Are you installing a swimming pool in your backyard? Whether you are renovating your home to enjoy with your family or putting your house for sale in Vancouver East or West, the addition of a pool area to the given premises instantly boosts the overall value of your real estate in BC, especially in east vancouver homes in the lower mainland. In addition to the value of your house, the presence of a separate swimming pool area in your garden or backyard instantly improves the overall aesthetics at the same time.
While it might appear to be a highly appealing idea to go for the swimming pool construction or installation in the backyard of the home, it is equally important to pay attention to the legal aspects of the same. In most cases, you might be required to apply for a proper permit from the local authorities to ensure that there are no issues in the long run. If you own a home and wish to install a lavish swimming pool in the backyard, this post will unravel whether or not you need a special permit for the same.
Understanding The Role Of Permits For Swimming Pool Construction
The Building Regulation Bylaw in British Columbia is known to state the particular terms & conditions of the Requirement of a permit to ensure any construction or repair project around the city. As per the law, it is required that the particular homeowner of the given property should obtain a proper building permit before starting over with the construction of the swimming pool in the given premises.
Moreover, in addition to requiring a proper building permit for the construction of the swimming pool in your backyard, you might as well be required to obtain the subsequent gas, environmental, plumbing, and electrical permits from the respective concerned authorities.
While obtaining the respective permits, the applicants are advised that they should look into the Gas Safety Act, the Electrical Safety Act, and the Plumbing Safety Act. These acts are known to contain vital health as well as safety requirements that you should understand for proper results.
Building Regulation Bylaw
As per the definition provided by the Building Regulation Bylaw, a pool can be defined as “a constructed depression or structure that is typically used for swimming, diving, wading, or bathing. The pool is typically known to contain huge amounts of water and features an overall depth that exceeds 0.5m.”
The area in your house in BC that contains a pool –for instance, the backyard area, should be enclosed by a proper fence. Additionally, the area should also feature the following specifications:
- The fence should not be less than 4 feet or 1200mm in height.
- The fence should be constructed without grips or footholds on the outside. This would prevent children or other intruders from climbing the given enclosed area.
- The fence should also feature a proper gate along with a latching device that is capable of self-closing. The latching device should be situated on the poolside of the given enclosed area. Moreover, the device should not be located at less than 6 inches from the gate.
- In lieu of the given fence around the pool area in your home, a hot tub or spa should be covered with proper covers to ensure that the same are not accessed by unauthorized parties.
Zoning Bylaw 1965 –Bylaw 3210
The District of North Van has been divided into multiple zones –both the residential as well as neighborhood zones. Every neighborhood or residential zone in the district tend to have a potentially distinct and remarkable set of requirements when it comes to stating the siting and location of the pool in the given premise.
Therefore, in addition to obtaining the construction or installation permit, the homeowners are also expected to confirm the respective siting and setback requirements with respect to the swimming pool in advance. This should be implemented in the design process of the swimming pool itself. You can know more about the zoning requirements at the official website or the respective permit counter.
Environmental Protection & Preservation Bylaw
Most applications for the installation of in-ground swimming pools (excluding hot tubs and spas) are known to require the permit for Sediment & Erosion Control Plan. This is covered under the respective ENV101 and ENV102 clauses of the Requirement. At the same time, the homeowners are also expected to include the Environment Permit.
In addition to obtaining the respective permit related to the environmental aspects, the applicants should also be aware of the fact that the Environmental Protection & Preservation Bylaw is known to regulate the work related to the removal of important trees, construction of the pool near-natural streams, or working near or on steep slopes.
As a routine process of the application of building permits in & around, the electrical inspector of the region is known to carry out in-depth site investigation. The main purpose of this site investigation is to come across any potential safety hazard like electrical outlets (mostly, these are not permitted within 5 feet or 1.5 m of the pool), lighting installations (would require advanced GFI protection within 10 feet or 3m of the pool) and the overhead wires.
You would be required to obtain the electrical permit for ensuring pool bonding along with all the respective pool work in association with the installation or construction of the swimming pool at your West Van house. Moreover, it is also important to note that only a certified, qualified electrical contractor or a qualified homeowner can obtain this permit.
Gas Work & Plumbing Permit
To form an integral part of applying for the building permit, a professional plumbing inspector is known to implement the respective site investigation. The purpose of the same is to come across any potential safety hazards like clearance to the respective gas heating equipment.