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Holmes Beach plans ‘slide rule’ ordinance

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

        Holmes Beach City attorney Patricia Petruff drafted a new ordinance for review by the planning commission that may include one of the most restrictive swimming pool slide rules in the country.

        Some newer vacation homes have pool slides that allow the users to enter the pool from the second-floor balcony and neighbors have complained about noise and safety issues at those locations.

        Commissioner John Monetti previously was tasked with the job of consulting a well-known pool builder as to what constitutes a standard slide for pools as the commission continued its quest to address short-term rental problems in Holmes Beach.

        “At the same time the general feeling was we didn’t want to prohibit all slides because there are a lot of families with little kids,” Monetti said.

        Monetti’s research found that a 6-foot-tall slide is standard for a residential pool.

        In addition, the city is looking to restrict connecting slides and ancillary structures to second-floor porches and encroaching on setbacks.

        So commissioners next discussed grottos, fountains, waterfalls, and how best to prohibit setback encroachments. They also received their planner’s input.

        “As far as actual regulations of slides, we did global searches for many states and looked through Municode and such,” said Bill Brisson, the city’s contracted planner.

        He said the only ordinance found was in Fontana, Calif., which restricted slides from encroaching into setbacks.

        “I’d say, yes, you wouldn’t want any the pool accruements to intercede into the setbacks,” Brisson said.

        Commission Chair David Zaccagnino said there was a consensus that nothing be allowed in the 5-foot setback.

        “So if we pass this, what will be recorded is we will have the most restrictive slide rule in the country,” Monetti said, drawing laughter from the gallery.

        Petruff sent the draft ordinance to city officials last week.

        In addition to the 6-foot maximum height requirement on pool slides, the ordinance includes:

        • Two parking spaces for each dwelling unit and one parking space for each additional bedroom.

        • Four-foot fences to surround existing pools.

        • No pool in any front yard or facing a street.

        • Enclosures to baffle pool equipment noise.

        • Five-foot setbacks for pools, decks and ancillary structures, such as fountains, grottos and slides.

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