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Planning group repeats stand on barrier for seals

La Jolla Community Planning Association has reaffirmed its opposition to placing a temporary rope barrier during harbor seal pupping season at Children’s Pool.

The rope barrier has been used in the past from Dec. 15 to May 30 to caution people from getting too close to the sea mammals when mothers are with young to avoid spooking them and possibly becoming separated which can result in death of the pups.

Community planners were told the barrier is not a continuous rope, and that the beach remains open at all times.

A challenge to the presence of harbor seals and their de facto rookery at Children’s Pool, has been successfully working its way through the court system. The most recent judicial rulings support a previous ruling that the trust status of the pool, with its stipulation that it be maintained in perpetuity as a wading area for children, precludes its use as a rookery or a natural sightseeing destination.

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CPA members chimed in with their feelings on the pluses and minuses of having the rope barrier.

“I think we’re just spinning our wheels,” said Bob Collins, one of the eight who voted against the barrier in the 8-3-1 decision. “This matter is under control of the courts.”

Another trustee, John Berol, added, “I am really insulted and disturbed by the continuing discontinuity of putting up a rope, then saying the rope is not a barrier.”

Ray Weiss took a stand on the other side, saying, “If there were man-eating tigers on the beach, I think we would all be clamoring for a barrier to keep them from eating us.”

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He added that “experience has proven that people disturb the seals. It’s perfectly reasonable to make it harder for people to violate federal law by having a barrier.”