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Wellesley approves new rules for fencing around pools

Live in Wellesley and planning on putting in a pool, even the wading kind, next summer? You’ll want to check out the new fence bylaw council approved this week.

The new rules apply to fencing requirements for pools, setting new height requirements, for instance.

The largest difference in the new bylaw involves a clarification of definitions and provisions established for the permit process, though no changes to the existing fees and charges are included.

In regards to the height and location of fences, none shall exceed 2.03m in height in a side or rear yard with no larger than 0.8m in the front yard, reads the new bylaw. No barbed wire, electric, or snow fencing is permitted to be used as permanent option. Permits are required for the construction of swimming pools – plans to construct or erect a swimming pool enclosure will be reviewed for the township.

All privately owned swimming pools must be fenced or enclosed for swimming pools capable of holding a water depth at 0.8m with a fence between 1.2m and 2.03 metres – in the case of above-ground pools with no related climbing devices no other fence is required.

Though ultimately approved unanimously, the changes did raise some questions, especially from Coun. Herb Neher, who expressed concerns about the potential impact on kiddy pools, as an example.

“People have these little pools here and they are going to have to build a fence around them – they are two feet or whatever, they are this high, and they have to have a fence. But the 10, 12 inches don’t have to have anything at all. Where are the smaller kids going to drown? They are going to drown in these small pools that are 10 inches,” he said. “I think sometimes we gotta stay out of people’s backyards – that’s all I am saying, because you know that’s a very, very small size.

“People put them up – I know of people that have them put them up for the summer – and they are going to have to build a five-foot fence around them that they are going to have to take away. I find it silly, personally. I know that safety is a factor, but I think that we go overboard with it sometimes and this is one of those areas.”

Having been passed, the bylaw comes into effect next year.

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