Laguna’s highest point opens up

Suzie Harrison

The controversy regarding the Richard Jahraus Top of the World

reservoir seems to depend on what side of the fence you’re on.

The city recently removed a safety and security fence that had been


restricting the public from the space for several years.

“It’s a joint project between the city of Laguna Beach and the Laguna

Beach County Water District, " explained James Nestor, district engineer.

The reservoir holds 3-million gallons of water and is buried under


native vegetation.

“We are really happy to have it there,” Nestor said. “It is an

integral part of our water system and it serves anywhere from Laguna

Canyon all the way to [Top of the World] and across to Arch Heights

Beach. The city has the surface rights, is responsible for the

maintenance and replanting, while the land actually belongs to the water


Residents seem less interested in the reservoir’s capacity and much


happier simply to have the fence gone.

“It’s about time they removed the fence,” said Stephanie Marshall, a

lifelong Laguna resident. “It was public land for a long time. It’s

ridiculous that they took the highest point in Laguna.”

“I’ve lived here for 12 years and am very happy the fence came down,”

said Dorte Pakpour.

Diane Neill, who takes her kids to the park to play, said that while

the fence was needed, it was understandable that it had to be kept for


safety reasons.

“I’ve lived in Laguna for about nine years and look at the issue from

both sides,” she said. “If the fence was part of a safety feature, then I

think that is most important although I do feel it is a eyesore.”

Fernando Nascimento heard great things about the park and is glad the

fence is no longer in people’s way.

“It’s nice, quite with no cars and a nice view,” he said.