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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Borough of Washington, Warren County

June 12, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


The purpose of this chapter shall be to provide rules, regulations and standards for the construction and maintenance of swimming pools in the Borough of Washington in order to promote the public health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the Borough.


The provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Building Inspector and the Board of Health.


The words, terms or phrases listed below, for the purpose of this chapter, shall be defined and interpreted as follows:


Any aboveground or surface type of swimming pool constructed of canvas, rubber, plastic or other material not designed or intended to be satisfactory or permanently fixed but designed and intended to be removed and stored.


Any pool having a depth of more than 18 inches, below the level of the surrounding land, or any aboveground or surface pool having a depth of more than 18 inches, designed, used and maintained for swimming or bathing purposes.


Any shallow pool not included under the definition of swimming pool.

78-4Permit required; application; fee.

It shall be unlawful to establish, construct or alter a swimming pool without first obtaining a permit therefor in the manner hereafter prescribed, which construction or alteration shall conform to the requirements of this chapter.

Application for a permit to construct a swimming pool shall be made in writing to the Building Inspector and be subject to the approval of the Building Inspector. The application shall be accompanied by three sets of plans drawn to an acceptable scale and three sets of specifications which shall meet all the requirements of this chapter, the Zoning Ordinance and the building and plumbing codes. The plans and specifications shall include the following:


Dimensions of the pool with side and top elevations.


A plot showing:


The property lines of the lot upon which the proposed pool is to be constructed.


All existing houses and structures, cesspools, septic tanks or subsurface sewerage disposal systems and wells.


Dimensions showing the distance of the pool from property lines and all structures on the lot.


The street or streets abutting the property.


Height and type of fence, walls or enclosure as herein required.

All applications for permits to locate, construct or alter a swimming pool shall be accompanied by a fee of $75. This fee is applicable to permanent-type pools only or any pool requiring excavation to construct and is exclusive of the fees prescribed under the provisions for sewerage disposal system.

[Amended 11-17-2008 by Ord. No. 13-2008]


Every in-ground swimming pool shall be completely surrounded by a fence or wall not less than four feet in height above ground level, which shall be so constructed that it shall not have openings greater than three inches by three inches, and if a picket fence is erected or maintained, the horizontal dimensions shall not exceed three inches. Said fence or wall shall be so constructed a distance of at least three feet from the outside edge of the swimming pool. A dwelling house or accessory building may be used as part of such enclosure. All gates are to be self-closing and self-latching to keep the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in actual use, except that the door of any dwelling which forms part of the enclosure and any gate or door thereof shall be so designed and constructed as to reasonably prevent any person from gaining access through or under the same to the pool and shall be kept securely locked at all times when the pool is not in use. The aforementioned fence requirements shall apply to all newly constructed pools constructed within the Borough of Washington. Any and all pools presently under construction or being planned for construction after the date of enactment of this chapter shall have 60 days from the date of the final adoption of this chapter to include a fence as described above within the plans for construction of said pool. All other preexisting pools which do not presently conform to the fence requirement shall have a grace period of 180 days from the date of final adoption of this chapter to enclose their pools as set out herein.

Any access ladder or steps used with any permanent above surface swimming pool shall be removed from the pool when not in use.

Any aboveground pool with ridged steel or aluminum sidewalls which can withstand a lateral force of 150 pounds and is four feet in height above the ground need not be fenced. Any aboveground pool greater than 18 inches in height but less than four feet in height shall be fenced in the manner prescribed for in-ground pools, except that fencing material shall be above the pool so as to provide an effective four-foot barrier from the ground and same shall be deemed satisfactory.

Any embankment or structures shall be located a minimum of three feet from the outside edge of the swimming pool. In the event the three-foot clearance cannot be achieved, the property shall be fenced in accordance with the provisions for in-ground pools or such portion of said pool shall be fenced so as to isolate the section of the pool elevated less than four feet above the surrounding surface or ground.

Filter units shall be located a minimum of three feet from the outside edge of aboveground swimming pools or provided with a surrounding barrier or enclosure four feet in height.

All fences shall be kept in good repair and maintained in such a manner as not to negate their original and primary purpose.


All lighting for a private swimming pool shall be installed so as to comply with all safety regulations and shall be shielded so as to prevent any direct beam of light from shining on any adjoining property.

78-5.2Electrical lines.

No overhead electric lines shall be carried across any swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool.


Every swimming pool constructed, installed, established or maintained in the Borough of Washington shall at all times comply with the requirements of the Board of Health. Any nuisance or hazard to health which may develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any such swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool shall be forthwith abated and removed by the owner, lessee or occupant of the premises on which the said pool is located upon receipt of notice from the Manager of the Borough of Washington.

It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector and the Manager to enforce the provisions of this chapter. They shall order in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist which violates any of the provisions of this chapter.

The owner or operator of any pool within the Borough of Washington shall allow the said Building Inspector and the Manager or other authorized official access to any swimming pool, wading pool or portable pool, and the appurtenances thereto, for the purposes of inspection to ascertain compliance with this chapter and all other pertinent Borough ordinances and state laws at all reasonable times.

Whenever any swimming pool by reason of mechanical defects or improper operation and care is, in the opinion of the Manager, Building Inspector or Health Officer, polluted and detrimental to health, such pool may be summarily closed and the nuisance directed to be abated.


This chapter shall apply to all new and existing pools, except where otherwise indicated herein, and shall take effect as provided by law.

78-8Violations and penalties.

The owner or agent of a building or premises wherein any swimming pool installation is located where a violation of any provision of this chapter shall have been committed or shall exist, together with the agent, architect, builder, contractor or any other person who shall commit, take part or assist in any such violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall for each and every violation be subject to imprisonment for a period no greater than 90 days or be fined a sum not to exceed $500, or both, at the discretion of the local magistrate. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.


If any word, clause, section, subsection, sentence, phrase, provision or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall apply to that word, clause, section, subsection, sentence, phrase, provision or portion of such adjudication, and the remainder of this chapter shall be deemed valid and effective.

78-10Relief from provisions.

Relief from any of the provisions of this chapter may be granted by the Borough Council upon receipt of an application by the aggrieved party, and same having been reviewed by the Borough Manager and Building Inspector, and with their advice, a waiver may be granted by Council.

78-11When effective.

This chapter shall take effect immediately after final passage and publication as required by law.


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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