Really would like a swimming pool, but property is only 7800 SF and occupied
by a large house. Not much room on the sides, the front is a driveway and a
2 car garage, and a center courtyard "surrounded by the house. The back is
fifteen feet from the property line and sixty feet wide and has a five feet
utility easement. On the other side is another property (not street or
anything). The underground electric line, phone lines, sewer & water all
comes out on the side to the front.
Is it too far fetched to consider a lap pool in the back all the way against
the property line (we will have to find a way to get the utility easement
"waived"?) may be 50 feet by 10 feet? or will it look like a "ditch" too
much? Any other ideas?
Thanks in advance,
Typically what you are talking about is called a variance. It's a
variance granted from some specific zoning reqt, like the amount of
sideyard required in the zoning for your home. First, you need to
determine whether you need one or not. Either the building, code
enforcement depts at your municipality are the place to start. If you
do need a variance, the process is outlined. It usually includes a
fee, submitting site plans, notifiying property owners within a
prescribed radius, attending a public hearing where you will state
your case and property owners will have a chance to object, etc. Then
you may or may not get what you want.
Before you even get to that point, I would evaluate why you want a
pool and how much you will really use a particular pool. For some
people, they are all about entertaining, for others for their kids,
excercise, etc. Figure out what you could put in the space you have
vs how much use you will get out of it. From a resale standpoint,
studies show people on average don't get back much of what they spend
on a pool.
I think we are talking about two different things. Varience is a change in
the in the zoning that alows you to something otherwise not permitted. Your
definition is correct.
An easment is a right of way. It allows the utility company (or whoever
has the easment) to use the property. In the case of the utility company,
they may not want a 50' pool where they part the trucks while working on
power lines. Or they don't want to drive through a pool to get to the lines
up the path when they need work.
Understood. But this is not a property with a back alley or a back road.
The back side fence is shared with an abuting property. There is no
existing utility that runs along side or across it (well as far as I can
tell from the survey). So I am not sure how the utility company can get to
park there, there is no vehicle access to the back of the property from
either side of the house (not enough room) and the same situation from the
other property. So this easement is along a series of 10 to 12 fences with
property on both sides with no vehicular access and some of those are
concrete fences (seems they should not have been permitted to even put in
wrote in message
In the area where we live there are "utility" easements that run in
the area 5 feet adjacent to most lot lines. They are there for the
utility companies and municipal authorities to use to run utilities
through the property - not necessarily park vehicles and or use to
allow their service vehicles access to anything.
Recently several utilities in this area have gone wild and are running
extensive networks of conduit for fiber optic lines in most if not all
the utility easement in the city! Time warner cable and several
telephone companies in addition to the town installed conduits and
fished fiber optics through them about four years ago. Now they have
found that the previous installations were inadequate and are laying
in more conduits (in various colors to distinguish the owners and
services) and following through with cable installations that are
using them. The town for instance is installing a synchronized
traffic light system that requires all traffic lights in the town to
be connected t the central computer control point - this has resulted
in them using 'ditch witch' devices to run it along the sidewalks and
adjacent to the streets in those utility easements as well as in the
medians on the larger roads. As a result this has resulted in the
removal of a significant number of larger trees on the streets - the
other utilities have gone through private property using the easements
and removed any shrubbery that happened to be in an area where they
had to 'go under' - none of the utilities doing this are obligated to
restore the landscape they destroy because this was the purpose of the
easement and the property owners who made 'improvements' in the
easements did so at the risk of this happening!
Actually, they can do anything they damn well please, within legal limits.
The other poster mentioned a variance. Truth is, if the did get an
exception on the easment, they still may need a variance, but that depends
on the local laws.
On 12/3/2004 10:48 PM US(ET), orangetrader took fingers to keys, and
typed the following:
That's called a "variance". Your adjoining neighbors get to vote whether
or not they want to allow you to place something closer to their
properties than is allowed by code. Even if they all say it's OK, the
zoning department can overrule the vote, or not allow the vote to take
place at all. A pool is considered an "attractive nuisance". It has more
potential danger than if you were asking about a variance for an
addition to your house, or a garage, shed, or some other structure. The
code also may require a fence completely surrounding the pool which
geatly increases the area needed for a pool.
all the way against>the property line (we will have to find a way to get the
I don't think you should worry so much about it "looking like a 'ditch' " as
much as whether or not you'll really be able to swim laps. Do you swim laps
regularly? If I were you, I'd go to your local YMCA or other pool and swim some
laps, and see how much length you need in order to get a good workout. I am a
regular lap swimmer, and I don't feel as if I've had a good workout if I can't
swim in a pool that is AT LEAST 60 feet long (that's 88 lengths to the mile).
Most YMCA-type pools are about 75 feet or 25 yards long. I get a much better
workout from that length. If I swim in a 40 or 50 foot pool, I feel as if I'm
nearly half way across by the time I kick off from one end. If these issues
don't matter that much to you, then I guess you'd have to be concerned with
whether or not there is a lot of bedrock to drill through. That can be
prohibitively expensive. An acquaintance of mine had a 60-foot pool built in
her backyard. It is a single lane in width. It's very nice, but her husband is
a multi-millionaire, so they could afford it. I've often wanted to ask her,
"Why didn't you just make it 75 feet long. I mean, if you're that wealthy, why
not put in the extra fifteen feet?" Of course, I didn't say that, but I do
wonder about it.
Yes, start thinking about this:
1- endless pools. They're about 8' wide x 12-15 or 20' long and large pumps are
used to push water towards the swimmer. You can swim to your heart's content
and never get to the other side.
2- Most municipalities and utilities will not allow anything on a utility
easement, variance or not. If they allow you, everyone will want to do it.
3- When you purchase a McMansion on an undersized lot, lose the mindset that
your property is in proportion to your house, or that there's room for all of
the traditional backyard fixin's.
I seem to remember seeing on a home show, a small pool, which had a real
powerful pump in it that one would have to swim full strength to stay
put. Kinda like a swimming pool treadmill. It looked to be about 20' or
so in diameter.
Oh, yes! I've seen advertisements for those so-called "Endless Pools." I saw
one that was about 10' x 11' or so, and it generates a variable current,
anywhere from 0 to 4 miles an hour, and you have to swim against the current.
It sounds like a good workout! I think they start at about $20,000. You can
have them inside, too, if you have a room large enough and can tolerate the
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