Rope barrier to remain up at Children's Pool in La Jolla - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Rope barrier to remain up at Children's Pool in La Jolla

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego judge has ruled that a barrier rope next to seals at the Children's Pool in La Jolla can stay up year-round, it was reported Saturday.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman issued the ruling Friday.

The Children's Pool area was deeded to the city in 1931 to be used as a safe swimming area for children. Harbor seals began taking it over in the early 1990s.

Currently, the barrier is only up during the seals' pupping season, from Dec. 15 to May 15 of each year. It runs across most of the opening to the beach and is meant to discourage beach visitors from disturbing the seals and their newborn pups.

Both the San Diego City Council and the California Coastal Commission approved year-round rope deployment, although that actual permit had been denied by the city's Planning Commission, which has final say over some land-use issues.

Bryan Pease, attorney for the Animal Protection and Rescue League, called the ruling a victory for San Diego harbor seals and said the judge "set aside that denial as an abuse of discretion."

On March 19, Mayor Bob Filner issued an emergency order to close the Children's Pool at night, through the end of pupping season. The order came in response to recently installed seal cam videos of people entering the area at night to kick, punch and sit on top of the mammals.

A legal challenge to the overnight closure is expected to taken up in court next week, U-T San Diego reported.

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