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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Borough of Fort Lee, Bergen County

June 11, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:


Any pool designed, used and maintained for swimming purposes by an individual for use by his household and guests and located on a lot as an accessory use to a residence. Unless otherwise qualified, the term “private swimming pool” shall be construed as including both artificial and partly artificial pools. The term “partly artificial pool” shall mean a pool formed from a natural body of water which either has so limited a flow or such an inadequate natural circulation that the quality of water must be maintained by artificial means. The term “artificial pool” shall mean a pool composed entirely of artificial construction.


Any artificially constructed pool, not designed or used for swimming, with a maximum water depth of 24 inches.


The use and operation of swimming and wading pools of movable construction having an area of more than 120 square feet shall be regulated by the provisions of this chapter except for §§ 368-3368-4 and 368-13.

368-3Permit to construct required.

It shall be unlawful to construct or establish a private swimming pool or wading pool as herein defined without having obtained a permit therefor in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

368-4Permit requirements; fees.

Application for the construction and maintenance of a private swimming pool or wading pool shall be made to the Building Sub-code Official by the owner of the property or by the contractor who will construct the swimming pool. The application shall be accompanied by duplicate sets of plans, specifications and plot plans of the property. The plot plan shall show the accurate location of the proposed swimming pool on the property, together with any proposed bath houses or cabanas. The plot plan shall also show the location, height and type of all existing fencing or walls on the boundary lines of the property, together with the type and height of such fencing or enclosure as may be required by § 368-13 to prevent, within reason, any persons from gaining access beneath or through the fence when the pool is unguarded or unattended. A fee of $20 shall be paid to the borough for such private swimming pool permit, which permit fee shall be exclusive of the permit fee required for erection of any accessory structure to be used in connection with such swimming pool. A fee of $10 shall be paid to the borough for a wading pool as defined herein. No permit for a private swimming pool or wading pool shall be issued by the Building Sub-code Official until the plans, specifications and plot plan have been approved by the Health Officer and Engineer of the borough and such approval has been properly certified on the plans. Such approval must be directly obtained from the Health Officer by the applicant.

368-5Construction and maintenance.

All material used in the construction of artificial private swimming pools and wading pools as herein defined shall be waterproof and easily cleaned. Construction and design of the pools shall be such that same may be maintained and operated as to be clean and sanitary at all times. The owners of every private swimming pool shall be responsible to maintain the pool in such condition as to prevent breaks in the pool chassis or water from the pool overflowing into adjacent public or private property.

Private swimming and wading pools of permanent construction shall be limited to a height of not more than 12 inches above the ground.

368-6Water supply.

There shall be no physical connection between a potable public or private water supply system and such private swimming pools or wading pools at a point below the maximum waterline of the pool or to a recirculating or heating system of the pool.

368-7Discharge system.

All private swimming pools hereafter constructed within the borough shall be provided with one drainage outlet not in excess of three inches in diameter extending from the pool to either a brook, storm sewer or lawn-sprinkling system on the premises on which the private pool is located. The discharge of water from such private swimming pools into a brook or storm sewer shall be permitted only following approval by the proper state, county and borough officials, as each case requires. No private pool drain shall be connected into the sanitary sewer system or a brook except upon written approval of the Engineer and Health Officer. Application for approval shall be in writing. The Engineer or his designated employee shall inspect the premises on which such pool is planned to be constructed in order to determine the proper place and type of connection with the sanitary sewerage system, if such connection is authorized by the borough. Approval of an application to connect into the sanitary sewer system shall not be given if it is feasible to discharge water from a pool into an accessible brook, storm sewer or to use such water for purposes of lawn sprinkling on the premises. Approval shall not be given to discharge such water at the curb or upon the surface of any street.

368-8Sewer charges.

Where approval is obtained to discharge water from a private swimming pool or wading pool into the sanitary sewerage system, the owner of the pool shall be responsible to pay an annual sewer charge to the borough in accordance with the following schedule:


For pools reusing or recirculating water: $1.90 per 10,000 gallons of water capacity.


For pools not reusing or recirculating water: $7.50 per 10,000 gallons of water capacity.

The annual sewer charges shall be paid to the borough upon obtaining a permit as required in § 368-4 and shall be paid every year thereafter that the pool is in operation on or about June 1.


All private swimming pools or wading pools shall be treated with chlorine or its compounds in sufficient quantity so that there will be present in the water at all times when the pool is in use a residual of excess chlorine of not less than 0.50 parts per million of available free chlorine.

368-10Bacteriological standards.

Not more than 15% of the samples of water taken from any private swimming pool or wading pool, when more than 20 samples have been examined, and not more than three samples, when less than 20 samples have been examined, shall contain more than 200 bacteria per cubic centimeter or shall show positive test (confirmed) for coliform in any of five ten-cubic-centimeter portions of water at times when the pool is for use. For the purpose of this chapter, any number of samplings of water on a single day shall be considered as one sample. The local Board of Health is hereby authorized to take samples to insure compliance with these requirements.

368-11Accessory buildings.

Locker rooms, bath houses, cabanas, shower rooms, toilets, runways and all other physical facilities or equipment incident to the operation of any private swimming pool or wading pool shall be kept in a sanitary condition at all times. No accessory buildings shall be allowed in connection with the use of any swimming pool, unless such accessory building is attached to the main building.


No private swimming pool or wading pool shall be erected to extend out beyond the front line of the main building.

No private swimming or wading pool shall be larger in area than 50% of the rear yard and in no case shall a pool be constructed less than six feet from any rear property line or less than six feet from any side property line.


All private swimming pools now existing or hereafter constructed or installed within the borough which are located 200 feet or less from any property line of the lot or plot upon which the same is situated shall be enclosed by a substantial fence the height of which shall be in accordance with the provisions relating to fences under the relevant section of Chapter 410, Zoning, and which shall be constructed to prevent within reason any person from gaining access beneath or through the fencing.


No artificial lighting shall be maintained or operated in connection with private swimming pools in such a manner as to be a nuisance or an annoyance to neighboring properties.


Every private swimming pool or wading pool, as defined herein, constructed or to be constructed in the borough shall at all times comply with the requirements of the local Board of Health. Any nuisance or hazard to health which may exist or develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any such swimming pool shall be abated and removed by the owner, lessee or occupant of the premises on which the pool is located within 10 days of receipt of notice from the Building Department, borough or Board of Health of the borough.


For more information on New Jersey pool fencing laws and regulations, or if you are interested in what designs work best around your pool, visit Carl’s at or call 732-504-3372.

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