City of Laguna Niguel
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 Laguna Niguel, 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 Niguel’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 City’s residents enjoy a strong retail and commercial
environment. 72% of Laguna Niguel’s 24,891 housing units are
History of Laguna Niguel
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
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
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.
Laguna Niguel City Demographics
Demographic Flash version
Click Here for Demographic
2013 Orange County
Community Indicators Report