4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

La Jolla sea lion resolution lies in "political sphere"

Court denies appeal that claims city fencing promoted feces stench

Seal at La Jolla Cove - Image by Gloria Ciprian
Seal at La Jolla Cove

A California appellate court ruled yesterday (February 9) that the City of San Diego is not responsible for the mitigation of the foul odors wafting from the seal lions at La Jolla Cove.

The ruling quashes a lawsuit filed by a group of residents, known as Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement. The group's 2013 lawsuit asserted that the odors from sea lion and bird feces created a public nuisance for residents, visitors, and businesses around La Jolla Cove.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The group claimed the odors impacted tourism and reduced nearby property values. They blamed the stench on the city's decision to construct fences on the bluffs for the purpose of restricting human access allowed sea lion and cormorant populations to grow. Experts hired by the group testified that the city could reduce the stench by trying to modify the behavior of the sea lions as well as hiring crews to "scoop the poop."

Months before the 2013 lawsuit was filed, then-mayor Bob Filner hired an outside vendor to apply a microbial cleaner to the guano-stained rocks and nearby bluffs. While successful in lessening the odor from bird feces, the odors from sea-lion excrement and cormorant feces remained.

The city argued that it was not responsible for having to control wild animal populations and questioned whether the fences was the sole reason for the growth in sea-lion populations. Superior Court judge Timothy Taylor sided with the city in 2013, finding that the city not responsible for having to control nuisances caused by wild animals; that the spike in sea lion population is likely attributable to the favorable conditions for the animals, and was not a result of any nearby fencing.

Attorneys for the Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement appealed the decision to no avail.

"In short, causation is an essential element of a public nuisance action," reads the February 9 appellate court decision. "That sea lions and cormorants are wild animals is not dispositive of the city's liability. The city could be held liable for the alleged odor nuisance if [Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement] were to demonstrate the city's conduct was a substantial factor in causing the alleged harm."

The appellate court considered the group's argument to be a "logical fallacy" by placing all the blame on the presence of the fences: "after the fence, therefore, because of the fence,” the judges wrote does not set forth a "causal nexus."

"We sympathize with [Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement] but agree with the trial court that any resolution likely lies in the political sphere...courts are comparatively ill situated to solve this type of problem."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Holiday Hayride Farm Tour Adventures, Kim Wilson’s Blues Review

Events December 16-December 20, 2023
Next Article

La Jolla drowning corpses pile up

Southern California shore diving harder than it seems
Seal at La Jolla Cove - Image by Gloria Ciprian
Seal at La Jolla Cove

A California appellate court ruled yesterday (February 9) that the City of San Diego is not responsible for the mitigation of the foul odors wafting from the seal lions at La Jolla Cove.

The ruling quashes a lawsuit filed by a group of residents, known as Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement. The group's 2013 lawsuit asserted that the odors from sea lion and bird feces created a public nuisance for residents, visitors, and businesses around La Jolla Cove.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The group claimed the odors impacted tourism and reduced nearby property values. They blamed the stench on the city's decision to construct fences on the bluffs for the purpose of restricting human access allowed sea lion and cormorant populations to grow. Experts hired by the group testified that the city could reduce the stench by trying to modify the behavior of the sea lions as well as hiring crews to "scoop the poop."

Months before the 2013 lawsuit was filed, then-mayor Bob Filner hired an outside vendor to apply a microbial cleaner to the guano-stained rocks and nearby bluffs. While successful in lessening the odor from bird feces, the odors from sea-lion excrement and cormorant feces remained.

The city argued that it was not responsible for having to control wild animal populations and questioned whether the fences was the sole reason for the growth in sea-lion populations. Superior Court judge Timothy Taylor sided with the city in 2013, finding that the city not responsible for having to control nuisances caused by wild animals; that the spike in sea lion population is likely attributable to the favorable conditions for the animals, and was not a result of any nearby fencing.

Attorneys for the Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement appealed the decision to no avail.

"In short, causation is an essential element of a public nuisance action," reads the February 9 appellate court decision. "That sea lions and cormorants are wild animals is not dispositive of the city's liability. The city could be held liable for the alleged odor nuisance if [Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement] were to demonstrate the city's conduct was a substantial factor in causing the alleged harm."

The appellate court considered the group's argument to be a "logical fallacy" by placing all the blame on the presence of the fences: "after the fence, therefore, because of the fence,” the judges wrote does not set forth a "causal nexus."

"We sympathize with [Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement] but agree with the trial court that any resolution likely lies in the political sphere...courts are comparatively ill situated to solve this type of problem."

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

We work on Convoy Street, but we live all over

Ciao, Giovanni's, Arco dials back car wash plans, Glockstore opens, Sunroad parking crunch, Montgomery Field ripe for high rises
Next Article

Brian Witkin goes from failed security guard to successful label honcho

20th Anniversary Salute to Pacific Records January 7 at the Music Box
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close