Another reason I no longer rent

I believe the limits of my empathy have been tested by this case:

A nudist couple living in north Boulder is complaining about discrimination after being asked by their landlord to “dress appropriately” when outside of their unit.

Neighbors complained to police last weekend after they saw Catharine Pierce, 51, and Robert Pierce, 58, gardening outside their Cherry Avenue rental home nearly naked. Catharine Pierce was wearing pasties, and both wore thongs.

Under the law, this is technically enough to avoid an indecent-exposure rap, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a letter from the landlord:

[O]n Wednesday, the Pierces received a letter form Annie Mount at Boulder Housing Partners, their landlord, warning that the behavior was a “nuisance” to the community and needed to be changed.

A clause in the Pierces’ lease prohibits “nuisance” behavior, and violating the lease agreement can be grounds for eviction.

And while I’d tend to side with the Pierces, given my own yard-work tendencies — in the back yard, anyway — this minor detail keeps getting in the way: Boulder Housing Partners is a public-housing operation, its members appointed by the Mayor, which provides, in this specific instance, a rent house at a below-market rate.

In the best of all possible worlds, nobody would even bat an eye at a fiftysomething couple dressed in about three and a half square inches of fabric. Absent some agreement among Boulder taxpayers that this sort of thing is okay in the housing they own, though, my own glance remains stubbornly askance.


  1. Kay Dennison »

    7 June 2009 · 12:03 pm

    Hmmmmmm . . . the Puritans are always with us. While I would not be seen outside my house without a bit more than adequate covering (I’ve never even worn a two piece swimsuit — even in my misspent youth) I certainly wouldn’t cast stones at what someone else does in their back yard. It’s yet another attempt to legislate morality.

  2. Jeffro »

    7 June 2009 · 12:13 pm

    This happened in Boulder???

    I generally survey my ranching empire from the front porch wearing boxers.

    So it’s a good thing I live where I do.

  3. McGehee »

    7 June 2009 · 12:15 pm

    Kay, did you read the whole post?

  4. CGHill »

    7 June 2009 · 12:39 pm

    Well, it wasn’t their back yard where they were doing it.

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