Mill Bay’s Judy van der Boom is wondering why more people aren’t using clotheslines anymore. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Mill Bay woman wants clotheslines allowed in her strata

“Why is it that I don’t see any clotheslines in this area?”

With a significant part of the globe’s population become aware of and/or trying to combat global warming, Mill Bay’s Judy van der Boom is wondering why more people aren’t using clotheslines.

There really is nothing you can add to your drier that beats the smell of fresh air and sunshine, she said. And it saves money and energy, too.

“Why is it that I don’t see any clotheslines in this area? I grew up with laundry hanging from clotheslines and I was used to drying our laundry that way ever since, until we came to live here,” she wrote to the Citizen recently. “Just imagine, if you will, the amount of electricity we would save and the reduction of our carbon footprint if we hung our laundry on lines to dry.”

BC Hydro lists hang-drying laundry in its top 10 list of easy ways to cut laundry costs.

“Hanging four out of eight loads per week could save you $45 a year,” said the BC Hydro website. Not to mention supplies like drier sheets.

The reason van der Boom doesn’t see clothes out on the line in her neighbourhood is because she lives in a strata that prohibits clotheslines.

According to the Mill Springs strata bylaws, “An owner or occupant may not erect or install a clothesline or other similar device anywhere on his or her strata lot.”

Van der Boom asked the former property manager to look into it two years ago. She never heard back.

“I know it’s not an urgent issue; however, considering how every ‘green’ person jumps on the bandwagon about using less fossil energy and saving our planet, I can’t help but wonder why nobody jumps on the bandwagon about using solar and wind power to dry laundry,” she said.

The property management company has changed recently so now is the time to revisit the idea.

“In view of all the hype regarding going green, I feel that it’s time to review these rules and negotiate an amicable solution,” she explained. “Also being on a pension, any saving will be very welcomed,” she noted.

The property management company did not reply to the Citizen before press time.

Meanwhile, according to the CVRD’s senior planners, local governments are permitted to adopt zoning bylaw provisions intended to regulate clotheslines.

“These provisions might include location requirements (i.e. setbacks from property line), maximum height requirements, or design standards,” according to CVRD planning coordinator Keith Batstone. “While many local governments do not actively seek to regulate clotheslines, it appears that many local governments do seek to establish minimum development standards for clotheslines, as opposed to pursuing an outright ban on clotheslines.”

The CVRD does not currently seek to regulate clotheslines in electoral areas.

The CVRD’s Land Use Services department would “likely recommend against a prohibition on clotheslines on the basis that it would be contrary to the environmental objectives of our communities, which broadly seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting for conventional household energy sources,” Batstone said.

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