Introduced by Representatives Donovan of Burlington and McLaughlin of Royalton
Subject: Conservation; right to dry; clotheslines
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to prohibit state or local laws or regulations or private contracts from limiting the ability of dwellers to erect and use clotheslines for the drying of clothes. The bill proposes to void existing regulations and contracts that conflict with its terms, but not to limit the reasonable regulation of clotheslines as necessary to allow access to buildings, to allow rapid evacuation in case of fire, and to protect aesthetic values.
AN ACT RELATING TO LIMITING THE ABILITY TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF CLOTHESLINES FOR THE DRYING OF CLOTHES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
The general assembly finds that prohibiting or limiting the ability of people to sun-dry their laundry has the effect of discouraging people from conserving energy. It is the purpose of this act to encourage energy conservation by prohibiting governmental regulations and private contracts which restrict the use of clotheslines.
Sec. 2. 9 V.S.A. chapter 86 is added to read:
CHAPTER 86. RIGHT TO USE OF CLOTHESLINES
§ 3231. RIGHT TO USE OF CLOTHESLINES
(a) Definitions. For purposes of this chapter:
(1) “Building, housing, and health regulations” means any law, ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning health, safety, sanitation, or fitness for habitation or concerning the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance of any premises or dwelling unit.
(2) “Dwelling unit” means a building or the part of a building that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons who maintain a household.
(3) “Landlord” means the owner, lessor, or where applicable, the sublessor of a residential dwelling unit or the building of which it is a part.
(4) “Premises” means a dwelling unit, its appurtenances, and the building, and its grounds, areas, and facilities.
(5) “Tenant” means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a residential dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.
(b) Right to dry. Notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary, no building, housing, or health regulations of any government entity, and no contract of any manner whatsoever, including those between landlord and tenant, those between members of cooperatives, and those between joint owners, may prohibit one or more persons from erecting and using clotheslines on the premises for the purpose of drying clothes. Any such regulations or contracts in existence on enactment of this chapter are void as of the effective date of this chapter. This prohibition shall not limit the reasonable regulation of the location of clotheslines on the premises in order to protect access to buildings, to protect the ability to evacuate buildings in case of fire or other emergency, and to protect aesthetic values.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street