The Township has recently received numerous requests from residents who would like to use a hard top/retractable/auto cover on a new in-ground pool instead of a safety fence. Please be aware that this is not permitted. Hampton Township requires a fence around all in-ground or semi in-ground pools. This applies to all pools with a wall height that is less than 48". Although there are options that have become commercially available in recent years for automatic covers, these cannot be used instead of a fence. This is for safety reasons. Automatic covers can malfunction due to mechanical or electrical issues or power outages. They can become damaged and no longer provide a safety barrier. And they must be closed any time that someone is not actively using the pool, even if they step inside just for a moment, which is impossible for the Township to enforce. Fatal incidents of drowning can, and do, occur in these situations. Pools that are less than 48" in height (or above ground pools that have decking and stairs around them) must have a fence that meets the requirements in the Building Code. Although the Township understands the cost and aesthetic benefits of using a cover instead of a fence, the safety of the Township's residents - specifically children that may be living nearby - is the primary concern. For questions regarding this requirement, please contact the Land Use Administrator, Amanda Lukas.