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23.44 Swimming Pools
Sections:
23.44.010 Definitions.
23.44.020 Permit requirements.
23.44.030 Location.
23.44.040 Enclosure requirements.
23.44.050 Safety requirements.


23.44.010 DEFINITIONS. The following words, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings given to them in this section:
(a) "Enclosure" means a fence, building wall or other barrier that completely surrounds and obstructs access to a swimming pool. For the purposes of this section a living plant (hedge) or any enclosure or part of located more than 100 ft ( 30.48 m) from any portion of the pool edge will not be considered an approved enclosure.
(b) "Hot tub." See definition of "swimming pool."
(c) "In-ground Pool." See definition of "swimming pool."
(d) "Private swimming pool" includes all constructed pools which are used, or intended to be used, as a swimming pool in connection with a single family residence and available only to the family of the householder and his private guests;
(e) "Public swimming pool" means any swimming pool operated for the use of the general public, with or without charge, or for the use of the members and guests of a private club. Public swimming pool does not include a swimming pool located on the grounds of a private single-family home.
(f) "Renovation" means any repair, improvement or alterations to pool materials, equipment or any portions considered to be part of a pool.
(g) "Semipublic pool" means any pool other than a private or public pool including, but not limited to, pools located on premises zoned and used as multiple family dwellings;
(h) "Spa." See definition of "swimming pool."
(i) "Swimming pool or pools" is any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over eighteen inches (610 mm) deep including any in-ground, above-ground, and on-ground swimming pools, hot tubs, portable and non-portable spas, and fixed-in-place wading pools.
(j) "Swimming pool, indoor" is a swimming pool which is totally contained within a residential structure and surrounded on all four sides by walls of said structure.
(k) "Swimming pool, outdoor" is any swimming pool which is not an indoor pool. (Ord. 1998-8, § 2, 1998; Ord. 1998-3 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1988-4 § 7, 1988; Ord. 1984-11 § 1, 1984; Ord. 1968-1 § 7 (part), 1968: prior code § 166.01).

23.44.020 PERMIT REQUIREMENTS. (a) Before commencing the installation of any swimming, bathing, public, semipublic or private swimming pool, a permit authorizing such work shall be obtained from the Building Official. No permit will be issued for a public or semipublic swimming pool until written permission by the health department is submitted to, and approved by, the building department.
(b) The issuance of a permit, based upon submitted plans and specifications, shall not prevent the Building Official from thereafter requiring the correction of errors in said plans and specifications, or from preventing construction operations being carried on thereunder, when in violation of this code, or of any state law, or the regulation of any state department, agency or board, or from revoking any approval when issued in error.
(c) Permittee shall indicate on the plans and specifications facilities for the disposal of swimming pool wastewater to the satisfaction of the Building Official.
(d) Application for permit shall be filed with the building division and shall be accompanied by plans in duplicate and in sufficient detail, including plot plan, to indicate clearly the intended method of construction and location of said swimming pool and pool enclosure.
(e) Any permit granted by the Building Official hereunder may be revoked by him for failure to comply with the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder or with this chapter, or whenever, in the determination of the Building Official, further operation under such permit creates a menace to the health or safety of the users of the swimming pool. The holder of any permit which has been revoked may appeal to the City Council the Building Official’s revocation of the permit and may have the City Council determine the legality or reasonableness of the revocation of the permit. No appeal under this section, however, shall entitle the permit holder to continue operation of the swimming pool pending action by the City Council. (Ord. 1998-8, § 2, 1998; Ord. 1998-3 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1988-4 § 7, 1988; Ord. 1968-1 § 7 (part), 1968: prior code § 166.02).

23.44.030 LOCATION. A swimming pool may be placed or constructed in any of the required yard areas provided the pool is constructed at ground level and provided the following setbacks are maintained:
(a) For single family dwellings, the inside face of the pool shall not be less than four feet from any property boundary of the lot or parcel on which the pool is located.
(b) For multifamily dwellings, the inside face of an outdoor pool shall be not less than twenty feet from any property boundary. Indoor swimming pool structures for multifamily dwellings shall also be subject to the setback requirements for accessory buildings, as designated in Chapter 27.70 of the Zoning Code, with the exception that the minimum clearance of 4 feet to the property line and 5 feet to surrounding buildings shall still apply.
(c) No portion of a swimming pool may be constructed in any public utility easement or drainage easement or utility right-of-way. There shall be not less than five feet of open space between the inside face of the pool and any structure.
(d) No part of a swimming pool (water area) shall be located or constructed directly under permanently-installed electric power lines. Pools shall be located in such a manner that overhead conductor clearances meet the requirements of the Electrical Code, Chapter 23.12 of the San Mateo Municipal Code. No pool shall be constructed in any location that violates any state law or Public Utility Commission rules for location in relation to electric power lines, service drops and/or communication lines.
(e) Swimming pools located on slopes must comply with setback requirements as prescribed in chapter 23.40 of the Site Development Code. (Ord. 1998-8, § 2, 1998; Ord. 1998-3 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1988-4 § 7, 1988; Ord. 1984-11 § 2, 1984).

23.44.040 ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS. (a) The provisions of this section apply to the design and construction of barriers for new private and public swimming pools located within the City of San Mateo. A person in possession of land within the city, either as owner, purchaser, lessee, tenant or a licensee, upon which is situated a swimming pool having a minimum depth of eighteen inches (610 mm), shall provide and maintain an enclosure as specified herein. The Building Official may permit other protective device or structures to be used so long as the degree of protection afforded by the substitute devices or structures is not less than the protection afforded by the enclosure described herein. The Building Official shall allow a reasonable period within which to comply with the requirements of this section. All outdoor swimming pools shall be isolated from access with an enclosure that shall be installed, inspected and approved prior to plastering or filling with water in compliance with the following:
(1) The top of the enclosure shall be at least 60 inches (1219mm) above grade measured on the side of the enclosure which faces away from the swimming pool. Openings, gaps, or voids in the barrier (s) shall not allow the passage of a sphere greater than 4 inches in diameter. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the enclosure shall be 2 inches (51mm) measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance at the bottom of the enclosure may be increased to 4 inches (102 mm) when grade is a solid surface such as a concrete deck, or when the barrier is mounted on the top of the aboveground pool structure.
(2) When an enclosure has horizontal members spaced less than 45 inches (1143 mm) apart, the horizontal members shall be placed on the pool side of the barrier and spacing between vertical members shall not allow the passage of a sphere greater than 1 1/4 inches (32mm) in diameter. Any decorative design work on the side away from the swimming pool, such as protrusions, indentations or cutouts which render the enclosure easily climbable by a child under the age of 5 years, are prohibited.
(3) Chain link fences used as the barrier shall not allow the passage of a sphere greater than 1 1/4 (32mm) inches in diameter and shall not be less than 11.5 gage.
(4) Access gates shall comply with the requirements of subsection (a) 1 through (a)3. Pedestrian access gates shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom of the gate: (1) the release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the enclosure at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate, and (2) the gate and enclosure shall have no opening greater than ½ inch (13 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism. Pedestrian gates shall swing away from the pool. Any gates other than pedestrian access gates shall be equipped with lockable hardware or padlocks and shall remain locked at all times when not in use.
(5) Where a wall of a building serves as part of the enclosure and contains door openings between the building and the outdoor swimming pool which provide direct access to the pool, a separation fence meeting the requirements of subsection(a)1 through (a)4 shall be provided or one of the following may be used when approved by the Building Official:
(i) Self-closing and self-latching devices installed on all doors with direct access to the pool with the release mechanism located a minimum of 54 inches (1372 mm) above the floor;
(ii) An alarm installed on all doors with direct access to the pool. The alarm shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds immediately after the door and its screen, if present, are opened, and be capable of providing a sound pressure level of not less than 85 dba when measured indoors at 10 feet (3048 mm). The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as a touchpad or switch, to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last no longer than 15 seconds. The deactivation switch shall be located at least 54 inches (1372 mm) above the threshold of the door. Alarms shall be connected to the permanent electrical system of the building;
(iii) For hot tubs or spas, locking safety covers that comply with the American Society of Testing Materials- Emergency Performance Specifications (ASTM-ES 13-89) may be allowed. Without these locking safety covers, hot tubs or spas shall comply with the enclosure requirements of subsection(a)1 through (a)4; or
(iv) Other means of protection may be acceptable so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than that afforded by any of the devices described above.
(6) Where an above ground pool structure is used as a enclosure or where the enclosure is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps, then the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by an enclosure which meets the requirements of subsection (a)1 through (a)4 or the ladder or steps will be automatically secured prohibiting access. Any openings created by securing the ladder or steps shall be protected by an enclosure complying with subsection (a)1 through (a)4.
(7) Indoor Swimming Pools shall comply with the enclosure requirements of subsection (a)4.
(b) Pool Equipment Enclosure. Pumps and other swimming pool equipment which produce sound above the level of 35dba shall not be located within twenty-five feet of any neighboring property unless such equipment is enclosed in an enclosure that will reduce the sound at the property line to a level of 35dba or less. Swimming pool heaters need not be enclosed in a pool equipment enclosure. (Ord. 1998-8, § 2, 1998; Ord. 1998-3 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1988-4 § 7, 1988; Ord. 1984-11 § 3, 1984; Ord. 1968-1 § 7 (part), 1968: prior code § 166.04).

23.44.050 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. All reasonable precautions shall be taken to protect the users of, and bathers in, swimming pools from injury or accident. Convenient means of ingress and egress shall be provided and the depth of water and any irregularities of the bottom shall be clearly indicated. Safety appliances such as life buoys, life hooks, bamboo poles, or ropes and equipment including first-aid kits shall be provided and be readily accessible. A sufficient number of attendants shall be on duty when a public swimming pool is in use, who shall be capable swimmers, competent in lifesaving methods and artificial resuscitation. (Ord. 1998-8, § 2, 1998; Ord. 1998-3 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1988-4 § 7, 1988; Ord. 1968-1 § 7 (part), 1968: prior code § 166.05).

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