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Thread: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

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    Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    In the next few months we're going to start building a custom home with an inground pool in Lakeway, TX but I was told that the city prohibits Fiberglass pools, as stated in the building code:

    Sec. 24.02.445 Swimming pools
    (a) Swimming pool pumps shall be surrounded by sound barriers so that they do not violate the noise ordinance.
    (b) Aboveground, one-piece, or temporary swimming pools are prohibited.

    (Ordinance 2011-04-18-06, rev. 2 (ex. A), adopted 4/18/11)
    I was literally shocked by this because I'm convinced that Fiberglass pools are actually better than vinyl-liner pools. They certainly are a lot better for the environment because they never have to be drained and use a lot less chemicals than gunite pools. Has anyone ever heard about city ordinances prohibiting fiberglass pools?

    My current and previous pool are/were fiberglass and I wouldn't want anything else to be honest. I got so used to the smooth surface & easy maintenance, I don't want to build something else. Unless of course there's a technology that has the same advantages as a fiberglass pool but is not a "one-piece". Have vinyl liners become better quality over the years? Would that be an option? Just thinking out loud here...

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Wow. I've never heard of that before, and I thought for sure I've seen other FB pool owners from your area - certainly above ground owners. I guess if there's a code that restricts such installations, that doesn't mean people won't still have them. But it literally makes no sense to me - personally anyways. I'll be very interested to see how this thread develops.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    It would seem that the ordinance is written to prohibit above-ground pools which some consider to be eye-sores and potential water hazards if they develop a catastrophic leak. Have you tried asking the permitting authority if single shell in-ground fiberglass is ok?


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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    fiberglass pools are not single shell if you attach steps to them that would make it 2 pieces...
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    No cement pool? They are one piece.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    fiberglass pools are not single shell if you attach steps to them that would make it 2 pieces...
    Point well taken. Two piece versus one-piece ... Always a difficult choice


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    I'm trying to find out what they mean by "single-piece". The guy who built our current pool said he had done several fiberglass pools in Lakeway. He said the permit application just said "inground pool" without saying anything about the build process.

    I really had my mind set on this fiberglass diving pool:

    Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 6.34.47 PM.jpg

    I can't see why the city would see this as an "inferior" pool or an "eye-sore"...

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    I bet if you talk to them they would be fine with it. I really think the regulation is to keep people from setting up above ground or Intex type pools. I know my HOA has discussed amendments to our CC&Rs to limit pool types.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I bet if you talk to them they would be fine with it. I really think the regulation is to keep people from setting up above ground or Intex type pools. I know my HOA has discussed amendments to our CC&Rs to limit pool types.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My thoughts as well. I think they are referring to various "temporary/above ground" designs.

    The OP should certainly get clarification on this.
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    I think if that is what you really want, you shouldn't have too many issues getting it. I work in engineering and there are always options for dealing with code issues. Generally there is a zoning board of some sort (here it is the BZA - Board of Zoning Adjustment) where you can take items like this and get a variance approved. If you show pictures and your ideal setup, I don't think you will have any issues arguing the intent of the code vs what you are doing. Aside from seeing it constructed, no one from the outside will ever be able to tell the difference from fiberglass vs gunite vs liner. Poke around your City's permitting web site and see if you can find a zoning variance/waiver application. There is probably a small fee and you will have to make your case to this board, but, I can't imagine you not getting the variance.

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrlandoBull View Post
    I think if that is what you really want, you shouldn't have too many issues getting it. I work in engineering and there are always options for dealing with code issues. Generally there is a zoning board of some sort (here it is the BZA - Board of Zoning Adjustment) where you can take items like this and get a variance approved. If you show pictures and your ideal setup, I don't think you will have any issues arguing the intent of the code vs what you are doing. Aside from seeing it constructed, no one from the outside will ever be able to tell the difference from fiberglass vs gunite vs liner. Poke around your City's permitting web site and see if you can find a zoning variance/waiver application. There is probably a small fee and you will have to make your case to this board, but, I can't imagine you not getting the variance.
    "Small Fee"? That must vary by state.

    In NJ most towns require you to put 10% of the projected cost of the project in "escrow" for a variance request. Of course, once approved and the project complete the town has magically "exhausted" that "escrow" so you never see a penny back. They might as well just call it a "fee" or "tax".

    ac

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    It doesn't surprise me one bit that Lakeway has that restriction. I read it like those above as not wanting to allow bigger above ground pools being sunk into the ground. Doesn't Lakeway also require you to truck in your water as well? Lakeway is the one town in the Austin area that has more restrictions than the City of Austin.
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    "Small Fee"? That must vary by state.

    In NJ most towns require you to put 10% of the projected cost of the project in "escrow" for a variance request. Of course, once approved and the project complete the town has magically "exhausted" that "escrow" so you never see a penny back. They might as well just call it a "fee" or "tax".

    ac
    Wow, that's crazy. It is actually a bit more than I thought here as well I guess, running around $600 depending on the specific municipality.

    Hope you're able to get it worked out, if the PB has done them in the city before, they probably can get through the process with another one.

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    I have seen a few, well, Im just going to say pools, that are old aluminum tanks. Basically 3 feet high walls, about 12 foot in diameter. It is a single aluminum piece as the walls and floors are blended together. I wonder if this is the type of pool that they mean when they say one piece pools.

    From an argumentative point, if you add a skimmer, thats a second part. as is a return. etc.
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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by ummgood View Post
    It doesn't surprise me one bit that Lakeway has that restriction. I read it like those above as not wanting to allow bigger above ground pools being sunk into the ground. Doesn't Lakeway also require you to truck in your water as well? Lakeway is the one town in the Austin area that has more restrictions than the City of Austin.
    NO kidding.. My brother bought a house in Lakeway back in 2003. In 2008 when the recession hit, a huge flood of Californians moved out to Austin and took up residence in Lakeway. To the original poster, I think if you're not doing an above ground pool you're fine. The rule clearly states above ground.

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    Re: Fiberglass pools not allowed by the city!? Alternatives?

    They're talking about those little plastic pools you get at the big box store for like $15.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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