Legislature overturns setback requirement for swimming pools
The General Assembly has overturned a Coastal Resources Commission rule requiring oceanfront swimming pools to meet setback requirements.
Adopted by the CRC last year, the rule would have required new swimming pools, tennis courts and concrete foundations for storage sheds to meet the same setbacks as oceanfront houses. Setbacks are a minimum of 60 feet from the first line of stable natural vegetation. The rule was scheduled to take effect Aug. 1, 2002.
The legislature adopted a bill that will allow the continued construction of swimming pools in the setback zone. Tennis courts and storage-shed foundations will still have to meet setbacks.
The CRC adopted the rule change after examining ways to reduce the risk of damage from tropical storms and hurricanes. Storms can break up swimming pools and tennis courts and turn them into battering rams that harm houses and other structures. The cost of cleaning up these structures after storms often falls to taxpayers.
What the rule says
Under the rule, new tennis courts will have to be located farther behind the first line of stable natural vegetation. As with other structures, the setback distance will be determined by the size of the court and the average annual erosion rate for the portion of coast where it will be built. Concrete foundations for storage sheds also will have to meet setback requirements.
The CRC's rule added sand fences to the list of structures allowed within the setback zone.
The rule also better defines the types of materials from which parking areas inside the setback can be built: packed sand, clay or gravel.