DISTRIBUTION:    All Departments

SUBJECT:    Survey Requirements for Swimming Pool Building Permit.

PURPOSE:    To establish the requirement of a survey performed  by a licensed surveyor as part of the required plans and specifications to obtain a building permit to construct a swimming pool.

BACKGROUND:    Encroachments of swimming pools and accompanying walkways, decks or cabanas into platted utility easements are occurring more frequently. Such     encroachments are normally caused by the pool contractor not knowing the exact location of lot lines and utility easements.  Without a survey of each lot with stakes on lot and utility easement lines, it is virtually impossible for a building inspector to prevent the encroachment.  Such encroachments are particularly likely to happen in new subdivisions that require the owner to fence and maintain the platted utility easements.  This situation gives the owner the false impression that the utility easement may be used for private purposes.

The net result of the encroachment is a title problem which appears when the owner desires to sell or refinance the property.  Often the City is asked to close and vacate the portion of the utlity easement encumbered by the encroachment.  The City then faces maintenance problems with its public utilities in the reduced easement.  Additionally, there have been occasions when the closure/ vacation of an utility easement was infeasible and the owner simply had to live with the title problem.

Obviously, the resolution of such title problems is between the owner and the pool contractor.  The City has no legal obligation to reduce the utility easement size as the means to solve encroachments.  However, it would be far better to prevent future encroachments than to continue our policy of requiring a plot plan to obtain a building permit to construct a swimming pool.  The plot plan is not being drawn to scale and is giving insufficient information to prevent encroachments.

The adopted international building codes grant the building official the authority to require additional details as appropriate to obtain a building permit.  With regard to obtaining a building permit for swimming pool construction, it is in the best interests of all parties to require a scaled survey of the lot performed by a licensed surveyor in place of the normal plot plan.

PROCEDURE:    Plans and specifications described and itemized in the adopted international building codes shall be submitted for review to obtain a building permit to construct a swimming pool.  Additionally, a survey performed by a licensed surveyor shall be submitted indicating the locations of all existing structures, lot and utility easement boundary lines, proposed swimming pool location and all proposed accompanying improvements such as walkways, decks and cabanas.  The lot on which the pool is to be constructed shall be staked by the licensed surveyor on all lot and utility easement boundary lines.  These surveyor's stakes shall remain in place throughout the construciton period until the final inspection has been performed and approved by the Inspection Services Division.

REFERENCES:    Chapter 6, Lawton City code eCode

RESCISSION:    This policy will remain in effect until rescinded.