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Although a building permit is not required for swimming pools, there are zoning requirements concerning location, screening, and security measures which must be met. An electrical permit must be obtained by a licensed electrician for all swimming pools. If it is a public or commercial pool, such as a club, apartment complex, etc., the Durham County Health Department must be contacted to obtain their approval prior to beginning the project. These requirements and regulations apply to both in-ground and above-ground pools which have a water depth of over 24 inches or have a surface area of over 100 square feet.
Certain distances to the adjacent property lines must be maintained, depending on the usage. If the pool is a commercial pool, the pool and any surrounding decking must be at least 100 feet inside the property lines if the adjacent property is residential, and at least 50 feet within the property lines if the adjacent property is non-residential. If the pool is for private usage at a single-family dwelling (duplexes and triplexes are included in this category if within the city limits), the pool cannot be located in the front or side yard. When located in the rear yard, the pool and decking shall not be located closer than 5 feet to the rear property line. If the pool and decking is located within 20 feet of any adjacent property line, an opaque fence at least 6 feet in height must be installed around the pool to screen it from the neighboring property. If the pool is located over 20 feet from any adjacent property, the opaque screening fence may be only 4 feet in height. Regardless of distances, the zoning ordinance requires all pools to be screened from view from the street and adjacent property.
Fences are required to provide security around all pools. Any fence opening is required to be gated with a self-closing and self-latching gate, which is set up to be able to be locked during times when the pool is not in use. The house itself may be part of the pool enclosure configuration. The playing of music on a public address system is prohibited when the property on which the pool is located is adjacent to residential property, unless a special event permit has been obtained for specific hours.