I was just alerted by someone that out at Weetalabah Estate in Queanbeyan people aren’t allowed to erect a clothes line. Residents are therefore forced to dry clothes in a dryer. I had heard of this kind of madness in the US but was appalled that it had made it here. So I thought I’d check and see if it’s really true. I found the management plan for Weetalabah Estate here. Now this is a semi-rural estate with lots of 2 – 7 acres (roughly, as far as I can tell).
Item 4.0.5 (Housing and Outbuilding) mentions this item. Now, my friend didn’t have it quite right. People are allowed to have a clothes drying area. As long as it is screened on all sides to a height of 2.1 metres and completely invisible to any and all other people on the estate. You know, I don’t think much drying will get done when your line is essentially at the bottom of a steep-sided hole. So although they haven’t technically banned clothes lines, it seems it would be extremely difficult to actually dry clothes on one. Most people would probably give up in disgust and use the electric dryer.
The management plan in general makes for pretty unpleasant reading. There are also lots of other restrictions: on rainwater tanks; minimum house sizes (165 sqm, not including garagesand whatnot); maximum garden shed size (12 sqm – for a hobby farm??); and no hoofed animals (except, strangely, a single sheep, no horses allowed). Oddly, although there’s a maximumof three dogs, there’s no maximum on cats. Now, obviously people buy into this estate (hopefully) having read the plan and therefore are aware of the myriad things they’re not allowed to do. But I think that surely there has to be a limit on what can be restricted? Is a restriction OK when it causes so much damage, such as increased CO2, increased reliance on town water? Is people’s willingness to accept it an excuse for getting away with it?
PS: I know Queanbeyan isn’t ACT, but I’m guessing that most residents work here.