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

June 12, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


The provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Construction Official of the borough and shall be enforced by the Construction Official with the cooperation of the Board of Health and its officers, as indicated herein, and all other persons required to enforce the ordinances of the borough.


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


Any pool and appurtenances, whether located indoors or outdoors, used by any person for recreational swimming or bathing and having a depth of 12 inches below the level of surrounding land, a deck area of 10 square feet or more and a capacity of 25,000 gallons or more.


Any above-surface type of swimming pool constructed of canvas, rubber, plastic or other material or materials, not designed or intended to be stationary or permanently fixed, but designed or intended to be moved, removed and stored.


Any shallow pool, with less than a twelve-inch depth capacity, not included under the definitions of permanent or portable swimming pool.

207-3Permits. (Ord. #84-0-18, S 1)

Application for permits for the construction and maintenance of any permanent swimming pool, as defined in § 207-2 hereof, shall be made to the Construction Official by the owner of the property upon which it is to be constructed or by the contractor who will construct the same. The application shall be accompanied by duplicate sets of plans, specifications and a plot plan, certified by an engineer licensed by the State of New Jersey, which plan shall indicate prior and proposed elevations; pool lines; the location, height and type of all existing fencing or walks on the boundary lines of the property; and the type and height of fencing or enclosure as may be required by this chapter. The applicant shall also submit information as to the plumbing and filtration systems.

Applicants shall pay a fee to the borough for a permit to erect a permanent swimming pool as defined in this chapter, which permit fee shall be inclusive of the permit fee required for the erection of any accessory structure or structures to be used in connection with such swimming pool and which shall be at the same rate as is provided for other improvements in the borough. The permit fee will be $9 per $1,000 of estimated cost of work, provided that a minimum of $50 be paid.

No permit for a permanent swimming pool shall be issued by the Construction Official until the plans, specifications and plot plan have been approved by the Plumbing Inspector, Sanitary Inspector and the Board of Health. Such approval must be directly obtained by the applicant. No permit shall be issued unless and until approvals of Underwriter Laboratories, the Board of Health and compliance with the provisions of this chapter are all presented to the Construction Official.

The Board of Health shall review all plans and specifications assuring that the appropriate sanitary systems and safeguards are to be included. The Board shall forward the recommendations to the Construction Official for consideration prior to the making of the final determination. The Board of Health may establish a reasonable fee for its functions as provided for in this section.


All materials used in the construction of portable swimming pools, permanent swimming pools and wading pools, whether built in the ground or above the ground, shall be constructed of such materials as shall be waterproof and so designed and constructed as to facilitate the emptying and cleaning thereof. All pools shall be maintained and operated in such a manner as to be clean and sanitary at any time when such pool is in use or at such times as the same shall be subjected to or available for use.

It shall be unlawful to use any temporary electrical connections in or about any portable swimming pool, private pool or wading pool or within 12 feet thereof. All electrical connections shall be of a waterproof type and shall bear the seal of approval of the Underwriters’ Laboratories and shall be adequately and effectively grounded in accordance with all electrical codes. Underwater pool lighting fixtures shall be approved by the Construction Official as to design and installation prior to use. The Construction Official may require inspection by the Underwriters’ Laboratories as further evidence of proper installation of electrical equipment.

207-5Water supply.

There shall be no physical connection between a potable public or private water supply system and any swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool below the maximum waterline of the pool or to a recirculating or heating system of said pool. The piping system shall be designed to circulate pool water through filtering equipment, and all water used shall be potable as is established by standards set by the State of New Jersey for potable water and shall be subject to inspection by the Health Department of the borough. The installation, repair and control of all plumbing facilities used to service any pool shall comply with the borough Building and Plumbing Codes[1] and Chapter 233, Zoning.


Editor’s Note: See Ch. 98, Building Construction.

All circulating units shall have sufficient capacity to recirculate the entire contents of a pool within 24 hours or less.

Any pool having a capacity in excess of 750 gallons shall have pumps for recirculating, including filters and disinfecting equipment.

207-6Discharge system.

All permanent swimming pools or portable pools, now constructed, installed, established or maintained, or hereafter constructed, installed, established or maintained, within the borough shall be provided with the necessary equipment to completely pump out or empty said pool or shall be emptied by providing one drainage outlet to be installed at the lowest point of said pool not in excess of three inches in diameter, extending from said pool to either a storm sewer catch basin, lawn watering system, adequate dry well or sand filtering pit on the premises on which said private pool is located. The discharge of water from pools into storm sewers shall be permitted only where the capacity is adequate as determined by the Borough Engineer. No permanent pool drain, wading pool drain or portable pool drain shall be connected into the sanitary sewer system. The discharge of said waters shall in no case cause or create a nuisance to the abutting property, and the discharge of waters, either directly or indirectly, upon the property of others shall be deemed a nuisance under the terms of this chapter.

207-7Disinfection of pools.

The physical, chemical and bacterial qualities of pool water shall comply with the latest recommendations made by the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water, published jointly by the American Water Works Association and the Water Pollution Control Federation, a copy of which is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk. No water shall be used for swimming purposes which, when tested, shall show coliforms contained therein. For the purposes of this chapter, the use of disinfecting agents approved by the National Swimming Pool Institute, or such disinfecting agents as shall meet the same or higher standards, shall be deemed compliance.

207-8Fencing of pools.

All permanent swimming pools now existing or hereafter constructed, installed, established or maintained shall be completely and continuously surrounded by a permanent durable wall, fence or barrier which shall be no more than six feet nor less than four feet in height above grade, and shall be so constructed as to have no opening, mesh, hole or gap larger than two inches in any dimension, except for doors and gates; provided, however, that if a picket fence is erected or maintained, the horizontal dimension of any gap or opening shall not exceed 21/2 inches. All fences shall be constructed in accordance with other borough ordinances regulating fences. No fence of any kind or material shall be constructed or maintained which shall contain projections of any kind at any point on the outer surface of said fence. A dwelling house or accessory building may be used as part of such enclosure. All gates used in conjunction with any of the above-described enclosures shall conform to the specifications required above as to height and dimensions of openings, mesh, holes or gaps in the case of fences, and all gates and doors shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices for keeping the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in actual use. Gates and doors shall be locked when the pool is not in use or is unguarded or unattended; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to require the construction of an additional wall, fence or barrier where, in lieu thereof, the entire premises or a part thereof wherein the pool is contained shall be fully enclosed by a wall, fence or barrier which meets the specifications set forth herein.

Every portable pool shall be enclosed by a durable wall, barrier or fence as described in the preceding subsection, unless such portable pool be:


Emptied when not in use or unattended; or


Covered with a suitable, strong, protective covering fastened or locked in place when not in use or unattended. A cover shall be considered to be of sufficient strength and securely fastened or locked in place if, when fastened or locked in place, it will support a minimum dead weight of 200 pounds.

All pools considered as aboveground type having a height above the ground level of not less than four feet (48 inches) shall be exempt from perimeter fencing only when the pool is provided with a retractable or swing-up ladder or steps or having additional fencing above the forty-eight-inch or four-foot minimum and be supplied with a gate and lock to deny access when a pool is not in use.

207-9Location of permanent swimming pools.

All permanent swimming pools shall be placed so to comply with the following:


Fifteen feet from side yard in R-22 and R-40 Zones.


Ten feet from side yard in R-75 and R-10 Zones.


Ten feet from rear yard in all zones.


Ten feet from foundation of residence.

Portable pools. All newly erected portable pools shall comply with the setback requirements set forth in Subsection A above, except that portable pools may be placed no less than five feet from the foundation of any residence.

207-10Closing of pools.

All pools supplied by a public or quasi-public water supply system and not equipped with facilities for recirculation and reuse of pool water shall be subjected to closure by order of the Mayor of the borough during any period of emergency water shortage declared by a duly authorized public official.

Whenever any pool is a hazard to the health of the public, the Sanitary Officer of the borough or any Borough Health Official is authorized to summarily close such pool. Upon failure of the owner or the person in charge thereof to abate such hazard to the public health within 12 hours following receipt of notice, written or oral, to keep such pool closed unless retested by such official and approved for use, the owner or person in charge of the pool shall have the right to appeal the decision of the official to the Board of Health of the borough. However, such appeal shall not stay the action of the Sanitary or Health Officer.

In the case of unused, abandoned pools of any type when the Construction Official, Health Officer or Sanitary Officer determines that said pool is a hazard to public health or safety, said officer is authorized by this chapter to drain or cover said pool, or both, at the expense of the owner.

207-11Lighting, noise and nuisances.

No artificial lighting shall be maintained or operated in connection with a permanent swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool in such a manner as to be a nuisance or annoyance to neighboring properties. Such lighting shall not shine directly upon any abutting property. No unshielded lights shall be permitted.

No excessive noise or other nuisance which annoys or disturbs the comfort of anyone on neighboring properties shall be permitted in connection with the operation or maintenance of any private pool, wading pool or portable pool.


Every permanent swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool constructed, installed, established or maintained 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 permanent swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool, shall be forthwith abated and removed by the owner, lessee or occupant upon receipt of notice from the Board of Health of the borough.

It shall be the duty of the Sanitary and Health Officer and/or the Construction Official to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

The owner or operator of any pool within the borough shall allow said Sanitary and Health Officer and/or Construction Official access to any permanent swimming pool or wading pool or portable pool and appurtenances thereto for the purpose of inspecting to ascertain compliance with this chapter and all other pertinent borough ordinances, at all reasonable times.


Where literal enforcement of any provision of this chapter would cause undue hardship to the owner of any premises, such owner may apply in writing to the Mayor and Council for a variance excepting said owner from conforming to the requirements of such provision. The Mayor and Council shall hold a public hearing on applications, to afford interested parties an opportunity to express their views thereon, and may thereafter grant or deny such applications, subject to any additional requirements which it deems necessary to preserve public health and safety and prevent nuisances. The Mayor and Council may require applicants for variances to submit a fee with their applications in order to cover borough costs in considering such applications, which fee will not be refundable if an application is denied.

207-14Violations and penalties.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II.


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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