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Planners comment on LJ Children’s Pool draft report

The 45-day public comment period for the draft environmental impact report on the proposed sand dredging of La Jolla’s Children’s Pool has been extended 15 days to May 22.

The draft report found the project would result in significant, but mitigable, impacts to land use, aesthetics, neighborhood character, geology and soils, historical resources, water quality, public safety, recreational resources and traffic and circulation in the area.

The proposed dredging project would remove 3,000 cubic yards of sand contaminated by seal waste, relocating it to the closest pocket beach to the south to be disinfected by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

At its May 7 meeting, La Jolla Community Planning Association, the advisory group charged with making land-use recommendations to the city of San Diego, voted 14-0-1 to deny the draft report, declaring it insufficient.

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Planners pointed out that, given time limitations on dredging caused by the reproductive seasons of harbor seals and other species in the area that couldn’t be disturbed by construction, that there would only be a two-month window of time in which dredging could occur.

CPA president Joe LaCava suggested the proposal to treat the contaminated sand was unnecessary, noting the sand could be transported offsite, removing the need for it to be cleansed.

Longtime La Jollan Melinda Merryweather also suggested that sluiceways in the crescent-shaped wall built in the ‘30s to create the shallow wading pool ought to be opened up, as they were intended, to allow natural tidal cleansing of the pool.