As you are aware, the saga of the Children's Pool rope continues. On December 21, 2012 (right before the holidays), our new Mayor, Bob Filner unilaterally ordered that the Children's Pool rope barrier be extended from the legally permitted 130 feet to approximately 152 feet. Apparently, this illegal order was intended to deter persons from accessing the beach in order to "send them a message that they can't do this" as he promised on December 15 when the rope went up. In order to send this message, the mayor found it necessary to break the law.
Unfortunately, San Diego has had all too much experience with permit violations and they can be costly. Last time the City illegally put up a rope at the Children's Pool, it cost the City almost $1 million. State laws and coastal issues are not only complicated but designed to protect the rights of the citizens of the State. There are significant penalties for violating a permit. As the City Attorney said in his Dec. 24 memo on the subject, "Civil penalties for development in violation of the Coastal Act may be imposed in superior court in the amounts of not less than $500 and not more than $30,000." Additionally, the City may be liable for court costs and attorney fees if someone sues on the matter.
As was the case last year when the original permit violation was noticed as well as other cases including the Sunroad "too-tall" building etc... permit violations are no small thing and can cost the City greatly. It is shocking that our new Mayor would intentionally and knowingly (with written warnings from the City Attorney) violate the law. Flagrant violations are costly and the disappointing reality is that the taxpayers will once again be on the hook for the poor decisions of their elected leaders. With a lawsuit currently pending in Superior Court on this very subject, it is inconceivable why the mayor would intentionally break the law. Such actions can only be called irresponsible.
Native San Diegan
Also read Jane Reldan's Letter to Editor: City Made Measuring Error in Erecting Rope at Children's Pool