Sea lion solution found? La Jolla Town Council sets meeting to discuss proposal

A special meeting has been called to review the findings of a La Jolla Town Council committee, dubbed the Coastal Committee, which formed a few months ago to find a solution to the three-pronged problem of sea lions at La Jolla Cove. The meeting will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd.

Town Council president Steve Haskins made the announcement at the group’s Dec. 10 meeting at La Jolla Rec Center. He later told La Jolla Light the committee identified three problems pertaining to the sea lions and thinks it has found a solution to them all.

“The three issues we’re looking at are their smell, the bad interactions between humans and sea lions in which someone could be hurt, and the contamination of the water and sand at La Jolla Cove,” Haskins said.

“So the committee looked at a lot of solutions that other cities up and down the coast have tried, which will be addressed at the presentation,” Haskins said. “We’ve developed a solution based on our research that’s workable, low tech, will probably solve the problem for not a lot of money, and something for which there is already a precedent. La Jolla is lucky in that it’s easier for us to solve our sea lion problem because we have the model of what other cities have tried.”

The committee has been proactively meeting for the last few months, Haskins said, and consists of Town Council trustees Yolanda de Riquer, Taylor Bloom, Joe Pitrofsky and Lawrence Zynda.

Following the Jan. 12 presentation, the committee will accept feedback and explain where the proposal will go from there. Although the issue of the odors is not as prevalent during the winter months, Haskins still encourages people to attend the meeting and “put your two cents in.”

He said “Right now because it’s cold and the waves are larger and they wash the bluffs, people aren’t as concerned, but just wait until it gets warm and starts to smell again, people will get worried.”

In other Town Council news:

• New members added: First vice-president Pitrofsky announced that 15 new members had joined the Town Council. These members will be eligible to run for a trustee position during the board’s next election in March 2016.

• Busy January meeting planned: With the holiday season, several Town Council mainstays were put on hold in December, including the Sunsetter mixer and “new ideas presentations.” However, they will both resume in the New Year. Also at the January meeting, a presentation by Alexis Munoz of the San Diego Department of Health & Human Services Community Heath Engagement Team will be given to discuss county health statistics. The presentation was scheduled for the December meeting, but postponed.

— La Jolla Town Council meets 5 p.m. second Thursdays at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. The next meeting will be Jan. 14. (858) 454-1444.

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