If you are thinking about adding a pool to your Connecticut or New York outdoor living space, you’re probably wondering what regulatory and zoning hoops you will need to jump through before breaking ground. Some of the most common pool regulations questions we field from clients considering a residential pool include: Will I need a fence around my pool? How close to my property line can I put a pool? Can I build a pool in my side yard?
The tricky part about zoning is that there are no universal answers to these questions because regulations are highly localized. So, the requirements for building a pool in Hudson Valley, NY, are not necessarily the same as zoning regulations to get a pool building permit in Stamford, CT. For this reason, you should partner with swimming pool builders that have a relationship with your city’s building and engineering departments, understands permitting rules and can guide you down the right path.
All that said, let’s answer some of your most frequently asked questions about pool regulations and zoning. And, we encourage you to ask these questions of your pool builder and be sure the company is in tune with exactly what’s allowed in your New York or Connecticut community.
What are ANSI Standards for Swimming Pools?
If you’ve done any research on pool zoning and regulations for NY and CT, you’ve probably come across the acronym ANSI. This stands for the American National Standards Institute, its role is to develop rules and procedures. In the case of residential pools, ANSI has standards that builders should comply with to assure safety and integrity. Any pool builder you hire should know these standards.
Do you need a fence around a pool in CT or NY?
Yes, there are specific barrier requirements for pools in Connecticut that the state explains in its swimming pools handout. Namely, fencing must be 48 inches (4 feet) high with no more than a 2-inch gap between the ground and fence bottom. The building code details exactly what type of fencing is allowed, along with requiring no protrusions in solid fencing. In New York, your swimming pool also must be enclosed with a fence that is at least 4 feet tall and include self-closing and positive-latching doors or gates with latch/knobs at least 40 inches above the ground. The bottom line: Barriers are a must, and even if a fence was not required, we would recommend a barrier around your New York or Connecticut pool to prevent accidental drowning.
How Close to a Property Line Can You Put a Pool?
Before starting any type of building project, you should know your property line, which you can find on a property plat. If you do not have one, you’ll need a survey to identify property lines. There are specific rules depending on where you live related to how close to your property line you can build a pool, or any structure for that matter. Keep in mind, this property line requirement also applies to pool equipment. If you do not abide by property line requirements, you could face hefty fines—and probably some not-so-happy neighbors, too. Any licensed, reputable pool construction company in NY or CT will address property lines before presenting a pool design. Again, property line regulations vary by community. For example, in Bristol, CT, a swimming pool must be in the back yard, aligned with the back line of your house or deck, and at least 5 feet away from any property line.
Can You Put a Pool in Your CT or NY Side Yard?
Many communities require in-ground swimming pools to be located behind the house in a back yard. For example, the City of Norwalk, CT, follows the Basic Building Code of the State of Connecticut, which says “no wall of any swimming pool shall be located less than 6 feet from any rear or side property line nor 10 feet from any street property line.” Watertown, CT, code says private swimming pools cannot encroach on any front or side yard. So, basically, you have to build a pool in your back yard. You can even have a backyard with pool and basketball court if you want to.
Are There Exceptions to Pool Zoning Rules in CT or NY?
If you want to deviate from your city’s zoning requirements, you will have to file a variance that is reviewed by a zoning board. A variance can be approved or denied. If a variance is granted, you can use your property in a way that is not permitted by the zoning ordinance. Some reasons to apply for a variance might be if the “ground coverage” of your dream pool exceeds what is allowed by city zoning laws. So, perhaps you want a pool that is 2 feet larger than what would be allowed. Another reason to request a variance might be if your pool will not comply with the city’s setback limits. For example, your dream pool will be 4 feet from the property line instead of the required 5 feet. Ideally, your pool builder should design a pool that complies with all zoning requirements because variances are not guaranteed, and then it’s back to the drawing board.
Build the Pool of Your Dreams
With the complexity of zoning regulations, building the pool you really want can seem like mission impossible. But rest assured, an experienced, licensed pool design and construction company will manage all approvals so you can focus on the fun of bringing your pool dreams to life. Let’s talk about the possibilities for your ideal CT or NY pool or answer some obvious questions such as how long does it take to install a pool. Learn more by calling us at 845-463-0592 in Hudson Valley, 914-271-7996 in Westchester, 203-212-4800 in Connecticut and 212-368-9954 in New York City. Or, fill out this contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.