LONG ISLAND, NY -- From the cradle to the coffin, underwear comes first, Berlolt Brecht once said.
But that's apparently not the case in Great Neck Village.
By unanimous vote Tuesday, the Great Neck Village Board of Trustees agreed that front lawns are no place for undergarments to be blowing in the wind.
"Frankly, I think it's rather disconcerting for people to come into a neighborhood and view on the front-filled lawn of someone's home, various articles of clothing, undergarments, what have you, flapping in the breeze," said Trustee Jeffrey Bass.
By a 5-0 vote, the board limited clothesline use to backyards of neighborhood homes.
Village Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said the need for the new law came about because of a complaint from a resident who witnessed a neighbor drying clothes from a front yard clothesline.
"I think that I can reiterate that we are embarrassed there is a need for this," said Kreitzman.
Previously, village code had no ordinance precluding clothesline usage, according to Kreitzman.
The proposed ruling rankled some at Village Hall during a sparsley-attended public hearing on the issue.
"As the proud owner of a clothesline in my rear yard, I just wonder what is so offensive about clotheslines?" said outspoken resident Elizabeth Allen.
Kreitzman responded by saying he doesn't think clotheslines are offensive, but "my personal view is, they don't belong in a front yard."
Birnbaum said clotheslines detract from the kind of standards the village and neighborhood are looking to have and maintain.
"I certainly don't mind the clothesline in the backyard but I don't believe it's appropriate for the front yard," said Bass.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 7, 2012
An earlier version of this article quoted Trustee Mark Birnbaum. The quotes were made by Trustee Jeffrey Bass, not Birnbaum.