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Laguna Beach School District as Developer

September 04, 1988

The Laguna Beach School District is becoming the city's most active developer; it has closed the Aliso School and sold off the land. Now the schoolchildren of South Laguna are bused to El Morro every day. The district has entered into an agreement to sell its subdivision on Alta Laguna Boulevard. It devised a tentative tract map for 36 new houses and used its influence to obtain Planning Commission and City Council approval.

The school district has determined that these lands are excess and not required, so the district can obtain the money to remodel the high school. It is urgent that the high school be repaired and be made safe for our students. However, is a $7-million remodeling required? Is it wise to sell off these public lands to acquire a swimming pool and an amphitheater?

In most cities, the bulk of the athletic facilities are provided by the schools. It is not from the kindness of school trustee hearts that the public is permitted to use the athletic facilities after school hours; it is required by state law. Those who are concerned about the lack of athletic facilities in Laguna Beach should question the decisions that have been made by the school district. It is certainly inappropriate for the district to sell off so much land for development, and then complain to the City Council about the lack of playing fields for the youngsters of Laguna Beach.

One cannot have it both ways. If remodeling the high school is of paramount importance, it necessitates selling off the land, and the consequence is having fewer athletic facilities.

GENE FELDER

Laguna Beach

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