Town Uses Google Earth to Look for Illegal Pools
Time to get a grass-patterned cover for your pool.
Who wouldn't love to have their own private swimming pool in their backyard? Unfortunately, before you can build one, you need a permit from the city.
The town of Riverhead on Long Island is putting free technology to use and is employing the satellite images of Google Earth to spot swimming pools that are set up illegally without permits.
So far Riverhead has found about 250 pools without permits, leading to $75,000 in fees collected so far.
Riverhead's chief building inspector Leroy Barnes Jr. said that permits are required to ensure that all pools meet safety requirements.
Privacy advocates, however, say that using satellite images to sniff out pool permit-dodgers is a big brother move, especially by using an educational tool like Google Earth in a policing manner.