The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg, said, “There is simply no reason short-term rentals can’t safely operate a hot tub or small pool. Deregulating this just makes sense. JCRAR’s action will benefit vacationers and small business owners alike throughout the upcoming summer season.”
Background: Two different agencies have authority over so-called “public pools.” The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) writes the commercial pool code and ensures compliance by approving plans at the time of construction. State law specifically excludes residential pools from its scope.
DATCP, separately, has authority to “license and regulate” “public pools” after construction. DATCP’s statute doesn’t define “public pools,” but one would reasonably assume the scope would overlap with DSPS. Yet DATCP’s regulations expand the definition of “public pool” to include pools or hot tubs at vacation homes. For owners of rental properties with pools to get a license from DATCP, the regulations require pools to meet DSPS’s commercial pool code. DATCP’s rules violate state law by imposing requirements that the Legislature had already decided should not apply to residential pools.
JCRAR’s Action: State law provides seven different criteria
for JCRAR to suspend a rule. The committee can act if any one of the seven are met. In this case, WILL submitted testimony indicating that as many as five of the seven criteria are met with regard to DATCP’s pool rule, including multiple conflicts with state law, and the arbitrary, undue burden imposed on short-term-rental owners.
The suspension of the rule will be in effect until the legislature convenes again, sometime in early 2023.