Laguna Beach

SoCal City May Ban Construction of New Pools Under Drought

One of the issues on tonight's agenda is whether or not the city will permit the construction of new pools at all, given the state's record drought conditions

Laguna Beach may prohibit the construction of new pools, given the state's extreme drought conditions, according to a new city ordinance.

Last month, the Laguna Beach City Council approved a 45-day moratorium, prohibiting the approval of any pool construction or installation of pools and spas that don't already have review entitlements.

Now, the council is slated to discuss the moratorium, along with future policies regarding pool construction in the area, at their meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m., according to the City Council's agenda for tonight's meeting.

The City Council is expected to consider several options which include requiring pool covers be used on every pool and spa, and prohibiting the construction of decorative water features such as ponds.

Yet, another option considers immediately ending the moratorium altogether, according to the meeting's agenda.

"With the institution of a requirement to have a pool covered, that could reduce by as much as 70 percent evaporation factor from swimming pools," said City Manager John Pietig. "It's one of a long list of things the City Council has to consider in the future in order to reduce water usage."

Possible Laguna Beach restrictions come after Gov. Jerry Brown announced a 25 percent water use reduction mandate in April.

If the city council votes to prohibit building new pools, one recommendation slated to be considered is for the council to allow the 54 pending applications submitted before July 14, 2015 to proceed, given they meet the proper requirements.

An average pool is filled with about 14,000 gallons of water, which is slightly less than the amount of water needed for a grass lawn, according to Laguna Beach officials.

One homeowner told NBC4 that he was a week away from final approval, after a year of design and review on his home, when the moratorium went into effect.

Yet, homeowners and other members of the public will have the opportunity to share their opinions on the issue at tonight's meeting, according to the City Council's agenda.

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