Great Neck amends village clothesline law

Clothes pins hang on an ice-covered wash line. Clothes pins hang on an ice-covered wash line. Photo Credit: AP, 2007

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Great Neck village trustees have slightly altered the village's new law on clotheslines, opting to allow residents to place the lines in more areas on their properties while still banning clothes-drying in front yards.

Under the law amended Tuesday, residents are prohibited from erecting clotheslines or drying clothes in a front yard or within 2 feet of any property line, but are allowed to place clotheslines within certain areas in side yards.

Previously, the law, which the board passed unanimously in December, prohibited clotheslines in front yards and closer than 10 feet to any property line. Backyard clotheslines, as before, remain legal.

Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said the change, which passed unanimously, was prompted by a resident's concern.

"It was a resident who called to our attention that we may have been overly broad in defining the area," Kreitzman said, adding that the intent of the law was to keep hanging laundry out of neighbors' view.

During the public hearing, resident Elizabeth Allen asked the board to also consider reducing the possible penalty for violating the law -- currently set at a maximum of $1,000 fine, 15 days in jail, or both.

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"There is no possible civic benefit for having such a draconian fine even possibly hanging over somebody's head -- and I do mean hanging," Allen said.

The board declined to alter the penalty.

The village board also voted unanimously to allow itself to override the state tax cap in the coming budget. Kreitzman said since the consequences of inadvertently going over the cap were severe, the village adopted the measure as a precaution, as board members start the budget process for the next fiscal year, which starts June 1.

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