At least two businesses fed up with the the stench from sea lion waste at San Diego's La Jolla Cove have filed suit against the city, arguing that officials haven't done enough to fix the problem.
A lawsuit filed last week in San Diego County Superior Court by La Valencia Hotel and the restaurant George's at the Cove argues the stench is driving away customers and poses a public health risk, U-T San Diego reported.
Restaurant owner George Hauer told the newspaper that the city has assured him for two years that it was going to deal with the problem but hasn't come up with any solid plan.
"We consider this to be a potential health hazard and a serious public nuisance, and we have faced the resulting financial hardships for too long," he said. "We've run out of patience."
Hauer said the plaintiffs don't intend to seek money from the city. He believes officials have likely identified ways to approach an odor-abatement plan, but haven't adopted them for some reason.
The city can't comment specifically about the lawsuit, said Alex Roth, a spokesman for interim Mayor Todd Gloria.
"We are well aware this is a problem impacting businesses and quality of life in La Jolla," Roth said. "We are actively working toward a solution. No options are off the table."
Last year, businesses in the same area complained that guano from pelicans, gulls and other birds was raising a stink. The city eventually hired a company to spray a bacterial solution to dissolve the waste.
However, federal and state laws ban harassing, capturing or killing sea lions and birds at the cove.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.