Editorial: We’d like to see clotheslines allowed for all

We’d like to see everyone have a clothesline rather than the other way around.

People who want to have clotheslines should be allowed to have them, and we think that stratas should not be allowed to create rules against them.

In our Wednesday edition we brought readers the story of a Mill Bay woman who would like to be able to put up a clothesline, but is prevented from doing so by the bylaws of her strata. Many others face similar restrictions. In investigating this piece we discovered that the Cowichan Valley Regional District, could, theoretically, regulate clotheslines. While it seems they have no interest in doing so right now, the very fact that they could at some point ban them if they got enough directors on board is disturbing.

We’d like to see everyone have a clothesline rather than the other way around.

We are facing runaway climate change. Most of us are trying to reduce our energy consumption on a day to day basis. Clotheslines are an excellent and easy way to do so.

When you look at why stratas and other neighbourhoods got into the clothesline banning business it was really all about snobbery, we’d guess. Clotheslines were suddenly deemed unsightly. Hanging one’s clothes (especially, we imagine, underwear, gasp!) in public was gauche. One would only do so if one couldn’t afford a dryer. At the heart of it all nobody wanted to look poor. And in the meantime, they could look better, more upper crust, than other neighbourhoods.

After a while, it just became something that wasn’t done in many new stratas.

In this day and age it’s time to cast off this antiquated and false classism.

Rather than spending big bucks on dryer sheets to make your clothes smell like you hung them outside, you might want to try actually hanging them outside. Rather than adding to your electric bill to run the dryer during the summer, let the sun do the work for you.

In 2008 Ontario brought in regulations that allow clotheslines for almost everyone. We’d like to see B.C. do the same.

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