Let’s talk about some good news!
Many residents are interested in installing swimming pools in their backyards, and have been concerned about the impact of current Village regulations on pools. We work hard to be responsive and adaptive, and so we’re moving quickly to address these issues. Last evening, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Village Board considered updated regulations relating to swimming pools--and those regulations were approved! Here are the major changes:
Temporary Swimming Pools
Our old requirements indicated that a temporary swimming pool could be up to 8 feet in diameter, and up to 16 inches deep. Such pools could only be kept in place for 2 days at a time. The new provisions allow for temporary swimming pools up to 16 feet in diameter, and up to 24 inches deep--and the pools can be kept in place for up to 2 weeks at a time. What does this mean?
- If you are not making any changes to your house, lot or yard, and...
- If you are considering a temporary (e.g. inflatable) swimming pool that is not larger than 16 feet in diameter and not deeper than 24 inches...
- You can buy and locate such a pool in your backyard, without any Village permit...
- Provided that you empty it out and take it down at least every two weeks. (I.e. you cannot keep it up all summer).
Permanent or Semi-Permanent Swimming Pools
Many residents have sought to install above-ground swimming pools and have run into challenges with building setback lines and similar restrictions. If you are thinking of putting up a pool that is larger than a Temporary Swimming Pool (as described above), here are the details you need to know about the new rules:
- The rules formerly indicated that pools could only be located in the rear yard, directly behind the house. Under the new rules, if you have to shift the pool to the side to avoid obstacles in the yards, we are allowing you to do so (and you can show the plan on your permit application).
- In the site plan below, the blue lines represent the extended building lines that were formerly our regulation. As you can see, we are now allowing pools to be shifted outside of those extended lines.
- The rules formerly required that pools be at least 20 feet from the rear lot line (or more, depending on your lot’s building setback lines). Under the new rules, you can shift your pool back to the utility easements, if necessary to accommodate obstructions in the yard.
- If you look at your lot survey, it will show dotted lines around the rear and side yards, labelled "PUE" or "MUE" for public utility easement and municipal utility easement. These are typically 5 foot easements on your side lot lines, and 15 foot easements along the rear lot line. You cannot install a pool over these areas, but you can install a pool next to them, if necessary to accommodate your yard’s configuration.
- In the site plan below, the yellow line represents the old restriction (the building setback lines). The green lines represent the utility easements. You now can build over the building setback lines (yellow) but you cannot build over the easement lines (green).
Removable, Above-Ground Pools
If you are thinking of installing an above-ground pool but don’t want to leave it up all year, we have an update on this subject as well. First, while our code normally requires screening around the perimeter of the pool, we are waiving this requirement for pools that are only installed for four month periods or less during the year. If you have a removable above-ground pool that you will only be keeping in place for 4 months at a time, you do not need to screen the perimeter of the pool with landscaping. Other code requirements (yard screening, fencing, latching gate, etc.) are still in place.
Second, we are only going to require a Village permit one time for these pools. When you are doing your initial install, we will do a building permit and inspections. After that, you are free to remove and reinstall the pool in later years, in the same location and configuration, without an additional permit. If you change the location, configuration or power setup for the pool, or otherwise change your yard, a new permit is required...but if you are maintaining the same conditions, you do NOT need a new permit (after the initial building permit).
For safety reasons, the building code requires that pools be located at least 5 feet away from your home’s power supply. We are finding that many power supplies are run through the yard, instead of around the perimeter. For example, in the site plan below, the red line represents the location of the ComEd power supply line:
We are working with ComEd to address this for future home construction...but if you have an existing home, we recommend that you do a JULIE locate (call 811) when you are planning a pool installation, so that you can identify the area where your power service is, and plan around it.
The Village does not have any control over the HOA or their approvals. HOA approval standards remain in place, and we recommend that affected residents contact the HOA as early in the process as possible, to obtain their approvals.
If you have any questions, please let us know--you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!