Village of Great Neck officials on Tuesday agreed to rethink a law passed earlier this month that regulates clothesline usage.
First reported by Patch, the story garnered national media attention from various news outlets — including a front page Drudge Report headline citing a local CBS News report.
Passed by unanimous vote Dec. 4, board members banned front yard clotheslines and those within 10 feet of any property line. Violators now face a maximum $1,000 fine, 15 days in jail, or both.
At Village Hall Tuesday, the story took on a new perspective after a village resident voiced concerns regarding specifics of the new legislation which he said went unintentionally broader than needed causing environmental and other concerns.
"You've banned clotheslines and clothes drying not just in the front yard but from both side yards and also from a very substantial portion of the rear yard" said resident Daniel Capruso.
Capruso said he does not use his electric dryer because he does not believe in polluting or using up fossil fuels and creating carbon emissions when he can go outside and dry clothes with zero carbon emissions.
"This is a serious matter," Capruso said.
With no objection to the front yard aspect of the law, Capruso suggested an amendment to allow clotheslines in side yards.
"Why is a clothes line so much more obnoxious than a garage or a driveway? I don't understand that," Capruso asked.
After hearing Capruso speak, village board members agreed that an amendment to the new law might be needed.
Village Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said the law was intended to be aesthetic.
"Your statement about intentionally we went broader than intended is true," said Kreitzman. "Now that I read this, I think many of us agree with you and we really thank you for calling this to our attention."
"This seemed to be somewhat rushed through," said Trustee Mark Birnbaum, adding, "everybody has a headache" as a result of the national media attention.
Birnbaum suggested the board might not have "really" looked at the aesthetics before passing the law, but he agreed with its intent.
"I still think that we should prevent people from hanging their laundry where as you are driving by you see the dirty laundry flapping," Birnbaum said.
Kreitzman said the village board will give it some thought and discuss possible amendments at the next village board meeting.