Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs clothesline protection bill

Jasmine, 10, and Sarah, 8, help their mom Jennifer Khal take down the wash from the clothesline in the backyard on June 12, 1997.
Jasmine, 10, and Sarah, 8, help their mom Jennifer Khal take down the wash from the clothesline in the backyard on June 12, 1997. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Power to the people who hang their clothes out to dry.

In what a legislative analysis called a “modest energy conservation and freedom of choice measure,” Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation requiring property managers to let renters and homeowner association members string clotheslines in private areas.

Assembly Bill 1448, by Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, comes amid heightened concern about greenhouse gas emissions in California – and the energy consumption of driers.

But victory was longtime coming. Many property managers have strict standards for clotheslines, considering them unsightly, and controversy over their use has flared since the energy crisis more than a decade ago.

Brown signed the measure without comment. The bill’s framing as an environmental issue could only have made it more appealing to the climate change-focused, less-is-more governor.

Still, there are limits.

Clothesline was defined to include a “cord, rope, or wire from which laundered items may be hung to dry or air.”

At least for now in California, draping your skivvies over a balcony or railing could still be banned.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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