SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Monday, the San Diego City Council voted and approved the closing of the Point La Jolla bluffs to protect the marine wildlife and the people who visit the area.
The area is between the Children's Pool and La Jolla Cove, which is mostly occupied by sea lions. Earlier this month the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the year-round closure.
The vote amends the city's municipal code to close the beach and rocky point until permanent solutions can be found for interactions between the sea lions and humans.
The proposal came to light due to recent incidents in which visitors have been getting too close to the animals. In some instances, visitors have tried to take selfies, attempted to pet or wake the sea lions, or have brought dogs into the area.
"I've seen how much they are tormented by people, people that simply aren't educated," said one San Diegan during public comment at Monday's meeting.
Permanent solutions include more park rangers, additional signs will be posted to warn visitors to keep out of the specific areas, and a permanent gate to be installed at the top of the access.
Additionally, a security camera -- which would need to be approved by a surveillance committee.
Dogs and fireworks would also not be allowed, according to the proposal.
Despite the vote, not everyone was on board, some people wanted the city to first do an environmental impact report. Other felt the city shouldn't be closing of any beaches to public access.
"On the other hand, it's not okay for government to be the ones limiting use to our beaches, you give government an inch and they'll use it to restrict all beaches," said another one during public comment.
The item will still need a second reading by the city council and will then take effect 30 days after Mayor Todd Gloria signs it into law.