Residents encouraged to get fences repaired
Members of the Panama City Beach Planning Board asked Code Enforcement officials for an update Wednesday on fencing after receiving inquiries from citizens concerned about unsecured swimming pools.
Hurricane Michael downed fences across the county and while contractors are in short supply, Planning Board Chairman Mark Sheldon said homeowners need to take steps to keep children from falling into an unsecured swimming pool. “It’s a huge safety issue and we have a lot of people who are concerned,” Sheldon said. “It would be a travesty if something were to happen.”
Section 5.02.08 of the City’s Land Development Code specifies that swimming pools be “completely surrounded with a wall or fence not less than four feet in height and sufficient to prohibit unrestrained admittance to the pool area.” Section 5.02.03 requires that fences be in good repair at all times.
The Code Enforcement Division began sending out letters in late November reminding residents of the need to repair fences, and giving them until the first of the year to comply. Re-inspections began earlier this month.
Code Enforcement Manager James Tindle said some residents have been asked to put up temporary fencing or some sort of barrier until they can have their fences rebuilt.
“We are working with people, because we understand everyone needs the same kind of repairs at the same time and workers are in short supply,” Tindle said.
If homeowners can produce a contract or prove they are on a waiting list to get a fence, then they will not be ticketed, Tindle said. “We do not want to fine anyone the $100 fine; we’d prefer compliance.”
“The bottom line is, we want our children to be safe and protected,” Sheldon said.
Residents who have concerns about pool fencing can contact Code Enforcement at (850) 233-5054.
Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 233-5100, Ext. 2261.