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SB 130 – Prohibiting Restrictive Covenants on Clothes Lines

Apparently there are some restrictive covenants, made by neighborhood or civic associations, that prohibit a property owner from installing or using a clothesline on their property.

Senate Bill 130 will prohibit those restrictive covenants from effect. Proponents for this bill argue that allowing for clotheslines is both environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The average electric dryer requires 2.1 kilowatt hours (kwh) to complete each load of laundry, although, depending on the settings, this may be as much as 6 kwh per load. This translates to significant CO2 emissions and costs.

Seven states have enacted laws that protect the ability of a homeowner to use a clothesline.

This bill does not affect the enforceability of any conservation easement or historic preservation covenant or prevent reasonable restrictions on clotheslines if the restriction is necessary to protect any of the following:

  • Public health and safety, such as ensuring safe access to and rapid evacuation of a building.
  • Buildings from damage.
  • Historic or aesthetic values, when an alternative of reasonably comparable cost and convenience is available.

This bill allows communities flexibility to adopt reasonable restrictions that fit the needs and characteristics of their neighborhoods, such as restricting clotheslines to private backyards or requiring them to be retracted when not in use.

SENATE BILL 130 PROHIBITING RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS ON CLOTHES LINESCurrrent Status – Senate Elections & Government Affairs 5/16/23
House SponsorsPhillips, Williams, OsienskiSenate Sponsors Sturgeon, Pinkney, Hoffner, Huxtable, Lockman, Walsh
House Yes VotesSenate Yes Votes
House No VotesSenate No Votes
House Absents or Not VotingSenate Absent or Not Voting

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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