Definition: Swimming Pool-Any structure that is intended for recreational bathing or swimming that contains water deeper than 24 inches. This includes in-ground swimming pools, above-ground or on-ground pools, hot tub and spa. Note that this includes inflatable pools.

Permit Requirements:

The Installation of any swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa and pool fence require permits.

The type of permit you need is determined by the type of pool or spa you are installing. Small above ground pools and spas require zoning (and possibly electric and plumbing permits) as well as fence permit and grading permit.

Large above ground and any in-ground pools require building permits in addition to the permits listed above.

Please note – pools and spas are “structures”.

Planning Considerations

Zoning Requirements:

Before a permit for a pool can be issued it must be reviewed for zoning compliance. Each property within the Borough is part of a designated zoning district. The zoning district specifies the permitted land uses, such as residential, commercial, or industrial, and the minimum distances or set back from the property lines for buildings, accessory structures, and fences, as well as maximum height restrictions.

When you apply for a building permit, the application will automatically be routed to Zoning for review.

Please review the Pool Requirements in the Borough Code.

You are encouraged to contact the Zoning Officer before you finalize your plans to make sure that the project meets minimum zoning requirements and does not encroach on easements or required side, front, or rear yard areas.

Pool Barrier requirements are very specific. Please read the requirements very carefully as permits will not be issued if they do not demonstrate strict compliance.

Applicable Building Codes

All construction work must conform to the requirements of the International Building Code 2018 or simple projects you can view the ICC Codes online at no charge here.

Standard Inspection Requirements (if applicable to your project):

  • Footing and foundation pre-pour (forms in place before concrete is poured)
  • Plumbing, water service, mechanical, and gas
  • Rough electrical (third party selected from our list)

Application Checklist

Please note that we are providing this checklist to assist you in submitting drawings and an application package that will provide enough information for us to understand your proposal and determine if it meets the building code. Failure to provide the needed information will delay your permit. Permit Application and Review Procedures

  • Applicant completes Building and Zoning Permit Application and Checklist. Residential applications require 2 complete sets of plans (site, architectural, mechanical, plumbing, structural, & electrical as needed).
  • Applicant delivers completed signed application, signed completed checklist, and 2 copies of all plans to Borough Building and Zoning Office. Make sure you have the proper type, i.e. residential or commercial. All applicable portions of the permit should be filled in. If you are unsure about the applicability of a question, please ask at the time of submittal. Plans must be complete, identical, legible, to scale, and stapled together as two separate sets.
  • All applications will be checked at the counter for completeness. If any of the required information, plans or checklist are missing, the building permit application cannot be accepted.
  • When you come in to file the application, we will determine permit fees. A fee schedule is available here. Payment must be made for application to be accepted. We will need a separate check for escrows.
  • Permit review is conducted once a week. Incomplete applications and plans will be returned to applicant. If the plans are incomplete, inaccurate, or un-clear, a correction letter will be sent to the applicant. This will require re-submittal of the corrected construction documents and cause a delay in issuing the permit.
  • We will contact you in writing with the results of the plan review.
  • You may start your project when you receive the permits. Note that it is your responsibility to schedule all inspections. Inspections must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.

Important: Your permit cannot be closed without a final inspection. Escrow will not be returned until the final is complete. Residential Building Permits Package (three documents) includes plumbing, mechanical, electrical etc.


The information provided in this guide is intended only to assist individuals in understanding the code requirements. It is not a complete recitation of the code. Property owners should consult the Doylestown Borough Code of Ordinance for answers to specific questions.