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La Jolla's Newest Gated Community Aims to Fix Poop Problem

Having people on the bluffs will keep sea lions, seals and birds at more of a distance, which could reduce the odor, said a city spokesman.

Patch file photo. Credit: Michelle Mowad
Patch file photo. Credit: Michelle Mowad

The City of San Diego began installing a gate in a fence at La Jolla Cove Tuesday, in hopes that people scampering on the rocks will discourage large marine mammals from lounging there and causing a terrible stink.

The gate will allow people to access the cliffs, city spokesman Alex Roth told City News Service. Having people on the bluffs will keep sea lions, seals and birds at more of a distance, which could reduce the odor, he said.

A group of area businesses sued the city of San Diego this month over the pungent smell, alleging that people have been sickened and that local establishments have lost revenue.

Roth said interim Mayor Todd Gloria decided to have the gate installed at a meeting of top city executives on Dec. 17, before the lawsuit was filed. City documents show city officials were considering the idea as early as Nov. 8.

He said some people in La Jolla believe the white wooden fence has allowed wildlife to take over the bluffs, leading to the stench, and that allowing people to explore the area again will restore balance.

"You can't put yourself in danger or actively harass the wildlife, but you can go down to the cliffs," Roth said. "We hope this will alleviate the problem."

A memo from city Assistant Chief Operating Officer Stacey LoMedico says lifeguards can issue warnings to people who appear to be  at risk on the unstable bluffs, and cite those seen mistreating sea lions.

Roth said current city executives are unaware of when or why the fence was installed in the first place. In her memo, LoMedico said it was built prior to 2002.

Former Mayor Bob Filner hired a company earlier this year to remove bird droppings from rocks in the cove, hoping that would get rid of the odor. However, complaints about the smell resumed soon after.

Arnold Baxter January 01, 2014 at 11:31 PM
just breathe thru your mouth and the smell is ok...i am no genius, but it works for me...
Michael D Leeling January 02, 2014 at 06:03 AM
Perhaps the easiest solution is not to build on every square inch of land, displace the wildlife and then complain/sue when you don't like the natural conditions that have existed since before you purchased property formerly belonging to nature.
Sheriffchris January 02, 2014 at 08:53 AM
It is natural and green. They should leave it be as it is as it should be ...natural nature
Thomas Stieglitz January 02, 2014 at 12:24 PM
No bluffing?
scottwilsors January 14, 2014 at 07:14 PM
I THINK THE CRITTERS WERE THERE FIRST, MAYBE THEY DON`T LIKE YOU DRINKING AND SMOKING UP THERE AIR......... THINK ABOUT THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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