Rope protecting seals at Children’s Pool must stay down for now

A rope barrier that blocks access to a popular La Jolla beach must stay down, at least for now.

A judge ruled Thursday against the Animal Protection and Rescue League, despite strong attempts to prove the seals are in danger.

Attorney Bryan Pease is no stranger to Department 60 in Superior Court and to Judge Lisa Foster's courtroom, appearing again Thursday morning on behalf of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, and the seals they purportedly are trying to protect.

Pease and his client are asking the judge to put back the rope barrier at the Children's Pool in La Jolla, a rope she ordered down on June 3rd, at least until she makes a final ruling on July 15th on whether the rope should stay up beyond the seals' birthing season of December through May.

Pease Thursday was armed with new evidence: photos of what he says are deliberate attempts of people harassing the seals, causing what he says is irreparable harm to his client.

Pease also came with this new evidence: signed declarations from three current and one former city councilmember, saying the planning commission overstepped its authority when it didn't provide a development permit for the barrier despite the council's recommendation.

But, Judge Foster said the planning commission is part of a permitting process that the council itself wrote into the city's municipal code.

Judge Foster ultimately determined there was not enough evidence to temporarily put the rope barrier back in place until her final verdict on July 15th, noting she has not seen how the seals have suffered irreparable harm, and that the environmental group has an uphill battle to prove otherwise.

Categories: KUSI