HOA pool fencing — is this something your homeowners association should have? Does the law legally require pools to be fenced in? Let’s break it down below.
HOA Pool Fencing: Does Your Community Pool Need It?
While a homeowners association’s primary goal is to preserve property values, the safety of residents should also be a priority. That means taking the necessary steps to ensure that common areas and amenities are as safe as they can possibly be. When it comes to community pools, HOAs should consider putting up proper fencing.
But, is HOA pool fencing required by law? It depends on where the association is located. In some places, public swimming pools are legally required to be fenced in as a safety precaution.
Arizona law, for instance, does require it. According to Section 36-1681 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, a swimming pool must be protected by an enclosure surrounding the pool area. This applies to swimming pools with at least 18 inches of water depth and 8 feet in width at any point. The enclosure must stand at least 5 feet in height with no gaps for a spherical object of 4 inches in diameter can pass.
In California, the Swimming Pool Safety Act applies to residential swimming pools but does not apply to public swimming pools. This Act states the fencing requirements for residential pools, which includes installing removable mesh fencing that aligns with the specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The enclosure must be at least 60 inches tall with a maximum vertical clearance of 2 inches.
Keep in mind that every state, or even county, has its own HOA pool fence requirements. But, even if your state or local laws don’t require it, it is still worth installing a fence around your community pool, especially since drowning is a leading cause of drowning among children in the United States.
HOA Pool Fencing Considerations
When installing a fence for your community pool, there are three things you must take into account: durability, design, and rules.
You want your HOA’s fence to stand the test of time and weather. Being close to water also means there is a higher chance of corrosion. As such, durability should take top priority.
For outdoor pool fencing, a good material to use is wrought iron or powder-coating aluminum. These are durable materials that provide a good defense against corrosion from pool water. A zinc-rich primer used as a base coat with a polyester top coat also offers resistance against the elements.
Of course, your location and environment will play a great role in the type of fencing you should have. And it is always best to consult a professional pool company for recommendations.
Fences don’t have to be an eyesore. There are many types of fences you can choose from that offer both safety and appeal. Most fencing contractors nowadays offer custom-designed fences that will match the style of your community.
HOA pool fencing can provide a good level of protection, but you should accompany it with rules, too. Rules should include the following:
- No climbing the fence
- No diving
- No running
- No littering
- No glass bottles in the pool area
- No swimming during inclement weather
- No swimming under the influence
Breaking these rules should come with a penalty. Provided your HOA has the authority, penalties you can apply include charging fines and temporarily suspending an offender’s right to use the pool.
Pool Enclosures in HOA Homes
If homeowners have their own pools, installing a pool fence is also highly recommended. In some areas, such as California, it is even mandated by law as per the Swimming Pool Safety Act.
But, what about the opposite? Surprisingly, there are some HOAs that actually prohibit owners from installing pool fences because they feel that fences bring down the appeal of the neighborhood. Associations should tread cautiously with such restrictions, though, because some states don’t allow them.
A good example is Texas. According to the Texas Property Code Sec. 202.022(b), an HOA may not restrict or prohibit owners from installing pool enclosures that meet state or local safety requirements. However, an HOA may enforce certain restrictions concerning the appearance of the enclosure.
To ensure fences meet the overall aesthetic of the community, an HOA may require owners to go through the same approval process as for other architectural modifications. This usually means submitting an application form along with supporting documents such as the design plan, sample photos, etc.
Other Ways to Promote HOA Pool Safety
Fences are good to have in the pool area, but they can only do so much. In addition to installing HOA pool fencing, consider implementing these other solutions to ensure safety in your community pool.
1. Encourage Adult Supervision
While adults can also drown, kids are more susceptible to it. Therefore, encourage adult residents to always accompany kids when they’re in the pool area. You should be careful with your wording here, though. Don’t make it a rule as that can be recognized as a violation of Fair Housing laws on the basis of age discrimination.
2. Make Swimming Devices Available
Some kids don’t know how to swim but still want to enjoy some time in the pool. In that case, your HOA may want to make swimming devices available for use either for free or for rent.
Pool floaties, buoys, life vests, and water wings can all keep swimmers afloat. If you want to make the devices free to use, consider collecting a deposit that will be given back upon the return of the undamaged devices. If a resident breaks a swimming aid, then the HOA gets to keep the deposit.
3. Hire a Lifeguard or Pool Monitor
Let’s face it — adults don’t always have the time to accompany kids to the pool. As such, your HOA may want to hire a lifeguard or a pool monitor to supervise pool activity. If you intend to hire a lifeguard, make sure you hire a professional one. Your HOA’s pool company may offer trained lifeguards, so make sure to ask about it.
A Good Choice Nonetheless
HOA pool fencing can save lives. Therefore, even if your state or local laws don’t require you to have it, installing a fence is still a wise idea. But, don’t just install the fence on your own. Make sure to have a professional pool company or pool contractor come and do it for your community.
If you don’t have a pool company yet, an HOA management company will surely have the right vendor connections. Call Cedar Management Group today at (877) 252-3327 or contact us online to learn more about what we do!
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