Charlottetown seeks input about solid covers on backyard pools as replacement for fencing

·2 min read
In Charlottetown, homeowners are required to install a 1.8-metre fence around their pools. (Colin Butler/CBC News - image credit)
In Charlottetown, homeowners are required to install a 1.8-metre fence around their pools. (Colin Butler/CBC News - image credit)

The City of Charlottetown is asking residents for their input on a proposal to use solid pool covers as a replacement for fencing around residential swimming pools.

The city's bylaw requires a swimming pool to be completely surrounded by a fence or structure that is at least 1.8 metres high.

But a proposed amendment would allow property owners to waive the fencing requirement if they have a certified pool cover.

The amendment would also force the city to formally adopt a new industry standard code requirement for swimming pool covers.

The issue was first raised in 2020 when a property owner submitted a request to have the bylaw changed.

At Monday night's monthly meeting, councillors unanimously voted to move the issue forward to public consultation.

Alex Forbes, the city's manager of planning and heritage, said the proposed covers would have to be be solid.

"It's just not like a fabric type of a cover, it's a permanent type of a cover that you can stand on," he said.

"It's a motorized piece of technology. It can be locked. And so some property owners would prefer to invest possibly in that type of technology. And if they do, they're suggesting or claiming that once the pool is closed, it is as effective as a fence."

Lifesaving Society opposes idea

Barbara Byers, national media spokesperson for the Lifesaving Society, does not support the proposal. She said the more protection against drowning the better. She said homeowners need to compensate for human error.

"I think a pool cover is great, but not instead of a fence, but in addition to," she said.

"So the Lifesaving Society's position, and this is similar to water safety, drowning prevention advocates from around the world, is that layers of protection are the most effective way to reduce drownings in backyard pools."

The public meeting will take place July 26 at 7 p.m. at the Rodd Royalty Hotel.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting