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Ratification of Hamilton’s new pool fence bylaw delayed

Hamilton homeowners planning to install a pool in 2017 may also need to erect an isolated, four-sided fence that does not obstruct the view of the pool. A final decision on the bylaw will be made on May 4.

Hamilton’s new isolated fence bylaw, which was to be endorsed on April 13, has been delayed after local pool builders lobbied their objections to council during the ratification meeting.

According to a CBC News report, council will invite public feedback at a general issues committee meeting on May 4, at which time a decision will be made.

Dana Simpson, general manager of The Pool Shoppe, attended this week’s meeting to state her opinion on the proposed bylaw.

“Lots are getting smaller and smaller, which means customers are putting pools in increasingly smaller yards,” she said in the report. “So the “double fencing” law–a fence around the backyard, then a four-sided fence around the pool–makes it more difficult for them. It may actually prevent someone from getting a pool.”

Simpson, along with other similar protesters, argued that education and adult supervision, not four-sided fencing, is more beneficial  to pool (and water) safety.

Earlier it was reported that new residential pool installations in Hamilton would soon require an isolated fence—in addition to any backyard fence that may already exist—after the city’s planning committee approved changes to its pool enclosure bylaw.

According to a report by The Hamilton Spectator, the updated bylaw would take effect January 2017 and applies to all water features that are at least 0.6 m (2 ft) deep. Fences must be 1.5-m (5-ft) tall and include a self-closing, self-latching gate. Further, fences constructed of materials that obstruct the view of the pool (e.g. solid wood), are not permitted. The updated bylaw, should it be ratified, would not be retroactive to existing backyard pools.

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6 comments on “Ratification of Hamilton’s new pool fence bylaw delayed”

  1. Why not use an automatic pool cover ?
    In addition to providing total closure to the pool, it is the most energy efficient add to many new ant or existing pools that has ever been introduced in the swimming pool industry & does not block any views.
    The cost of the 5’glass enclosure pictured is nice, very expensive @ only 5′ high & gated = minimum security,
    The folks in Hamilton may want to give their idea a second thought.

    1. I am a little uncomfortable with the “if it saves one life” argument that was used by Maria Pearson – if you want to look at it like that, then outlawing pools completely is sure to save more than one life…should we do that too? More fences I do not feel are the answer. This will dramatically change the functional usage of the backyard space the swimming pools occupy…and not for the better while doing very little to actually improve the safety of the area.

  2. “If this saves just one life…” The classic justification for PC totalitarianism. Well lets ban buildings over two stories to prevent falls…and knives…and cars shouldn’t go faster than 30 k/h…

  3. UPDATE: Ratification of Hamilton’s new pool fence bylaw has been delayed. Council will listen to public feedback at a general issues committee meeting on May 4 before making a decision.

    Jason Cramp
    Pool & Spa Marketing

  4. I lost my first son at 2.5 years old in a drowning I hope common sense prevails and nothing is forced on we the people and pool builders like myself and home owners keep there pools safe from the silent killer.

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