Homeowners who want to add a backyard swimming pool to their property should be mindful of the zoning laws in their community and of any other local ordinances that apply to new pool construction and pool remodeling projects. You can save potentially costly and time-consuming headaches by hiring an experienced Arizona pool builder whose staff is thoroughly familiar with the rules and regulations regarding pools and spas in your city of residence.
Zoning laws and building codes that apply to pool construction are meant to keep pools safe and protect the rights of neighboring property owners and the public. As is generally true across the country, Phoenix area pools require a building permit that your city issues subject to submission and approval of a professionally drawn plan. Swimming pools can’t be placed in the front yard of a residence, must be adequately fenced, must be set back a certain distance from the property line and can’t intrude into easements and rights-of-way.
Be aware that any water feature that meets certain criteria could be subject to the same regulations as a true swimming pool for code purposes. Municipalities in the Valley, as well as Maricopa County itself, generally define a swimming pool as a body of water at least 18 inches deep and 8 feet across or more at any point. Some city codes add that the water must be “intended for swimming or bathing purposes,” or similar language, for pool codes to apply. But it’s possible that structures such as wading pools, decorative pools and ponds, fountains or fish ponds could be subject to the same rules regarding fencing and location as a swimming pool is.
Here is a sampling of the code requirements for pools in some of the Valley’s larger municipalities:
- Phoenix – Pools must be set back at least 3 feet from the property line, and a survey or survey waiver is required if the pool is built closer than 2 feet to the setback. Two inspections occur during the Phoenix pool construction process – one before the concrete, or gunite, is sprayed on, and one before the plastering is performed. Phoenix pool fences must be at least 5 feet high, and the fencing is examined for compliance as part of the pre-plaster inspection.
- Scottsdale – A site plan, a pool plan, a fencing plan and design calculations must be submitted to the City. Scottsdale pools must be separated from adjacent properties by a fence at least 5 feet high and from the residence on the property by a fence at least 4 feet high. The minimum setback from the property line is only 2 feet, provided the pool doesn’t encroach into any easements. If there is an easement, not only the pool itself but the deck and pool equipment must not encroach on it. A 5-foot buffer must be left between the pool and any designated Natural Area Open Space (NAOS), even if it’s on an adjacent property.
- Mesa – Mesa swimming pools have to be built with a 5-foot perimeter fence and with the water’s edge no less than 4 feet from property lines. Outdoor electric outlets must be at least 10 feet from the water’s edge.
- Glendale – Swimming pools in Glendale have to be built with a 5-feet perimeter fence. There must also be a 5-foot fence between the house and the pool, if any children younger than 6 live there. The required setback is 3 feet.
Note that some cities like Glendale and Peoria whose fencing requirements depend on the age of the residents of the house – for instance, no pool barrier is needed if there are no children under age 6 or 7 – require an affidavit to be filed along with the other paperwork attesting that no children under the minimum age will be living there.
If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, it’s critical that you find out their policies regarding pool construction and get the necessary HOA permits in addition to whatever paperwork your city requires.
As a top Scottsdale pool contractor, Hop Cassidy Pools has been engaged in Arizona pool construction and pool remodels for more than 25 years. The Arizona pool professionals at Hop Cassidy are familiar with the technical, business and legal aspects of pool construction in the Valley of the Sun, ensuring that your pool project will go smoothly and efficiently. We specialize in custom pool design and the construction of luxury pools for individual homeowners, as well as for some of the Valley’s most prestigious contractors. Call Hop Cassidy today at 480-905-8780 or contact us online at http://www.hopcassidypools.com/contact.html for a free initial consultation and price quote on the pool of your dreams.