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Rather than focus on such pointless posturing, the need for "civility", in the hopes of broadening the subject matter of the election, I have canvassed the candidates, with questions of my own. I have included their responses to my question about residential line drying below...

Question 2: The threat of global warming requires action by individuals to reduce their carbon footprint and rising electricity prices add further incentive to reduce electricity use. One of the major electricity consuming appliances in the home is the clothes dryer, which also causes in accelerated wear and tear of ones fabrics. It is surprising that Rockville’s efforts to promote a greener future have not included the removal of the ordinance which outlaws the line drying of clothing on private property. Do you support line drying as an energy efficient way to dry clothing? Do you support the removal of any city rules barring line drying? Please explain.

A little background
In the above question, it appears that I am wrong in assigning blame to the city for my inability to line dry. As described in the candidate answers below it is my old nemesis, the HOA, which prevents me from line drying my clothing outdoors. I have a rear deck, it faces a wooded copse of trees, just like every other townhouse in our development. I also have ground level lawn behind my home, it's not much, and it's maintained by the HOA (even though it designated within my plot). So I know there are sensible limitations to what I could feasibly implement but no outdoor line drying at all?

It turns out that clothes dryers are the most electricity intensive appliance in the home, using and average of 5.8% of the total electricity. Not only that, besides slowly shrinking your clothes, dryers destroy fabrics and when you look at your lint filter you should be saying, "There goes my clothes and linens". Now let us turn to the candidates answers...

Mayoral Candidates
Susan Hoffman (incumbent Mayor, 1 term)

No response thusfar

Phyllis Marcuccio (incumbent City Councilmember, 2 terms)

No response thusfar

City Council Candidates
John Britton (incumbent councilmember, 1 term)

(Received 10/30/09) I have to plead ignorance on this one as I am not familiar with the anti-clothesline ordinance and cannot imagine the rationale for prohibiting clotheslines.  There may be some reason for the prohibition from days past to prevent a home-based laundry business but surely that is anachronistic.  If that is the case, then the anti-clothesline ordinance must go.  I need to check quickly on this as we have a clothesline in our backyard that we use occasionally!

Supplement sent on 23 Nov 09 - Clothesline law – there is not a city ordinance or rule that prohibits the use of a clothesline for drying clothes on your residential property.  This applies only to residential neighborhoods not covered by an HOA or other such agreement.  Individual HOAs may impose such a restriction.

Piotr Gajewski (incumbent councilmember, 1 term)

No response thusfar

Carl Henn

I regularly line dry my clothes.  It is the most environmentally sound way to dry clothing.  The City of Rockville doesn’t ban line drying to my knowledge.  But many Home Owners Associations in Rockville do ban line drying, or place unreasonable restrictions on it.    The threat of global warming is too great to allow a misplaced concern about aesthetics to bar the most energy efficient approach.  Back in the 50’s HOAs would ban blacks from living in white neighborhoods.  Legislation then took away the authority of HOAs to enforce such wrong headed regulations.  HOAs shouldn’t have the authority to require excess pollution, energy waste and global warming.  I would support City and State action to ensure that citizen’s will have the right to hang their laundry.

 
Trapper Martin

Dryers are certainly getting more efficient and electricity prices can be locked in for the next two years through Clean Currents which I encourage all to sign up for. Dryers account for an average of 6% of the home electric bill.  That being said I wouldn’t

Tom Moore

Line drying seems like a good idea also.  I would guess that rules against it stemmed from a desire to reduce visual pollution at some point.  If  that's the case, I would be willing to explore whether the balance between ecology and aesthetics has shifted -- in fact, I bet that given the general increased awareness of environmental issues, a clothesline isn't nearly the eyesore it might have been considered years ago.

Bridget Newton

Once again, I support the idea of line drying in theory and have used it myself for years – albeit mostly in my basement.  I see the challenge being in maintaining the aesthetic values of our city with the desires of a homeowner to be more responsible environmentally and prudent fiscally.  The challenge is in finding a balance that achieves both objectives.

Virginia Onley

No response thusfar

Waleed Ovase

No response thusfar

Mark Pierzchala

I think people should be allowed to dry clothes on a clothes line

Max Van Balgooy

No response thusfar

Originally posted to Enterik on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 05:22 PM PDT.

Poll

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| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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