La Jolla panel opposes closing beach for seal pupping season

La Jolla Town Council Parks and Beaches Committee let it be known Monday they oppose two city proposals to close Children’s Pool beach during the harbor seals’ December 15-May 15 pupping season and to seek permits to keep the rope barrier up year-round.

The six committee members opposed both motions, but they were more open to some of the other ideas.

Committee members were mostly supportive of finding private funds for a proposal to hire a park ranger who would patrol the pool and head a city-sanctioned volunteer seal docent program there, voting 4-1-1 for that.

The vote on another proposal to prohibit dogs on Children’s Pool beach, 24 hours a day, year-round, was 4-2 in favor.

Those four proposals came out of the last meeting of the City’s Natural Resources and Culture Committee after testimony from both seal advocates and beach-access proponents discussing future management of Children’s Pool.

Two more proposals were presented at the April 26 parks and beaches committee meeting. One proposal brought by diving community representative John Leek, which calls for formation of an advisory panel to craft a long-range plan for managing children’s pool, drew a favorable 5-0-1 vote.

Another proposal brought by committee member Debbie Beacham, requesting that the city be responsible for cleaning Children’s Pool which has been contaminated by seal waste, drew a favorable 6-0 vote.

First District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner gave a presentation on the status of Children’s Pool and answered questions from the audience, prior to the committee’s vote on the six proposals brought forward for pool management.

She will appear again at the Community Planning Association meeting at 6 p.m on May 6 at the La Jolla Recreation Center.

At a special meeting in La Jolla, the full City Council is expected to vote on the Children’s pool-management proposals at 6 p.m. on May 17 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sherwood Auditorium.