SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Proposed clarifications to the municipal code section on granting permits to fireworks shows could end a legal battle with environmentalists, the City Attorney's Office said Thursday.
The amendments to the code will be considered by the City Council next Tuesday.
The city is appealing a judge's ruling that almost put some July 4 pyrotechnics displays out of business. Superior Court Judge Linda Quinn sided with environmental lawyer Marco Gonzalez, who contended that the city's practice of routinely giving out permits to the organizers of the shows conflicted with the municipal code, which calls for individual scrutiny of park use permits -- including costly environmental reviews.
According to City Attorney's spokeswoman Gina Coburn, the proposed changes to the code will make permits for Independence Day fireworks shows at La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay and Ocean Beach routine or, in city parlance, "ministerial."
"We believe the municipal code clarifications will moot the controversy and thereby make the (court) case moot," Coburn wrote in an e-mail to City News Service.
Gonzalez believes debris from airborne explosions over coastal waters harms marine life. The fireworks show discussed the most in the case was the one at La Jolla Cove, which is adjacent to a marine sanctuary.
The judge did not base her ruling on environmental factors, but on city officials not following their municipal code.
To give the officials a chance to figure out how to implement her order, she stayed her ruling, allowing this year's shows to go on.
Organizers of the displays said they would go out of business without ministerial permits because they could not afford annual environmental reviews. The city estimates such studies, required for park use permit applicants deemed to be non-ministerial, would cost about $15,000.
The proposed amendments also codify a summertime moratorium on events at Balboa Park, Mission Bay Park and parks along the shoreline other than named annual events, including:
-- the Pride Festival,
-- Rock 'n' Roll Marathon,
-- AFC Half-Marathon,
-- the Ocean Beach Street festival, and several smaller events.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.