, Derry, New Hampshire

September 27, 2012

Pool company blamed for permit problem

By James Niedzinski

---- — LONDONDERRY — The Zoning Board of Adjustment usually hears cases about structures that will be built or modified, not pools that already have been built.

But during last week’s meeting, the zoning board had to decide whether a pool should be torn down. Residents Jason and Tara Spencer of 1 Leelynn Circle had to defend their pool.

Town officials made it clear, the residents were not at fault, rather it was the pool company in Hampstead, The Pool Doctor.

Initially, an employee from the pool company had told the Spencer family a pool is a temporary structure, not a permanent one. Under that reasoning, the pool would not require any permit from the town and the pool went up last month, Jason Spencer said.

But the pool company employee was wrong and an electrician informed the couple they need a permit from the town in order to have the pool in working condition.

Town regulation states that a permanent structure must be at least 15 feet away from abutting property lines. In this case, the pool sits just 11 feet from Tracy Taylor’s property at 479 Mammoth Road.

Another neighbor, Betsy McKinney, appeared before the board to voice her support the Spencer family, although her property at 3 Leelynn Circle does not abut the pool.

Taylor wrote a letter to the board, stating he is fine with the pool’s location. But it isn’t that simple.

“Why should this board have to provide a variance, which would last forever, because a contractor screwed up?” acting ZBA Chairman Larry O’ Sullivan said.

Even though neighbors had no problems with the pool remaining where it was installed, future abutters might have a problem with it down the line, O’ Sullivan said.

Ultimately, the board voted in favor of the pool staying put.