rules--and restrictions--bring.

In laundry habits, as in all things, more rules mean more restrictions on freedom. The choice of where a person lives is of vital consequence. This applies as much to those who choose to come to America to live as those who already live here.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here
Project Laundry List

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