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Debate over swim lessons and rules leaves one neighbor looking for County input

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 11, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — One man’s attempt to teach swim lessons in his backyard has created some waves with his neighbors. While the neighborhood isn’t gated or considered an HOA, they do have property governing documents.

  • Kevin Edgmon is a long time swim instructor, however, he ran into a problem with his new home which is on a private road.
  • His neighbors said because the road is private, it’s not city or county maintained, meaning any upkeep in the area has to come out of their pockets.
  • While the neighborhood isn’t gated or considered an HOA, they do have property governing documents such as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.

One man’s attempt to teach swim lessons in his backyard has created some waves with his neighbors.

Kevin Edgmon is a long time swim instructor. In fact, he’s at the point where he’s now teaching children for parents he once had in the pool themselves. He also gives swimming lessons for children with special needs and because of this, he says he needs a controlled environment like his own backyard.

“We want kids to have lessons, and if I don’t have a pool it makes it almost impossible to provide lessons,” he said.

However, he ran into a problem with his new home, which is on a private road.

Edgmon thought he would only need a conditional use permit in order to continue offering swim lessons but in 2022 he said he learned from neighbors the concern wasn’t only the permitting.

His neighbors said because the road is private, it’s not city or county maintained, meaning any upkeep in the area has to come out of their pockets. While the neighborhood isn’t gated or considered an HOA, they do have property governing documents such as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.

“Talked about traffic and the concern about traffic and the use of our shared road,” Edgmon said. “I tried to come up with some remedies for that.”

Edgmon said he has offered to allow his his clients to park in his back lot off the road. However, that wasn’t the only concern for his neighbor Elizabeth Ferrier.

Ferrier lives directly next Edgmon’s home and said she’s concerned about distracted drivers as well as noise from the backyard. While Edgmon said he only teaches one student at a time in 20-minute lessons, Ferrier said part of the CC&R’s in-place block residents from running a business out of their homes.

Edgmon said because of this, he hasn’t taught lessons out of his home since 2022, and he’s resulted to using some of his client’s pools or other means.

He said he’s hoping though to plead his case in-front of the Kern County Planning Commission Thursday at 7 p.m.


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