Judge rules City of San Diego not responsible for odor near coast

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A superior court judge ruled Friday that the City of San Diego is not responsible for the foul odor along the La Jolla coastline.

La Jolla business owners sued the city, saying the smell is a public nuisance.

The order is likely caused by sea lion and bird droppings along the beach.

The judge tossed out the lawsuit, saying that the city does not have to control a problem caused by wild animals.

“The problem came in when they didn’t let people in the cliffs for years, and the sea lions got entrenched. They’re letting people back now, but they’re not established. If you do something where you’re creating noise, you can do it with an air horn or something along those lines, my opinion is that things will leave and it won’t cost the city anything to do that,” said Seth Maxton, a La Jolla beachgoer. 

The city has taken steps to alleviate the odor in the past, including installing a gate to keep the sea lions out of the area, but so far nothing has worked.

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