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Seal lovers win a round over Children's Pool in La Jolla

February 17, 2009 |  7:42 pm

Marine mammals at Children's Pool in La Jolla

The pro-seal faction won a major victory Tuesday in the battle over seals lounging on the beach at the Children's Pool in La Jolla.

The San Diego City Council, weary of the dispute over the seals, voted 7 to 1 to ask the Legislature to amend the deed to the beach to make seals and other marine mammals an acceptable use.

The 1931 deed does not mention marine mammals. A judge, reading the deed, said the seals need to be removed lest their feces foul the beach for human beings -- a decision that could cost the cash-strapped city a bundle in environmental reports and dredging costs. Making the seals an acceptable use would, theoretically, allow them to stay.

The seals-vs.-people dispute has been raging in the courts and political forums for nearly two decades. Council President Ben Hueso noted that the city had paid more than $1 million in legal fees, with no end in sight.

--Tony Perry, San Diego

Photo: Marine mammals at Children's Pool. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times.

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