Sep 062010

Pool construction always requires more than just digging a hole.

The process can require hours of research into local requirements and interpreting confusing language to make sure people are following the letter of the law.

The Queen Creek Town Council just made that process a little easier.

Coinciding with National Water Safety Month, the council last week approved a measure clarifying many requirements and moving its disparate regulations, including those governing pool fences, into one part of its building codes.

“Now you’ve got one place to look for all the requirements including fed law, state law, et cetera,” said Dean Wise, who oversees the town’s building safety division.

Wise said the net result saves time and money for both parties, allowing builders to complete their projects correctly on the first attempt.

“The more information that people have that is discernible, the better product you usually get,” Wise said.

It improves safety, said Rick Chafey, co-owner of Red Rock Pools & Spas.

“The benefit of having all this information now under one ordinance should definitely make it safer because we won’t overlook something,” he said.

Chafey said pool requirements for new home construction are often found in a municipality’s zoning ordinances while requirements for remodels are under the building section.

“It really doesn’t make sense for there to be a separate set of rules . . . especially when it comes to the safety requirements and safety issues with pools,” he said.

The move culminates more than a year of painstaking work by Wise, who said he had to pore over federal and state laws and canvass countless requirements in jurisdictions across the Valley and nation.

Chafey said interpretations and vagueness in municipal laws can be a challenge for builders.

“It seems every city we go to has a different set of rules and then when that city has complicated rules, it definitely makes it even worse when you’ve got to kind of read between the lines to figure out how they’re going to apply them,” he said.

Queen Creek said the ordinance passed by the Town Council will clarify some requirements to cut down on confusion.

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