A variance is an approval or waiver issued by the Department that authorizes a deviation from one or more requirements of the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code (MCEHC) for the construction or modification of a public or semi-public pool, wading pool or special use pool, spa or artificial bathing lake if, in the opinion of the Department, a health hazard, safety or nuisance will not result from the deviation.
Variances are typically requested when an unusual or unreasonable hardship exists resulting from a literal interpretation of the rules and regulations. A separate variance must be obtained for each deviation from the requirements of the MCEHC. A variance may be granted provided that the proposed alternative method or work conforms to the general intent of the rules and regulations.
To assist you, the Department has posted a Reference Tool (PDF) for commonly submitted pool and spa features that are not addressed in the regulations. The document provides design guidance for a list of features that can be approved in plan review without a variance, and features that can be approved through a time-saving, direct appeal variance process. It also lists features that must be submitted through the formal variance process. Typical stipulations are included for each variance.