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Town Board adopts code change for pool houses

The Southold Town Board adopted an amendment that will add a definition of pool houses/cabanas to the town code, outlining a list of limitations to prevent homeowners from turning their pool houses into second dwellings.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night on the definition of a pool house/cabana as a one-story, ground level detached accessory structure or a ground level portion of an existing one-story accessory structure, located adjacent to and used in conjunction with an in-ground swimming pool.

Design requirements include:

• Gross floor area limited to 350 square feet.

• May not contain more than one room other than a bathroom.

• Man not be heated, contain a kitchen or be designed for cooking or sleeping.

• Refrigerators may not be larger than 5 cubic feet in capacity.

• Interior plumbing fixtures are limited to a sink and one bathroom containing a toilet and sink.

• Indoor showers are not permitted; outdoor showers are allowed.

• Plumbing fixtures must drain to a Suffolk County Health Department-approved sanitary system in a conforming location.

The board members voted without making any comments.

At a May 6 Planning Board meeting, board member Mary Eisenstein said that limiting pool houses/cabanas to people with in-ground pools is unfair and excludes an entire population. Town attorney Bill Duffy said then that this regulation prevents the second-dwelling issue.

“I just wonder about the restrictiveness,” she said.

Above-ground pools not only disintegrate easily, but are also easy to assemble and disassemble, leading to situations in which an individual might have a certified pool house and no pool, Mr. Duffy said. The new definition requires that a building permit be issued only if there is an existing in-ground pool with a valid Certificate of Occupancy. A CO can be issued for a pool house/cabana if a CO for the in-ground pool is being issued at the same time.

ZBA Chairperson Leslie Weisman had said in recent months that the influx of pool house/cabana requests has made it necessary for the adoption of a formalized definition.

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