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Lawsuit Challenges City’s Decision To Ban People From Children’s Pool In La Jolla

Photo caption:

Photo by TripBucket via Compfight

People watch harbor seals sun themselves on the beach at Children's Pool in La Jolla.

Advocates for beach access at the Children's Pool in La Jolla announced Tuesday they filed a lawsuit challenging the city of San Diego's decision to prohibit people from venturing onto the sand at the scenic spot beginning Dec. 15.

The Friends of the Children's Pool filed the lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court in hopes of getting the City Council's action invalidated before the closure takes effect, Ken Hunrichs, the group's president, told City News Service.

Plaintiff's lawyer Bernard King could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month.

The Children's Pool has been a source of controversy since the early 1990s, when harbor seals began making use of it to give birth to and wean their young. The beach was deeded to the city in 1931 as a safe swimming area for youth.

Prompted by reports that people were mistreating the marine mammals, the City Council in March voted to close the beach from Dec. 15 to May 15, which is pupping season for the seals. The California Coastal Commission gave its stamp of approval two months ago.

A rope barrier is planned at the Children's Pool the rest of the time to discourage people from going down to the sand.

Activists on behalf of the seals say there are perfectly good beaches nearby.

Hunrichs, however, said La Jolla residents have made it clear that they want access to the sand at the Children's Pool.

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