Sightline Institute, which advocates for sustainability, recently set out to find out where in the Northwest it’s against the rules to hang your laundry out to dry. With help – including Diane‘s thread in the WSB Forums – they discovered several communities, including the High Point development here in West Seattle – a place where clotheslines aren’t allowed, though “green” features abound. Sightline says the ban is a missed opportunity for saving a significant amount of electricity. So why isn’t outdoor laundry-drying allowed at High Point? We asked the Seattle Housing Authority, which manages the development, and spokesperson Virginia Felton sent a lengthy reply – including word that the policy might be up for reconsideration:
It is correct that clotheslines are prohibited at High Point, by the “CC&Rs” at High
Point (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions). Presumably these are read by prospective buyers before they decide to move in. In fact, the Homeowners Association at High Point is currently considering revisions to the design guidelines at High Point, and this issue could be part of that discussion. The issue has come up a few times in the past few years, but the Homeowners Association has, so far, not made a move to change the policy.
Some of the considerations include the following:
* While no one disputes that it is clearly a greener way of drying laundry, not everyone is thrilled at the sight of laundry drying. In fact some households have expressed a clear preference for not seeing other people’s laundry in their yards.
* High Point fences are purposely low, and the neighborhood is dense, and it would be very difficult for people to have clotheslines that were not visible from the street or others’ yards.
* Some of the High Point rental families are quite large – this could result in lots of laundry to be hung.
* The community is looking to have community-wide policies that apply to renters and home-owners alike. In the past, there have been separate rules for the renters and the homeowners. Having two distinct sets of rules has been part of the frustration expressed by homeowners. Because High Point housing is so dense, and rentals and market rate homes are integrated on most blocks, an allowance for homeowners would truly require making an allowance for renters as well.
High Point residents wishing to express an opinion on this issue may contact the HOA manager, Heather Hutchinson at Heather.Hutchison@cdcmanagement.com.