San Juan Capistrano officials ordered a halt to construction of San Juan Hills High School on Friday after city inspectors concluded that grading had been started without the proper permits.
Capistrano Unified School District officials said that what inspectors observed was not grading, but part of an effort to protect water quality while brush was being cleared from the site.
"Apparently the work that was in question today was environmental protection work," said district spokesman David Smollar. "There is no grading going on."
Smollar said he expected that city and district officials would resolve the issue Monday without further legal action. But Mayor John Gelff said inspectors reported that they saw "hard grading, cutting into the land."