Clotheslines, rain barrels, solar panels and wind turbines are great for the environment. They're just missing a few degrees in the looks department, which gives many homeowners' associations pause.
But the lowly clothesline may soon have its day in the sun.
"Some people just think it's only what poor people do," Alexander Lee, founder and executive director of Project Laundry List said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. "But to more people it's becoming the eco-chic thing to do."
Try telling that to Katie Roberts' community association, which bans clotheslines, solar lights, solar thermal panels and rain barrels over two feet.
Roberts, who lives in Seven Oaks in Odenton, Md., works for an eco-conscious company and has renovated the inside of her home to save energy. But when she decided to add a bigger than 2 foot rain barrel made from an old wooden wine cask to her backyard, it was no-can-do, according to The Sun.
"Anything bigger than 2 feet is considered a statue," Roberts said.
Her problem is not unique, according to the Maryland Homeowners' Association Inc. As individuals homeowners become more environmentally conscious, their neighborhood associations haven't always kept up -- even as some states, like Maryland, have.
Roberts has decided that one person can make a difference, though, and she's looking to form a committee to change some of the rules.
"I'm not OK with sitting back because they said no," she said.