La Jolla Parks and Beaches discuss seals rope, park space
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/05/19 - 11:27 AM | 751 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In April, La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. tangled with extending the seals rope barrier at Children’s Pool, as well finding new park space, perhaps in Pottery Canyon.

Diver and LJPB board member John Leek asked the board to endorse a letter drafted by La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), opposing renewing the rope barrier at Children’s Pool separating humans from pinnipeds during the marine mammals Dec. 15 to May 15 pupping season.

Leek however said he talked to City officials who told him National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “will likely renew the barrier for 10 more years,” as well as telling him that disputed federal pool signage claiming seal infanticide “works fine.”

“We thought it would be a good idea to endorse the sentiment expressed by LJCPA in opposition to renewing these (seal) permits,” said beach-access advocate and LJPB board member Ken Hunrichs.

“This is just a consistent position we’ve had, and this position has been on record since at least 2015,” added board colleague Tom Brady.

Board member Dr. Jane Relden spoke against opposing the rope barrier’s extension.

“During the past five years, police calls to the pool have gone down by 80 percent,” she said. “Seals are protected during their pupping season, and the City has every right to apply for a 10-year permit for the guideline rope.”

Longtime LJPB parks planner Melinda Merryweather continued to press for creation of new La Jolla park space.

“I found some park space that needs to be cleaned up in Pottery Canyon,” noted Merryweather. 

The City has confirmed that La Jolla is under parked in terms of applying the citywide standard, which is that communities should provide 2.8 acres of usable parkland per 1,000 residents. In 2106, La Jolla was determined to be 30.51 acres in deficit of useable parkland, and projections are the community will be 37.66 acres short in 2035.

The San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park is counted toward the City’s overall park acreage, but not towards La Jolla’s population-based park needs.The underwater park is considered more as a regional park, because it attracts people from all over, not primarily La Jolla.

Previously, landscape architect Eric Holtsmark presented to LJPB board proposing rehabilitating Scripps Park’s picnic area. Of special interest are a handful of picnic benches in the area, none of which have memorial plaques on them, a program LJPB is interested in reviving. 

Holtsmark suggested the picnic area could be terraced and that seating in the area could be upgraded.

But after the meeting, LJPB board member Patrick Ahern confirmed that Holtsmark is no longer working on the park project.

“By mutual consent, the current designer will not be moving forward with a redesign of the two Scripps Park Picnic Groves in the center of the park,” Ahern said. “We are open to new ideas from the community.”

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