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John Vasquez
Hugging the hills in Arch Beach Heights
Hugging the hills in Arch Beach Heights

Once upon a time, they literally had to give away the inaccessible hillside lots of Arch Beach Heights — a pretty inauspicious beginning for what is now a pricey Laguna Beach community of desirable multilevel ocean-view homes. Beginnings When it was subdivided in 1911, Arch Beach Heights was largely ignored. It was in a remote location with difficult access. The steep neighborhood remained undesirable through the 1920s, when 2,500-square-foot lots couldn't fetch even $50. Prospective buyers rode trains down from Los Angeles to Laguna Beach and stayed at Ye Arch Beach Tavern, the official headquarters for lot sales in Arch Beach Heights. Some buyers were lured by free...

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