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It is that time of year again when back yards are filled with the sounds of laughter and enjoyment from private backyard pools and hot tubs.
In order to ensure these pools and hot tubs are installed and used in a safe manner, some changes have been made to the Land Use Bylaw regarding their installation and maintenance.
Council passed these changes during their regular meeting on June 22. Please note these changes can be found in the Land Use Bylaw 944-13 Section 5.23 (Private Swimming Pools).
Previously, the Land Use Bylaw required a development permit for all hot tubs and swimming pools either above ground or below ground – regardless of the depth. This meant that a three-foot Kiddie Pool six inches deep required a development permit. In reviewing the Bylaw, it was felt a change was needed.
“We felt that was a burden for local residents,” said CAO Clark McAskile. “Especially this summer when people are staying home because they provide a good deal of entertainment and keep kids in their own yards. So what we did is take out the requirement for a development permit for any aboveground swimming pool or hot tub purchased from a store. They are already CSA approved.
“However, anything outdoors still requires a minimum two-metre fence around it with a locking gate. That is to secure against child trespass and the general safety of the pool.
“The Town wants everyone to enjoy their swimming pools and enjoy their summer, but we want to do this safely.”
A development permit is required for any permanent belowground private swimming pool or hot tub, or a swimming pool or hot tub enclosed within a new building or structure. You need to secure a development permit prior to installation.
Above ground outside pools do not require a permit. But all pools and hot tubs must be either contained inside structure or placed on the side of rear property of an entirely fenced rear or side yard. Pools and hot tubs are not permitted on front properties.
Fences must be at least two metres in height. In some cases, they can be taller.
These fences must be designed to limit the ability of people either climbing over or crawling under. Fences need to be equipped with a self-latching gate with a locking mechanism on the inside, and no barbed wire or electrification is allowed.
All private swimming pools and hot tubs located inside a structure must comply with Alberta Building Code requirements.
For more information, please see the Town’s Land Use Bylaw online at: http://www.highlevel.ca/186/Bylaws