Posted on | April 18, 2008 | 13 Comments
Oh the horrors! The Ontario Home Builders Association has worked themselves into a tizzy over an uber serious issue here in Ontario – the veto on banning clothes lines. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the OHBA thinks it’s a terrible thing for the Ontario government to do.
Today, the Ontario gov announced that no longer will subdivisions etc in the Province of Ontario be allowed to ban the use of clothes lines. We are allowed to … er, air our clean laundry in public, so to say. For a long time many areas have forbidden the use of this venerable method of drying clothes. Not sure why anyone would get into a lather over such a thing, but there you have it. It was such an issue with some knuckle dragging folks, they actually banned the use of them. “Can’t have that in our neigbourhood”.
In this day and age of trying to get people to decrease their energy consumption, the ban made even less sense. To help remedy this Ontario has now said it can no longer be enforced. To encourage people to use clothes lines, Ontario Hydro will be giving out clothes lines (for both indoor and outdoor use).
Let’s slide back to our nimby brigade for a moment and peak into their complaints. Here are some quotes from Victor Fiume, past-president of the Ontario Home Builders Association and general manager of Oshawa-based Durham Homes:
“It’s taking away a right from people who knew (a ban) was in place and purchased a home because of that”.
If you purchased a house based upon such a facile reason, then you need to give your head a shake. Mr. Fiume, people don’t base their housing decisions on this silly ban. It might come into it in a minor way, but I seriously doubt people were saying to themselves “Oh honey, they don’t allow clothes lines – let’s move in today!”
“Is this what government should be doing – overturning contracts signed by parties voluntarily?
It wasn’t voluntary – if you didn’t agree, you didn’t get the house. Simple as that. A small matter of corporate heavy handedness at work here. Face it, the prospective home owner wasn’t offered a choice of clothes line/no clothes line. It was a done deal, there was NO negotiation on this matter.
“It’s a slippery slope to arbitrarily remove a covenant between builders and buyers.”
I love this line. If I had a nickel for every time someone trotted out this hoary old line, I’d be rich. No it is not the slippery slope. No one is suggesting we open up every single contract and negate the contents. Society has redressed a silly ban, one that is good for the environment. It also sends out a message that there is nothing wrong with a clothes line – it was all perception on the part of a small group of busy bodies who were more concerned with how things MAY look to them rather than how society will benefit as a whole. Clothes lines are not going to drag down the property values.
“With today’s lifestyle, no one has the time or inclination to hang their clothes outside to dry.”
If this is the case then why the ban? And Mr Fiume, you are wrong. Many people use clothes lines. Many people want to use clothes lines. Busy life style is no hindrance to this. It takes very little time to hang the clothes up, and little time to pull them down – but oh what a reward! This is a wonderful example of circular logic in action. Allow people the choice and let’s see who uses them. Just because you don’t like them, doesn’t mean they aren’t being used. There was a public demand for this ban. Dryers use 5 to 6 per cent of Ontario’s household electricity. That’s a lot of power. If only a few loads of laundry are dried on the line, think of the potential saving, think of the benefits.
Yes, I agree, sometimes we get so busy, we don’t have time, but when we do, then shouldn’t we have the option of using this old-fashioned, terribly efficient, terribly enviromentally friendly way of drying clothing? The blanket ban on the use of clothes lines had nothing to do with time and convenience. It had everything to do with a small group of people, with nothing better to do with their time than to take offense at sheets and shorts drying in the wind. Sorry, get over it. Pull your flippng blinds if you are that offended, or better yet, get councilling.