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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Township of Pemberton, Burlington County

June 12, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


Portable pools shall not be subject to the requirements of § 190-46 and are those pools which are not otherwise permanently installed; do not require water filtration, circulation and purification; do not exceed 18 inches in depth; do not exceed a water surface area of 100 square feet; and do not require braces or supports.


Means and includes artificially constructed pools, whether located above or below the ground, having a depth of more than 18 inches and/or a water surface of 100 square feet or more, designed and maintained for swimming and bathing purposes by an individual for use by members of his household and guests and which is located on a lot as an accessory use, and includes all buildings, structures, equipment and appurtenances thereto

190-46Swimming pools.

No private residential swimming pool shall be constructed or installed on any lot unless the lot contains a residence building. Pools shall be located in rear yard areas only and shall meet the setback distances for accessory buildings as specified in Article IV for each particular zoning district.

[Amended 11-7-1986 by Ord. No. 26-1986; 9-19-2002 by Ord. No. 19-2002]

A swimming pool shall occupy no more than 75% of the rear yard area in which it is located.

A private residential swimming pool area must be surrounded by a suitable self-latching fence at least four feet but no more than six feet in height.

[Amended 11-7-1986 by Ord. No. 26-1986]

No portion of the fence erected around a swimming pool shall be less than three feet from the nearest point of water. All swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and similar type of accessory uses shall comply with all requirements in § 190-46.

Borough of Pennington, Mercer County –


For the purposes of the chapter, the words and phrases listed below shall be defined as follows:


Any artificially constructed basin or other structure for the holding of water for use by the possessor, his or her family or guests, for swimming, diving and other aquatic sports and recreation. “Permanent private swimming pool” shall not mean any plastic, canvas or rubber pool upon the ground having a capacity of less than 500 gallons of water and temporarily erected or installed upon the ground.


Any individual, firm or corporation having an interest in the premises which a private swimming pool or wading pool is located as owner, tenant, occupant or the agent, servant or employee of such owner, tenant or occupant.


Any artificially constructed basin or other structure for the holding of water for use by the possessor, his or her family or guests, but not designed for swimming and diving and having a capacity of less than 500 gallons of water.


[Amended 12-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-14]

Permanent private swimming pools constructed prior to the passage of this chapter shall be exempt from the following provisions of this chapter unless alteration of facilities is sought:

Sections 185-3 and 185-4 pertaining to application for permits for new construction.

Section 185-6A pertaining to location of pools.

185-3Permit required.

No private swimming pool shall hereafter be constructed, installed or maintained without having first obtained a permit therefor in the manner hereinafter described from the Construction Code Official.

185-4Application information; issuance of permit.

Application for the construction and/or installation of a private swimming pool shall be made in writing in duplicate to the Construction Code Official, by the owner of the property upon which such pool is to be constructed, installed or maintained or by the contractor who will construct or install said pool. The application shall be accompanied by a duplicate set of plans, specifications and plot plans of the property. Such final plans, specifications and reports shall include:


Dimensions of said pool.


Water volume.


Location of said pool with particular regard to minimum distances to side lines of plot and other buildings on the site.


A description of the method of lighting said pool, if any.


A description of the fencing of said pool.


Any other information deemed necessary by the Construction Code Official.

Upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and approval of the final plans and specifications, together with the data contained herein and upon payment of fees hereinafter specified, a permit will be issued for the location and construction so requested.

185-5Compliance with other regulations.

[Amended 12-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-14]

All private permanent pools shall be so constructed as to comply with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Construction Codes, Chapter 215, Zoning, health regulations and other pertinent regulations, ordinances and codes of the Borough of Pennington.


[Amended 6-1-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-6]



Private swimming pools, wading pools and hot tubs shall be erected in the rear yard only.


No private swimming pool 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 15 feet from any property line.



All materials used in the construction of private swimming pools shall be watertight and so designed and constructed as to facilitate the emptying and cleaning of such pools, and they shall be so maintained and operated as to be clean and sanitary at all times. The bottom and sides of the pool shall be so maintained and operated as to be clean and sanitary at all times. The bottom and sides of the pool shall be a white or light color but no aluminum paint may be used as a finish. Sand or earth bottom shall not be permitted. Pools shall be so constructed as to be leakproof.


Upon completion, each permanent private swimming pool shall be considered as an accessory building on the premises on which it is located.


No plot or premises on which a permanent private swimming pool is located as an accessory building shall be subdivided if the result will be that the said pool will be separated from the residence property to which it originally attached.


Cabanas or similar structures shall not be erected to a height in excess of one story.

185-7Sanitary regulations.

Water supply.


No public water shall be used in connection with the operation of any private swimming pool during any time when restrictions are imposed upon the use of public water.[1]


Editor’s Note: See Ch. 209, Water Conservation.


All water used in any private swimming pool shall be obtained from an established source of potable water. There shall be no physical connection between the source of potable water and the swimming pool circulation or filtering systems.

Drainage. All private swimming pools hereafter constructed within the Borough of Pennington shall be provided with one drainage outlet not in excess of three inches in diameter extending from said pool to either a brook, storm sewer or lawn sprinkling system on the premises on which said 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. Approval shall not be given to discharge such water at the curb or upon the surface of any street or on adjacent property without the express approval of the owner of the adjacent property.


Every person who owns or is in possession of any premises on which there is situated a swimming pool, wading pool or any outside body of water created by artificial means (herein referred to as a “pool”) any portion of which is 12 inches deep or more shall install and maintain on the lot or premises and completely surrounding such pool or body of water a permanent fence of durable material at least four feet in height which shall be so constructed as not to have openings, mesh, holes or gaps larger than four square inches, except for doors and gates, and if a picket fence is erected or maintained, the horizontal opening between shall not exceed two inches.[1]


Editor’s Note: See Ch. 215, Zoning, § 215-24C.

All doors or gates used in conjunction with the fence shall meet the same specifications as the fence itself and shall be of such size as to completely fill any opening in the fence.

All doors or gates shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices and shall be kept closed and securely latched at all times when the pool is not in use.

Nothing in this section shall apply to pools having sides extending four feet or more above grade, provided that the stairs or other means of access to the pool are removed when not in use or are effectively closed with a gate as provided above which shall be closed and securely latched when such pool is not in use.

All other pools unless enclosed by a fence of the type and dimensions herein above specified shall be either emptied when not in use or unattended or covered with a suitable strong protective covering capable of being securely fastened or locked in place when not in use or attended.

185-9Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-14]

Any person who violates or neglects to comply with any provision of this chapter or notice issue pursuant thereto shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each successive day during which the violation exists shall constitute a separate violation.


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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