Airing it out

Making the Town more picturesque

Phil Mataleven, story and photographs

The Towns of Rye and New Castle are working to support the air drying of clothes as part of their overall effort at energy saving.

Wry Reflections obtained a copy of the model ordinance that is under consideration in each Town. As you read this, please remember that it is a preliminary draft and subject to change as public hearings are held.


SECTION 1984 - Air Drying of Clothes.

1984.1  Purpose and Definitions. The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage the air drying of clothes as voluntary energy-saving that motivated individuals and families may undertake, while still preserving the character and dignity of the Town. Drying includes airing, fluffing, and similar activities designed to reduce the moisture content.

1984.2  Limits. Outdoor drying is subject to the following conditions:

(a) All outdoor drying of clothes, by lines, rotaries, hanging on trees, etc., must be within the normal lot setbacks for that particular zone and not visible from the street.

(b) No more than 2000 square feet of clothing may be dried at one time.

(c) Drying is not allowed on Sundays.

(d) No clothes may be dried higher than the building height limit of 35 feet.

(e) No clothes may be dried on a moving device, such as a windmill, except in so far as the motion is used to place and retrieve the clothing.

1984.3  Exceptions.  By special application clothes drying is allowed in front yards, if it meets these requirements:

(a) Clothes are always sorted by color.


Sorting clothes by color.


(b) Lines or reels of approved retro design are used.


Retro clothes reel.


1984.4  Advertising.  The Town is conducting an advertising campaign, using the figure of Perky Pat, the perfect housewife, and this jingle:

Air dry your clothes / To please your nose / And caress your toes.



Perky Pat Air Drying T-Shirt


T-shirts are available in S, M, L, XL, XXL sizes at at cost of $19.95 and in XXXL, XXXXL, OHMIGOD sizes at a cost of $22.95.

1984.5  Recycling.  To discourage backsliding, the Town will pick up your electric or gas clothes dryer at no cost, to be recycled, on two (2) designated days during the year.

1984.6  Enforcement. The Town position of Surveyor of Clotheslines is authorized for five (5) hours per week, to report to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Surveyor's primary task is to issue warning citations for violations of this ordinance. On the issuance of a third citation in a twelve-month period, the Surveyor is authorized to obtain a police escort and enter the home of the offender and place a Denver boot type of clamp on their washing machine for a period of one (1) month.



In a parallel universe, August, 2008




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