POINT 6 ...... This City plan misuses Coastal Act Section 30230 as if an artificial urban beach were an ESHA.   A man-made beach formed behind a protective concrete seawall is not a natural habitat and alters nature to create animal dependence on human supplied shelter.
Harbor Seals are not depleted, threatened, or endangered, nor under State jurisdiction.  

a) San Diego’s original permit request was for an ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area) negative declaration and status, and the concurrent LCP change to allow denying access to the beach to the public.   After 2 letters from staff urging the City not to try that, staff finally had to send a strong enough 3rd letter to make San Diego drop the ESHA status attempt in exchange for writing the CDP proposal for them. .

b) The City adopted wording supplied by staff to go after closure on Section 30230, but did not change anything else.    The permit is being pursued AS IF Children’s Pool can fall under ESHA protection, but without saying it.  The City claims since staff did not require amending the Negative Declaration, then they must want it.  When the action was ratified by the City Council in February, the council member making the motion refused to accept any amendments requested by the La Jolla Council member because if one word were changed, “it would no longer be what the Coastal Commission said it wanted.”

c) Last September Development Services presented its plan to the Planning Commission and specifically addressed this question “How can the site qualify as ESHA – “Children’s Pool Beach is manmade and the seals were released by SeaWorld; the place is artificial”.    This was not denied, but the City quoted 30001.5 “….enhance, and restore the overall quality of the coastal zone environment and its natural and artificial resources.    So a man-made beach created by a sea wall, seeded with released rescued seals acclimated in captivity is entitled to extraordinary protection from public access?     

d) Are there piers or marinas in your end of the state that could be set aside as artificial resources to protect and breed sea lions?   If San Diego’s reasoning prevails, hyper eco-activists will be able to sue for marine dmammal squatter’s rights all over the state.   Yet no evidence exists that previously capable marine mammals cannot survive and prosper if sharing with people.   Quite to the contrary.   If 20 years of abuse had really happened to our visiting seals they would have left on their own and not come back.  They are not stupid.

e) The Marine Mammal Protection Act forbids feeding or sheltering marine mammals to alter their habits to dependency.   From Level B Harassment definition: “….disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering…” It does allow "deterring" (drive them off)