Most by-laws require owners of privately owned swimming pools to ensure that they adhere to the appropriate setbacks from the property line. Some cities even require some sort of enclosure or fence to surround all privately owned pools. Permits are generally required for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
The process for obtaining a pool permit and a pool enclosure permit are very similar. Make sure that you are able to receive the necessary signed and sealed drawing by a licensed engineer, if required, for the enclosure. Double check with your city to make sure you are filling out the right permits for both! Some cities also require all personal pool owners to have a barrier of some type surrounding the pool. Thinking of getting a pool? Get a pool enclosure at the same time - upgrade the safety of your pool and complete both permits at once!
Read the By-Laws
Pool owners, read your city’s by-laws! The by-laws will give you any information you need related to understanding where you can build your pool, inspections on the pool, maintenance, and any requirements the city may have. Each city’s by-laws include general safety tips and requirements when it comes to pools. It’s extremely important to read the by-laws before any construction begins so that you know you’re following all the legal procedures that are in place!
Obtain a Permit
Most cities require pool owners to obtain a permit from the city. A permit must be obtained before any work on the pool can begin. Permits are necessary to ensure zoning standards, fencing requirements, safety, and other regulations are met. To obtain a permit, pool owners must submit an application. The application always includes at least two copies of the proposed site plans and all permit fees. From city to city, application requirements vary but can include:
- Detailed drawings of the proposed pool
- Map of property lines and existing surrounding buildings
- Map with distances between pool and all property lines shown
- Plumbing plans
Pool enclosures are often considered an accessory structure and some cities require separate applications to be completed for the enclosure, as they are considered accessory structures that add on to a property’s square footage.
After you have submitted a permit application, most cities will have a plan examiner advise you on potential modifications to your plans or pass the permit. In some cases, inspections will be required to ensure that the plans for your pool & enclosure follow all the guidelines.
Congratulations! Your permit has passed and you can now begin construction on your pool. Keep in mind that permits do expire! Make sure you double check the expiry date on your permit - should no meaningful construction begin on your project before that date, you must apply for another permit before you can begin!