Children's Pool Barrier Debated

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Harbor seals and birds occupy Children's Pool Beach in La Jolla, California.

    Despite an appeal filed by a diver seeking to block a rope barrier going up at La Jolla's Children's Pool to separate humans from seals during their pupping season, the rope was installed Dec. 17, according to a published report.

    Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued a tentative ruling Nov. 13 allowing the seal colony at Children's Pool in La Jolla to remain. He also vacated the 2005 order against the city to remove the seals and reconfigure the beach at Children's Pool.

    The city attorney's office released a statement after Taylor's ruling.

    "In February, our office recommended that the city of San Diego sponsor legislation to change the terms of the trust to give the city discretion on use of the beach," the statement reads. "Today's decision means that the issue can now be decided by the City Council and mayor, the way public policy issues are supposed to be decided. We thank Sen. Christine Kehoe, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña for carrying this legislation and the governor for his support."

    In November, Park and Recreation Department staff began the process of securing a Coastal Development Permit, which is required prior to the placement of the rope, according to the La Jolla Light. A diver filed an appeal challenging the placement of the barrier and the matter will be heard at a Jan. 21, 2010 meeting, the paper reported.
         
    In 1997 the city posted a warning that the cove shouldn't be used because of seal waste bacteria.
         
    A judge who previously presided over the case had ordered the city to remove the seals. Judge Taylor said, however, that a state law signed by the governor in July could allow them to remain.  The law, which takes effect in January, would permit the cove to be designated as a marine park.