Filner signs permit for OTL in spite of lawsuit
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The annual Over-the-Line tournament on Fiesta Island
will go on as scheduled next month, thanks to Mayor Bob Filner signing a park-use permit Thursday for the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, which is embroiled in
a lawsuit challenging the long-running tradition.
FreePB.org, a group that opposes the city's ban on alcohol on city-run
beaches, sued the city earlier this month, claiming it is playing favorite with
FreePB.org, which has staged drinking-oriented events at Mission Bay in
the past, has been unable to obtain city permits. Its leaders point to alcohol
consumption at OTL.
The 60th annual tournament, set for July 13-14 and July 20-21, features
thousands of three-person teams playing a form of softball. The event is famous
for beer drinking, scantily clad female spectators and lewd but often clever
Filner said the permit was conditional, recognizing that a court could
place restrictions on the tournament. The lawsuit challenges city staff
approval of OMBAC's California Environmental Quality Act exemptions.
The mayor added that the lawsuit raised important issues, which he hopes
to “go over in depth” with all sides sometime after the tournament.
“We're going to have a fair permitting process in which everyone is
treated fairly and equally,” Filner said. “We need to get on with this year's
tournament and we need to have those questions discussed in the future.”
The mayor said the tournament was too close at hand for the issues in
the lawsuit to be discussed now. OMBAC has rights, also, especially since it
has received city permits for decades, he said.
Filner refused to answer questions from reporters regarding the
tumultuous past couple of weeks in his office. He plans to discuss a variety of
issues tomorrow at noon.