19 States Have “Right To Dry” Laws That Outlaw Clothesline Bans

Once upon a time, a clothesline was a standard feature of most backyards. However, concern that publicly airing clean laundry attached with clothespins to a rope or wire was unsightly, obstructed views, or even created a safety risk led a number of homeowners associations and rental property managers to ban clotheslines. Now, amidst growing concern about wasteful energy use, clothesline proponents argue that the traditional method of drying laundry is not only cheaper but better for the environment. Lawmakers in 19 states have agreed, enacting “right to dry” laws that prohibit bans on clotheslines. States that already have such bans include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. The exact nature of “right to dry” laws varies from state to state. While some prohibit clothesline bans directly, others recognize a right to use solar power that implicitly may preclude those in authority from preventing a homeowner from drying laundry in the sun.