Swimming Pools & Safety
Required Zoning & CodingThe City of Lebanon Zoning Ordinance and the International Residential Building Code both require a Zoning/Building permit to install a swimming pool, spa or hot tub that is designed to contain a water depth of 24 inches or more. The pool, spa or hot tub must be located not less than 15 feet from side and rear property lot lines. This applies to in-ground pools, above-ground pools, spas and hot tubs. The pool, spa or hot tub must be located in the rear or side yard unless a special exception is obtained from the City's Zoning Board to put it in the front yard.
Both the Zoning Ordinance and Building Code contain standards for pool safety. A pool, spa or hot tub containing a water depth of 24 inches or more must be entirely enclosed with a chain link, stockade type, or other equivalent fence of not less than 4 feet in height, measured from finished grade (i.e., ground level).
Enclosures, Gates, Safety Measures
Every above-ground pool, spa or hot tub with sides less than 4 feet above finished grade should be fenced, in accordance with the requirements stated above for in-ground pools. However, above-ground pools, spas or hot tubs, with sides at or greater than 4 feet above the finished grade, do not require a separate enclosure, but must be secured with a locking gate, locking/removable ladder, or the like. If a deck attached to the house is used to access the pool, an alarm system for the door used to access the deck and pool is also required. There are other additional/optional safety devices available on the market. Some sound an alarm when the surface water is disturbed; others alarm when a child jumps or falls into water while wearing a special electronic bracelet.
Safety Versus Parent Supervision
The enclosure and barrier requirements are to prevent a homeowner from becoming involved in a tragic accident - the drowning or near-drowning of a child. The consequences of a near-drowning can be lifelong disabilities for the child or adult. If proper procedures are followed by obtaining a permit, maintaining the pool in compliance with the requirements, and proper supervision is exercised, this type of accident is entirely preventable. Please take note, all the safety features described above are not a substitute for vigilant parental supervision whenever a child is in a pool, has access to a pool or any natural body of water.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is calling for all pools to be enclosed with appropriate fencing and to teach all children to swim as early as possible.
"Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and minority children drown in pools at an alarming rate. The lives of countless children can be saved this summer. Take simple safety steps today-teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water." -CPSC Chairman Inez TenenbaumFor more information on using your pool safely, please visit poolsafely.gov. If you have any questions regarding the swimming pool permit process, please contact the Codes Office at Lebanon City Hall, 603-448-1524.