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Flossmoor resident presents board with petition to amend code in favor of above-ground pools

Jenny Curtis came to the Monday, March 7, Flossmoor Village Board meeting 111 signatures strong in a bid to see above-ground pools allowed in the municipality. But whether those residents get their wish remains to be seen.

Curtis explained her family moved to Flossmoor 18 months ago not realizing there were restrictions against such pools in the village.

“There are quite a few families within the community and would-be future residents of Flossmoor who long for a change in current ordinances prohibiting and hindering the safe and healthy family bonding experience,” Curtis said.

Trustees said they would at least like to have more discussion about the possibility of amending the village code to allow for above-ground pools. Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said this will be the board’s third time looking at the issue in as many years.

The options are leaving the code as is, drafting regulations to modify the code or an advisory referendum to solicit the greater public opinion on the matter. If changing the regulations only involved the building code, the board could make that decision on its own, Wachtel added. If it also involves zoning, it would have to go to the Plan Commission and then come back before the board.

Trustee George Lofton said he was in favor of continuing the discussion, noting people only have a limited window to enjoy the outside of their property with the area’s seasons. He added that some swimming facilities still have restrictions, making the possibility of people enjoying a pool at home a more pressing concern.

Trustee Rosalind Mustafa said she would favor a referendum to understand how residents feel but would want to go with whatever the majority opinion turns out to be.

“At least we’d give all of our residents a chance to weigh in and express how they feel,” Mustafa said.

Wachtel noted that the next ballot for a possible referendum would be the primary in June. To get a question on that ballot, the board would have to adopt a resolution and file with the county by April 11. But Trustee Brian Driscoll said he thought the discussion of a referendum was “a little premature.” He said he thinks the board should talk about it more and have community discussions before taking that step.

He also said he was playing devil’s advocate in pointing out some of the problems that came up in past discussions about above-ground pools. Code enforcement can be an issue once pools are up, he said. And there have been aesthetic concerns, too.

“We don’t want the community to look like if you’re flying into Midway Airport, no offense to most in that neighborhood,” Driscoll said. “But when you’re flying into Midway Airport and you see all those pools, it’s just not a very attractive look.”

Wachtel noted that even if the village decides to allow for above-ground pools, homeowners associations could still have bylaws against them that would supersede the village’s allowance.

No specific date was set for future discussions.

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