La Jolla will have fireworks on the 4th after all - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

La Jolla will have fireworks on the 4th after all

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - After four years, the legal wrangling over La Jolla's fireworks is finally coming to an end. On Tuesday, the City Council agreed to settle the long-running legal dispute over fireworks permitting.

Watching Fourth of July fireworks over the La Jolla Cove is one the most popular things to do in San Diego, despite the controversy.

Debra Marengo says two weeks ago it was all falling apart as a lawsuit against her foundation scared away donors and created uncertainty.

"Our fireworks purveyor was growing weary of having to deal with conditions and the threat of being shut down," she said.

She raised the $52,000 to pay for this year's show, but until this week she had no one to actually launch the fireworks.

Marco Gonzalez has filed four lawsuits against the city over four years for how it issues permits for fireworks shows like La Jolla’s.

"We would find pounds of trash down on the bluff and actually in the water of just exploded fireworks with chemicals all over them," Gonzalez said.

A finalized settlement means San Diego will have to perform environmental reviews for most special events permits.

"They carved out a special exemption for fireworks shows which we think is improper, but we've worked the last couple of years with show operators to come up with some best management practices that will help protect the ocean area around the cove," Gonzalez said.

This year, fireworks organizers will have to put up a flame retardant screen over the rocks at the cove as part of the settlement.

"I hope that Mr. Gonzalez is satisfied and would not come after the fireworks show any further," Marengo said.

That’s also the hope of some San Diegans we talked to who look forward to getting back to the tradition of the La Jolla fireworks.

"Same thing as every year, just eat, have a good time with the family," one San Diegan said.

"That's part of America to me. Fourth of July fireworks should be allowed," another resident said.

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