Is A Building Permit Required For A Swimming Pool?

by Donna
(Travese City, Michigan)

Do we need a building permit for a swimming pool even though this is not a permanent fixture? Land use permit?

Do we need to pay this every year or only a one time fee? We live in Michigan.

What are the State laws? We are finding it hard to find them.

Thanks for your help


Hi Donna

I am not a resident of Michigan and really don't know the laws pertaining to building either above ground or inground swimming pools for your state. I do know that many state and counties require a building permit for both kinds of pools. taxes are another issue.

I did some research and found some websites that you could use:

The last one is Section 6, sub-section 9. Check with your local building code office, building manager, look in the blue pages of the phone book for Travese City, or call a local swimming pool contractor.

They would probably have the answers for your situation. Hope this helps


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Swimming Pool Guildeline Update
by: Donna

After checking with a swimming pool supply store in our town, we were told that the pool being a height of 48" is within the guidelines of the State of Michigan and we would not have to have a fence around the pool as long as we have a cover an the latter can either be locked or removed and the pool was at least 6 feet away from any structure that would allow someone to jump into the pool.

We found this information on one of the links that was provided which backed up what the pool supply company said. However if we want to take additional precautions building a fence around the pool would be our option.

The state guidelines says we would be within the above ground pool guidelines according to the above listed information but that each township can make amendments. We talked to our insurance agent to see if we needed additional coverage on our homeowners insurance and we were told we did not need any additional coverage for having an above ground pool.

The insurance agent suggested we call our township and find out what the guidelines are. After several conversations with our township: the first being we had to go in and pick up written guideline, they could not give them to us over the phone- It was 6 pages long.

We were within the guidelines. He was not sure if we needed a building permit and being Memorial weekend we could call back on Tuesday. We did. We were told that there were updated guidelines that he wasn?t aware of and yes we needed to build a fence with locking door around the pool and that we needed a building permit $135 and a land use permit $50 and that we will incur these fees yearly since we take it down and set it up. (to me that is ridiculous, if we built an addition it would be a one- time fee- if we pay the permits we for an item it should be a one-time fee)

We spent $369 for the pool. The other thing that is frustrating is that the township guy said most people don?t ask and they don?t go looking. (So because we wanted to do what was right and what our insurance man suggested, we are penalized)

Shouldn't an ordinance be either enforced or amended if they are not going to enforce it equally across the board or maybe they should just follow the state guidelines. We were looking for a little fun for a couple of years with a cheap-end above ground swimming pool. We were not looking to spend $1,200 or more.

We wanted to be safe and to be safe for those living around us. It got to be such a huge hassle and ridiculous local charges that we ended up taking the pool back.

Thanks for your comment Donna

I'm sure alot of people feel the same way. Welcome to the land of government bureaucracy. Hopefully you and your family can find a pool that's nearby for the Summer.

Have A Great Summer


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