About Laguna Niguel
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 todayÂ’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.
Demographics & Statistics
Laguna Niguel is a 14.72 square mile planned community in South Orange County, California and is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is surrounded by the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano. It is a General Law city with municipal elections in November of even numbered years.
Existing and planned use of Laguna NiguelÂ’s 9,456 acres includes 3,549 acres residential, 276 acres commercial, 223 acres mixed uses, 222 acres public/institutional facilities and 3,650 acres designated to parks and open space.
The CityÂ’s residents enjoy a strong retail and commercial environment. 73% of Laguna NiguelÂ’s 24,316 housing units are owner occupied and the median home value is $375,000.
The City has 67,014 residents. Census 2000 indicates that the median age is 37.5 and the CityÂ’s age demographics are: Under 20 = 28.6%; 20-34 = 16.7%; 35-54 = 37%; 55-64 = 8.8% and 65+ = 8.9%.