Borough of Fox Chapel, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 1 Definition; Applicability.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 1]
For the purpose of this ordinance[1] "Family Pool" is hereby defined as an outdoor swimming pool, used or intended to be used solely by the owner of a residential property, his family, or lessee thereof and his family, and by guests invited to use it without the payment of any fee. This ordinance shall apply to all new outdoor swimming pools hereafter constructed as well as existing swimming pools whether above ground or in the ground having a depth of 18 inches or more at any one point.[2]
Editor's Note: Sections 1 to 14 of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Section 14 of Ordinance 326 repealed all conflicting ordinances and parts of ordinances insofar as they affected this ordinance.

§ 2 Construction Permit and Approval. [1]

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 2]
Before any work is commenced on the construction of a swimming pool or on any alteration, addition, remodeling or other improvement to a swimming pool, an application for a permit for construction, together with plans and specifications pertinent to the construction, as well as explanatory data, shall be submitted to the Building Inspector of the Borough for his approval. No part of the work shall be commenced until such approval has been granted to the applicant by a written permit.
All plans, including a plot plan, shall bear the name and seal of a registered architect or registered engineer. The plot plan shall show the location of all buildings and the proposed pool on the property, together with the distance to all property lines in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool and dwelling. The plot plan shall also show the locations of any wells and sewage disposal systems.
Standard pools, properly designed by established swimming pool companies and having the approval of a registered engineer or registered architect, shall be acceptable when accompanied by suitable plans and specifications. Details of the proposed enclosure or fence around the pool shall also be shown.
Editor's Note: This heading and the headings of Sections 3 to 14 of this chapter are part of Ordinance 326 as enacted.

§ 3 Enclosure.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 3]
Every outdoor swimming pool shall be completely surrounded by a fence, wall or similar enclosure not less than four feet in height, which shall be so constructed as to have no openings, holes or gaps larger than two inches in any dimension. If the fence or wall is a picket fence the horizontal dimensions maintained shall not exceed four inches. A dwelling or accessory building may be used as part of such enclosure.
All gates or door openings through such enclosure shall be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device on the pool side for keeping the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in use, except that the door of any dwelling or accessory building which forms a part of the enclosure need not be so equipped. The fence shall surround the pool and the deck area. Fences shall be erected around all existing swimming pools by June 1, 1973.

§ 4 Location on the Property.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 4; as amended by Ordinance 583, January 20, 1997]
A swimming pool shall be located at the rear of a dwelling or along the side of the dwelling, and no part of any pool may ever be closer to a street in front of the house than the dwelling.
There shall be a minimum of three feet of concrete, stone, brick or block sidewalk or other all-weather surface around all pools, except portable pools set above ground.
No swimming pool or appurtenances including decks and shelters shall be erected nearer to any property line than a building could be erected in the same use district as set forth in the Borough Zoning Ordinance of 1971. [1]
No swimming pool shall be so located as to interfere with the operation of a well or on-site septic system, or to be located where there is a potential danger of a septic system discharging into the pool or onto the adjacent area around the pool.
Editor's Note: See Chapter XXVII.

§ 5 Fees.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 5]
The application fee for the construction or alteration of a swimming pool shall be in the same amount as determined in the Building Code,[1] based on the estimated cost of construction.
Editor's Note: See Chapter V.

§ 6 Design and Construction Requirements.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 6; as amended by Ordinance 440, August 22, 1983, Section 1]
No permit to construct new swimming pools (existing pools are excluded from this section) shall be issued unless and until the following design and construction requirements are observed.
Material: The material used for lining a swimming pool shall be one which is light in color, is impervious and will provide a tight tank with easily cleaned surfaces. Sand or dirt bottoms are prohibited if uncovered.
Walls and Bottom: All pool walls and bottoms shall be designed to withstand water pressure from within and to resist the pressure of earth or ground water when the pool is empty.
Steps, Ladders, Handholds: One or more means of egress in the form of steps, ladders, stepholes or handholds shall be provided for all pools. The coping of the swimming pool, if not higher than eight inches above the water surface, shall be considered a handhold.
Make-Up Water: Pools shall be equipped with suitable facilities for adding make-up water as required. There shall be no physical connection between the water supply line and the pool system. When make-up water is added to the pool the inlet shall be at least six inches above the pool water surface.
Drainage Outlet: No pool water shall be drained at the curb, along the gutter line of any street, on the surface of any street or over the surface of the ground. A pool drainage system must be connected to the public sanitary sewer system. If the sanitary sewer system is not available to the lot upon which the pool is to be located, drainage shall be handled as the Borough Engineer shall direct.
Recirculation: Provision shall be made for complete circulation of water through all parts of the pool. The system shall be designed and constructed so that a "turnaround" of at least one time in every twelve-hour period shall be provided. Recirculation systems shall consist of pumping equipment, hair-and-lint catcher, filters, together with all necessary pipe connections to the pool inlets and outlets, facilities and pipe connections necessary for backwashing or cleaning filters.

§ 7 Safety Equipment.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 7]
All pools, including existing pools, shall be equipped with suitable stairs. Other equipment consisting of life preservers, ropes or poles shall be readily available at the pool site.

§ 8 Portable Pools.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 8]
Aboveground pools are not subject to the fee schedules nor the design and requirements as set forth herein.[1] However, all such pools having walls less than four feet shall be enclosed in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.[2]
Portable aboveground pools having walls four feet or greater in height may be excluded from the fencing requirement provided such pools are equipped with access ladders which may be raised and locked in a near vertical position when the pool is unattended. An aboveground pool as described in this paragraph which is served by a ladder or steps which cannot be raised and locked so as to prevent access by small children shall be enclosed in accordance with Section 3 of this ordinance.[3]
Editor's Note: In Sections 5 and 6 of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Sections 1 to 14 of this chapter; see especially Section 3.
Editor's Note: Section 3 of this chapter.

§ 9 Property Rights.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 9]
Interference with the enjoyment of a neighboring property owner's rights is prohibited. No swimming pool shall be so located or located or maintained as to interfere unduly with the enjoyment of the property rights of others.

§ 10 Shielding Lights.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 10]
Lights used to illuminate any swimming pool shall be so arranged as to reflect light away from adjoining premises.

§ 11 Unnecessary Noise.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 11]
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued at any swimming pool, any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others. In the operation of a family swimming pool the use or operation of any radio, musical instrument, phonograph, recording equipment, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of persons who are at the swimming pool side shall be unlawful.

§ 12 Electrical Connections.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 12]
All electrical installations shall conform to the specifications of the National Electrical Code. No electric wires or conductors shall cross, either overhead or underground, on any part of a swimming pool, nor shall any electric wiring be installed parallel to any pool wall closer than five feet, if underground, unless enclosed in a rigid conduit, or within five feet if overhead.
All underwater lights must be watertight, self-contained units with "ground" connections running from a waterproof junction box to a proper grounding facility or medium. All underground electric wires supplying current to said lights, within a distance of five feet of the pool wall or walls, shall be enclosed in rigid conduits.
All metal fences, enclosures or railings, near or adjacent to a swimming pool which might become electrically charged as a result of contact with broken overhead conductors, or from any other cause, shall be effectively grounded.

§ 13 Penalties.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 13; as amended by Ordinance 390, March 20, 1978, Section 1; and by Ordinance 536, December 21, 1992, Section 14]
Any person, partnership or corporation violating any provision of this ordinance[1] shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution, or in default of payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Provided: each violation of any provision of this ordinance, and each day the same is continued, shall be deemed a separate offense.
Editor's Note: Sections 1 to 14 of this chapter.

§ 14 Validity.

[Ordinance 326, December 6, 1972, Section 15]
If any section, paragraph, subsection, clause or provision of this ordinance[1] shall be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this ordinance as a whole or any other part thereof.
Editor's Note: Sections 1 to 14 of this chapter.