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Community View: Children’s Pool report ignored judge’s orders

The Children’s Pool EIR was purportedly developed specifically to address the decision of Judge William C. Pate in O’Sullivan v City of San Diego to restore the Children’s Pool to a child-friendly swimming beach.

The decision did not mention removing seals, dredging, quantities of sand to be removed, or joint use of the pool by seals and citizens. Nowhere in the EIR is it explicitly stated that the proposed actions are being ordered by a Superior Court judge to honor the conditions of a Tidelands Trust administered by the city of San Diego.

This oversight colored the entire document such that sand removal and sand disposal alternatives became lost in seal-human use alternatives.

One central conclusion of this report was:

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“After analysis, impacts ... were found to be not significant under CEQA for the proposed project.”

The second was:

"… practicable alternatives were deemed not to exist … (six) of these alternatives are discussed, none of which meet the criteria.”

None of the six alternatives examined would have significant environmental impacts, and none would fulfill the judge’s order. One omitted alternative is to legally disperse the seals and then proceed with beach restoration.

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Failing to address any alternative that specifically addresses Judge Pate’s directive is an insult to the judge and may lead to a contempt citation.

The city spent a reported $250,000 on a report which it knew would not satisfy Judge Pate’s directive and would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. But the city was so pleased with this consultant’s report that it increased the consultant’s contract to $750,000, some of which will presumably be used to fix this flawed EIR. The Pate court directives to “restore the pool” and make it “safe for humans” were totally ignored in the alternatives analysis.

David Valentine

La Jolla