Islanders ordered to remove pool

 Islanders ordered to remove pool Photo available for purchase

Islanders ordered to remove pool

Lois Swoboda
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM.

On March 18, county commissioners voted to order William and Donna Nichols to cease construction of an in-ground cement swimming pool at their St. George Island home, and have it removed from its encroachment.

At the Feb. 18 county meeting, commissioners discussed a request for an after-the-fact variance to the county building code that would allow the pool to remain in place at 1080 E. Gulf Beach Drive in spite of its encroachment into the setback. The county’s board of adjustment (BOA) had recommended the variance be granted.

Commissioners were told that the cost of relocating the pool would be covered by the surveyor’s liability insurance. In the course of that debate, commissioners were told the pool also encroached into the public right of way, as well as Nichols’ neighbors to the south.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send the variance request back to the BOA, so it could address both encroachments.

Last week, the BOA returned the request for variance with a recommendation to allow the pool to remain in place.

 “We don’t believe the current location poses any hazards or safety concerns for the general public,” William Nichols told commissioners. “We plan to build a four-foot privacy fence along the property line and around the pool and landscape it.”

Angela Myers, who owns the property adjacent to the original encroachment, said allowing the variance sets a bad example. “When you look at property value of St. George Island, the land is very expensive,” she said. “This is one of the biggest investments of our life. We pay a lot of taxes and we are asking for your protection.”

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