Declining enrollment in the schools of Laguna Beach and the need to finance improvements on the city's remaining four schools forced the school board in the city of nearly 25,000 to sell a 20-acre site to a developer.
M.J. Brock & Sons Inc., Laguna Hills, plans to flatten a 7-acre knoll on the site to build 36 tract houses. The site, above the city's Top of the World neighborhood, is the highest point in Laguna Beach, at 1,031 feet above sea level.
A group called Top of Laguna Conservancy is trying to persuade Brock to build fewer houses on the site, circled by Alta Laguna Boulevard and Tyrol Drive and preserve as much of it as possible. The organization has already filed two lawsuits challenging the Coastal Commission's approval of a tract map for the site and a suit to overturn the City Council's approval of the housing tract.