Rope Barrier Lawsuit

The Friends of the Children’s Pool remains opposed to any barrier to human access at the Children’s Pool.  The California State Constitution guarantees human access to the ocean:

Article 10, Sec. 4.

No individual, partnership, or corporation, claiming or possessing the frontage or tidal lands of a harbor, bay, inlet, estuary, or other navigable water in this State, shall be permitted to exclude the right of way to such water whenever it is required for any public purpose, nor to destroy or obstruct the free navigation of such water; and the Legislature shall enact such laws as will give the most liberal construction to this provision, so that access to the navigable waters of this State shall be always attainable for the people thereof.

In late December 2012, the Mayor directed City staff to extend the previously permitted 130 foot rope barrier to 152 feet virtually closing the beach.  Additionally, the mayor has stated his intention to “enforce” the barrier against human access and has encouraged activists to incorrectly inform or deceive the public that the beach is closed and that there is no public access.  All of these activities were undertaken without the required public notice and hearings.  This prevented the public from having a chance to express their concerns to decision makers at the City.


The Friends of the Children’s Pool has sent a letter of concern to the Mayor of San Diego and has organized a petition drive against the rope barrier.  This petition gained over 250 signatures from concerned citizens in less than one week.  This petition asked for the rope barrier to either be removed or shortened to the 130 feet authorized by permit.

However, we have received only a limited response about an illegal “administrative correction”.  Therefore, it is with reluctance that the Friends of the Children’s Pool finds itself in the position of having to sue the City of San Diego to require them to comply with the Municipal Code and the California Coastal Act.  This lawsuit will ask for the City to be required to follow the law and comply with the permit conditions they wrote for themselves until such time as they follow the required legal procedure to modify the permit.  This legal procedure would involve public noticing, hearings and potential for citizen appeal of any decision.

Unfortunately, the City of San Diego has a long history of ignoring the law with respect to the Children’s Pool.  This was recognized in the Valerie O’Sullivan lawsuit as well as other recent lawsuits.  We hope that this lawsuit will force the City of San Diego to finally respect the law with respect to the Children’s Pool and allow the citizens to have a voice!

The lawsuit was filed by FoCP because of a willful disregard of the proper land use procedures by the City of San Diego.

  • The proper procedures were even laid out by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith in his December 24, 2012 memo citing the illegal rope extension.
  • Mayor Filner and the staff acted against legal advice.
  • The California Coastal Act and the Municipal Code both require public noticing as well as public input in any modification to a Coastal or Site Development Permit; this process was not followed.
  • We are seeking transparency and openness with this lawsuit.
  • We are opposed to special “secret” access and “special” permits or “administrative corrections” given to special interest groups by City hall.
  • The Children’s Pool is an area of great controversy and special interest not only for La Jolla but for the whole San Diego region.  Therefore, we demand that any decisions related to the Children’s Pool be made with public involvement and input.
  • The Friends of the Children’s Pool generally opposes the rope barrier as it is currently used to restrict and eliminate access to a public beach.
  • Public access is guaranteed by State and local laws as well as the State Constitution.
  • Beach access in La Jolla must be thoughtfully guarded and the City’s actions must be carefully monitored.  Otherwise, “mistakes” in the process which have resulted in the destruction of historical La Jolla community landmarks like the Windermere house, Green Dragon Colony will occur.  We do not want this to happen to the Children’s Pool.
  • The Mayor’s actions have sabotaged alternate beach management options overwhelmingly supported by the community.

We need your help!  A donation to the Friends of the Children’s Pool will assist our efforts and support this lawsuit.  Please donate today!

Press Release: Click Here

La Jolla Light Article: Click Here