Judge's ruling clears way for seals to stay on La Jolla beach

The seals get to stay.

On Friday afternoon, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued a ruling that vacates an earlier order that the seals should be dispersed and the beach at the La Jolla Children's Pool be dredged.

He said that while the original ruling ordering the city to remove the seals was a proper one, the fact that the state Legislature passed a law earlier this year allowing marine mammal habitat to be an acceptable use at Casa Beach overrode the earlier decision.

Attorney Paul Kennerson, who filed the initial case on behalf of Valerie O'Sullivan seeking removal of the seals and the beach be returned to use as a children's wading area, said

prior to the hearing that the decision could be appealed.

In a statement issued Friday after the hearing, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, said, "In February, our office recommended that the City of San Diego sponsor legislation to change the terms of the trust to give the City discretion on use of the beach. Today's decision means that the issue can now be decided by the City Council and Mayor, the way public policy issues are supposed to be decided."

Seal advocates planned a celebration rally for 4 p.m. Friday at the Children's Pool.

   
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