Great Neck Village Bans Front Yard Clotheslines

Trustees pass new law Tuesday which restricts air drying to back yards only.

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.

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Tom W. December 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Hey this hanging close in the front yard to dry is one thing ;; but when they start telling you what you can and can not park in your driveway then they are deffinatly going to far-- first of all it is none of there business and second of all when emergancies come up you do not have the time to go park in a lot miles frome home and wait for a cab to get home or wait for a cab to take you to your car miles away !!! besides they can not just tow it away any how because alot of people drive vehicals that can not be moved by a regular 1 ton tow truck as there daily drivers -- I'd like to see some stupid idiot try to pick up the back end of a ( 6x10 ) with a big ( Cat ) or other equipment on it at a weight of ( 50 tons and up ) -- you would have the front of the 1 ton tow truck off the ground or flip the tow truck over.
Jeannette Donovan December 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM
We went to Europe recently & guess what - everyone had their laundry drying out in front of their apartments & houses. They call it saving the atmosphere & money. Sounds like some folks need to get a life of their own & butt out of everyone else's lives.
Raphael Halegua December 14, 2012 at 02:13 AM
1st it was smoking ban on middleneck road now front clothslines . whats nextdont they have anything better like finding out why we dont have businessesstaying or shoppers coming here .
Rich Jacques December 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Great Neck Village to target 'noise' Tuesday http://patch.com/A-00vs
Rich Jacques December 19, 2012 at 08:49 AM
Exclusive: Great Neck village board agrees to rethink clothesline ban http://patch.com/A-014V


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