A judge says the harbor seals who took over a beach a decade ago can stay.
On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued a tentative ruling allows the seal colony at Children's Pool in La Jolla to remain, and on Friday afternoon, he upheld his ruling after giving opponents a chance to argue that the pool should be restored for people. 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 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. Taylor said on Thursday, 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.