The effects of the COVID-19 virus have travelled far beyond hospital walls. With the ease and speed at which the virus can spread, its effects are felt in almost all aspects of everyday life. With the continued enforcement of government restrictions and with summer quickly approaching, there is concern regarding whether pools will be open at all, let alone during any part of the summer. In response to pool closures, some HOAs are taking proactive measures to allow homeowners within these communities to salvage this summer activity.
Review the Association’s Policy Regarding Pools
Association boards should review their governing documents (CCRs) to determine whether established guidelines regarding above ground pools already exist. If the governing documents set a limitation on above ground pools, review whether a definition of “above ground pool” is given. If there is a definition, determine whether the language casts a blanket ban on all above ground pools or if it may allow for certain types of temporary above ground pools. For example, an association might define “above ground pool” as a pool that is professionally installed, requires a pump and filter system, meets or exceeds certain size standards, and is not temporary in nature such as, being inflatable, made of thin plastic, PVC piping or the like.”
If Permissible, Issue a Policy
While the most “fool proof” way to allow temporary above ground pools if they are not expressly permitted by the CCRs is to amend the documents, doing so is costly, time consuming and largely permanent. As such, the most efficient way for a board to achieve this goal may be to utilize it’s policy-making authority and create a temporary policy which allows members to install temporary above ground pools that meet specific guidelines. By doing so, boards may achieve the goal of supplementing the use of common area pools during the normal “pool season” while leaving the CCRs unaltered.
If a policy may be utilized, it should explain that installation of temporary above ground pools which meet the requirements set forth in the policy will be permissible beginning on the date of the policy’s execution and ending on such date as the board deems appropriate. The policy should state that it will automatically revoke on the ending date and will be considered ineffective thereafter. Any member found to have an above ground pool in violation of the governing documents after the date of revocation may be considered in violation of said documents and may be subject to the association’s fine policy. Also important is that any such policy narrowly define what the board considers to be a temporary above ground pool as allowed by the policy and also identify the approved location of any such temporary pool.
By reviewing its governing documents and carefully reviewing its options, HOA boards may be able to allow some summer fun into its community. If you need more assistance reviewing your governing documents as they relate to above ground pools, contact DBL Law.
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