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Aliso Laguna News serves Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo and Dana Point California!

Laguna Hills, California
Laguna Hills is built on one of the major land grants developed during the Rancho Era. Following Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, those who had served in the government or who had friends in authority, were given vast lands for cattle grazing. Rancho Lomas de Santiago, Rancho San Joaquin, and Rancho Niguel covered much of the western portion of the Saddleback Valley. Don Juan Avila was granted the 13,000 Rancho Niguel on which Laguna Hills is located.

In 1874, Lewis Moulton purchased Rancho Niguel from Don Juan Avila and increased the original grant to 22,000 acres. Moulton and his partner, Jean Piedra Daguerre, used the ranch to raise sheep and cattle. The Moulton Ranch was eventually subdivided in the early 1960's, part of which is recognized as Laguna Hills.

Incorporation efforts began in 1987 and on March 5, 1991, the goal of incorporation was finally achieved with 86% of the residents voting in favor of forming the City of Laguna Hills. On December 20, 1991, Laguna Hills officially became a City.

On November 14, 1995, the City Council approved annexation of the North Laguna Hills area, which became part of the incorporated City on July 1, 1996.

On September 18, 2000, with the overwhelming support from the 1,800 residents, the "Westside" Annexation Area officially became part of the incorporated City. The annexation added 149 acres of residential land, which includes the Aliso Viejo Community Association's Sheep Hills Park. http://www.ci.laguna-hills.ca.us/

Laguna Niguel, California
Over one-third of Laguna Niguel is designated as open space. This significant amount of open space is one of the key features defining the character and urban form of the City. The City has 2 community parks, 23 neighborhood parks, 3 mini-parks, 1 dog park, 2 county regional parks, 2 small county parks and the new Laguna Niguel Skate & Soccer Park.
 
The name “Laguna Niguel” is derived from the Spanish word “Laguna,” which means lagoon, and the word “Nigueli,” which was the name of a Juaneno Indian village once located near Aliso Creek. In 1821, California became Mexican territory and many rancheros were formed in Southern California, including Rancho Niguel. During this period, Rancho Niguel was primarily used as a sheep ranch. The first private landowner of the area was Juan Avila, a resident of San Juan Capistrano, who obtained land through a Mexican land grant in 1842. Juan Avila was also successful in re-establishing his title to the land after California became US territory in 1848 and remained the owner of “Rancho Niguel” until 1865.

In 1895, the “Rancho Niguel” land became part of the Moulton Company, a company that would eventually control over 19,000 acres of local ranch land.

The genesis of today’s Laguna Niguel was the establishment of the Laguna Niguel Corporation in 1959 by Cabot, Cabot and Forbes, making it one of the first master planned communities in California. The firm of Victor Gruen and Associates was retained to develop a detailed community plan for the approximately 7,100-acre site. Land sales started to occur in 1961 in Monarch Bay and Laguna Terrace subdivisions. Avco Community Developer acquired the Laguna Niguel Plan in 1971 and initiated development as set forth in the original Master Plan.

During the early years of development in Laguna Niguel, the Laguna Niguel Homeowner Association, later to become the Laguna Niguel Community Council, served in an advisory capacity to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on land use issues.

In 1986, Laguna Niguel residents, looking for local governance, took the first step toward cityhood by forming a Community Services District. Three years later, on November 7, 1989, 89% of the voters favored incorporation and on December 1, 1989, Laguna Niguel became the 29th city in Orange County. http://www.ci.laguna-niguel.ca.us/

Laguna Beach, California
The City of Laguna Beach is well known as a unique beach community and artist's colony with seven miles of City beaches running along its nine square miles. The resident population enjoys the ambiance provided by the sandy beaches, canyons and coastal hills. During the summer, several million visitors are drawn to the resort environment for its picturesque beaches, art festivals and the Pageant of the Masters. Laguna's village scale shopping district, blufftop walkways and tram system create a pedestrian environment and scale which is unique in Southern California.

The City provides a broad array of services, including police, fire, paramedic, marine safety, recreation, parks, public works, community development, transit, information technology and animal control. The City employs more than two hundred full-time employees and an additional hundred part-time employees during the peak summer months. http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/

Laguna Woods, California
Laguna Woods is both one of California's newest and oldest cities. Incorporated in 1999 as Orange County's 32nd city, the average age of Laguna Woods residents is 78. Ninety percent of the City’s 4 square miles is contained within the senior citizen gated community of Laguna Woods Village (formerly Leisure World, Laguna Hills). The balance of the City contains three additional senior residential communities and several thriving commercial centers.

Development of the Leisure World community began in the 1960s on 2,095 acres formerly known as the Moulton Ranch. It was designed to offer a full range of cultural and recreational experiences for active adults within a safe and garden-like setting.

Incorporation efforts were initiated unsuccessfully - independently and in conjunction with surrounding communities - on several occasions. In 1996, threatened with the development of a major commercial airport on its borders, the Leisure World community hired a consultant to explore future governance options. The final report convinced community leaders to pursue cityhood once again.

On June 22, 1998, the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission approved the community's application for incorporation; local voters ratified the proposal on March 2, 1999 and on March 24, 1999, Laguna Woods became Orange County's 32nd city. 

Laguna Woods is a general law city, operating with a "council-manager" form of government. The council-manager form of government blends five elected City Council citizen representatives, who set policies and adopt local laws, with a City Manager and  team of professional staff and consultants who carry out these policies. http://www.lagunawoodscity.org/

Aliso Viejo, California
With rolling hillside and valley terrain boasting picturesque views of mountains, streams, lush trails, pristine parks and city lights, Aliso Viejo is the envy of other cities throughout Orange County.

The City offers a bevy of amenities that mirror its motto of “Live, Work, Learn, Shop and Play” and its City slogan: “Aliso Viejo – Experience it All.” Aliso Viejo is well-known as a strong and lively community designed to meet the growing needs of individuals, families, professionals and enterprising businesses. It is a balanced community with opportunities for housing, jobs, future-planned multi-modal transportation and recreation. An abundance of parks and trails, cultural and recreational activities and youth sports programs further enhance the quality of life for a community with a vision to ensure long-term viability. http://ci.aliso-viejo.ca.us/

Dana Point, California
Incorporated in 1989, the City of Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882), a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast (1840). In his journal, Dana documents his voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim. Therein, Dana describes the area once known as Capistrano Bay, as "the most romantic spot on the California coast." Today, Capistrano Bay is known as Dana Point.

On January 1, 2009 the City of Dana Point celebrated its 20th anniversary. In commemoration of the date The Dana Point Historical Society hosted a reenactment of the cityhood establishment ceremony.  The event was well attended by residents, visitors and politicians.  To view the related photos use the following link.  Among other highlights  was a presentation by The Historical Society of a chronology of the City’s history, viewable at the following link. If you would like to purchase a copy, please visit The Dana Point Historical Society’s website or call (949) 248-8121.

Dana Point is home to 36,765 residents and is characterized by nearly seven miles of prominent coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean. Most noteworthy of these bluffs is a unique promontory known as the "Headlands" which overlooks Dana Point Harbor, one of the most significant manmade alterations of the Orange County coastline.

Dana Point Harbor provides slips and mooring for over 2,500 boats along with over 50 specialty shops and restaurants. The Harbor attracts thousands of visitors annually for shopping, sport fishing, walking, bicycling, parasailing and a host of recreational activities. The Dana Point Harbor is also considered the gateway to Doheny State Park, one of California’s most popular beach facilities. The 62-acre State Park offers camping, picnicking, swimming, surfing, bicycling, tide pool exploration and more.

Dana Point provides over 1,900 hotel rooms ranging in accommodations and services from economy to five star hotels. Convention and meeting facilities are available at the larger resort facilities, and all provide access to Dana Point’s unique coastal amenities.

Located in southern Orange County, California, Dana Point is approximately one-half way between Los Angeles and San Diego, and is bordered by the cities of Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach to the north, San Juan Capistrano to the east, and San Clemente to the south.http://www.danapoint.org/

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