Council hearing arguments on seals in La Jolla Cove


The battle over harbor seals’ presence at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool will continues as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. City Council is considering a request by seal advocates to back a resolution to amend state law to allow the area to be used for wildlife habitat.

“The item is strongly supported by the City Attorney’s office,” said Bryan Pease an attorney representing the Animal Protection & Rescue League. “This resolution asks the legislature to amend the 1931 tidelands grant, which State Sen. Christine Kehoe said she’d need for her to go forward (with legislation).”

Paul Kennerson, the attorney representing Valerie O’Sullivan, who is seeking to reaffirm the original terms of the 1931 trust agreement which deeded Children’s Pool from the state to the city, said the proposal is an attempt to illegally circumvent the pool’s trust status.

“What they’re doing is just outright wrong and Illegal,” he said. “It’s beyond their power.”

Kennerson added that maintaining Children’s Pool as a safe wading area for children was an immutable condition in the tidelands grant honoring the wishes of pool donor Ellen Browning Scripps.

Pease said Kehoe would need to sponsor legislation amending the tideland grant by Feb. 27 in order for it to be included in this year’s legislative calendar.

Katheryn Rhodes and Conrad Hartsell of Point Loma wrote in an e-mail to the Light that they plan to urge the council to support the measure, in part because dredging the pool as required under a judge’s order could cause “potential catastrophic failure of the coastal slopes and landsliding.”

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