NPU-B debated the merits of installing a backyard pool on lots that can’t support them without a variance at its May 1 meeting where it heard two applications for pool construction. The NPU board ultimately recommended the city approve one and deferred the other until the next meeting.

Some board members objected to allowing exceptions to setback requirements for residents that want an in-ground pool in a yard that can’t fit one without a variance.

“To me, you’re asking for an exception to rules to build a luxury item,” said Kim Shorter, an NPU board member. “Sometimes it’s just not meant to be.”

“It’s a bad precedent,” said Bob Stasiowski, another board member.

A site plan shows the proposal to build a backyard pool at 4237 Wieuca Road was opposed by the NPU-B board. (Harrison Design)

The application deferred was for a pool at home at 4237 Wieuca Road in North Buckhead. The application that was approved was at 75 Mobile Ave. in Peachtree Hills.

The NPU initially voted to recommend denying the Wieuca Road application, but later retracted that vote and voted to defer it to the June meeting.

The board said it’d be more likely to approve the application if the pool went into the setback less or if only the pool deck was in the setback.

Bill Caldwell, a consultant working on the application that was deferred, said he and the owner would come back to the next meeting with an updated plan.

“To make the pool a reasonable size, we’d have to go into the setback,” he said.

The original variance requested reducing the required setback from 20 feet to 6 feet and 4 inches. The pool was initially proposed to be 18 by 42 feet.

The other application for Mobile Avenue was more accepted by the board, in part because the pool is proposed as a three-foot deep lap pool, lessening safety concerns.

The application requested reducing the setback from 7 feet to 1 foot and 6 inches.

The NPU vote is not the final determination, but a recommendation to the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustment, which often follows that recommendation. If an application is denied by the BZA, it can’t be heard again for two years.

The Mobile Avenue application will be heard by the BZA at its May 10 meeting, according to the application.

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