CHILDREN’S POOL DISPUTE SETTLED IN FAVOR OF CITY — The most recent case involving the seals at the Children’s Pool has been resolved in favor of the city. Volker Hoehne, the plaintiff in Hoehne v. City of San Diego, dropped his case earlier this week. Hoehne had claimed the city’s refusal to remove the seals from the Children’s Pool violated his constitutional right to fish.
Judge Joel M. Pressman rejected that argument, saying, “[T]he Children’s Pool as a seal habitat is consistent with the public trust.”
In 2009 Sen. Christine Kehoe and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher co-authored SB 428 to amend the tidelands grant to provide the city with discretion to create a marine mammal park at Children’s Pool. The legislation was adopted with bipartisan support. In the Hoehne case, Pressman put to rest arguments that the city could not rely upon SB 428 to create a marine mammal park.
“Senate Bill 428 amended the terms of the trust to give the [City] Council the discretion to create a marine mammal park at the Children’s Pool for the enjoyment and benefit of children,” he wrote.