Thursday, August 24, 2006

Too Much Time on Their Hands

From the Argus:

At its meeting Thursday, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners will consider new requirements on owners of inflatable swimming pools to sign affidavits taking responsibility for keeping the water at a certain level to comply with state law.
According to a memo to the board from Robert Kobylas, acting head of the Building Department, the pools are governed by a 2003 Michigan law mandating that pools with water more than 24 inches deep have a fence around them and for owners to get permits from the county. But because the pools are so easily purchased now, many people are assuming the law doesn’t apply, the memo said.

Kobylas wrote that his department has received complaints from neighbors of people with the pools, expressing concern for the safety of children because there are no fences. Users of the pools have argued that the pools are temporary and will be removed at the end of the summer, the memo said.

What a stupid law. I need a permit from the county to have an inflatable swimming pool? As far as the commissioners, this is ridiculous proposal and I hope they don't do the dirty work for the state here. If I wasn't going to be a lawyer and have a special ethics code to follow, I wouldn't get the permit for a pool anyway. I'm from the old school where a man's home is his castle.


BigShot said...

Mr. Michigander,

While this is not relevant to the above article, it must be reported. The Livingston County TeenAgeRepublicanS are putting on there 2nd annual 9/11 rememberance event on 9/11 in front of the Howell Court House lawn. We would like you to post an article on your blog advertising it.

Thank you,

BigShot, Chair of Web and Blog Committee.

P.S. If you would like more information on the LCTARs, than go to there web site at

Keith Richards said...

I can understand the reason for requiring that a pool be enclosed by a fence. Pools tend to attract small children like magnets to steel, and it can be tough for parents to protect their children if there is an unfenced pool in a neighbors yard 50 feet from their back door.

At first glance this might look like a case where parents need to do a better job of watching their children, but anyone who has ever supervised small children is aware of their talent for quickly disappearing to get into trouble. This simple reality about small children dictates that we must take reasonable precautions to keep our yards free of "attractive nuisances" or else keep them protected by a reasonable fence.

Pool owners need to be aware of the potential for lawsuits. If someone is injured or drowns in their pool they WILL be sued. And if they are not in compliance with the law at the time of the accident they are potentially open to a charge of criminal negligence. Also, if the insurer of the property discovers an unprotected pool in the yard it could result in cancellation of the insurance policy. You don't issue policies to people that look for trouble.

This having been said, the idea of having pool owners sign an affidavit seems like a strange way to handle this problem.

It would be better to work to inform pool owners of pool laws and the reasons for these laws and then issue citations to pool owners found in violation of these laws. A threat of stiff penalties combined with an educational campaign should be enough to get most homeowners to comply.

Virtous Woman said...

Pool permits are necessary to protect public health. Ponds, rivers and streams are mapped. Pool permits let government know the use of water by citizens. Water harbors all sorts of bacteria...

Virtous Woman said...

There are plenty of "shack" castles in Livingston County. Laws and rules are needed for people like this castle guy.