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Local Government Bodies in Orange County, California

 
 
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The City of Aliso Viejo, California 
 
 
"Aliso Viejo is a lively community with award-winning schools, a convenient location, great shopping, dining and entertainment, employment centers, beautiful parks and an extensive recreational program offered by the Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA). With its expanding housing and work options, educational centers, balanced retail/commercial mix, and recreational opportunities, Aliso Viejo continues to offer more reasons for businesses and families to choose Aliso Viejo as their hometown."  Aliso Viejo
The City of Anaheim, California 
 
 
"Welcome to the City of Anaheim. Home to more than 340,000 residents and a thriving business community, Anaheim boasts amenities that no other city can offer: a Major League Baseball team, National Hockey League team, the Disneyland Resort and the largest Convention Center on the West Coast. It is a world-class City committed to unparalleled customer service, whether you visit us in person at City Hall or here on the World Wide Web. We like to think of our website as a virtual City Hall, offering immediate access to the departments, programs, information and services you need and more. Paying your electric bill, catching up on the latest Anaheim news, locating a book at one of the City’s library branches or discovering when your favorite band will be performing at the Grove are just a few clicks away. Anaheim.net places the City at your fingertips, making it easy for you to enjoy all Anaheim has to offer."  Anaheim
The City of Brea, California 
 
 
"Nestled in the foothills of north Orange County, the City of Brea is a unique community of more than 36,000 residents. Brea plays host to over 100,000 people who visit the City daily to work, shop or enjoy one of the fine entertainment venues offered here. Brea is a diverse residential, industrial and commercial North Orange County community located about 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and 20 miles northwest of John Wayne Airport. It occupies 11.2 square miles and is surrounded by gentle, rolling hills and extends into picturesque Carbon Canyon, linking it with Chino Hills to the east. The Orange (57) Freeway provides easy access to the rest of Orange County, as well as the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. Beaches, deserts, mountains and the recreational facilities of Southern California are within easy reach of Brea. The City is also a major retail center. Our completed Downtown Brea is a destination venue for unique entertainment and shopping in North Orange County. The Brea Mall is a 99+ acre regional shopping center. Adjacent to the Mall is the City’s $22 million Civic and Cultural Center and Brea Marketplace. Additionally, our modern $10 million multi-use complex Brea Community Center is located across the street and serves 8,000 people weekly. We invite you to visit Brea both virtually by browsing our website and in reality by traveling to our beautiful city. Brea is definitely the place to live, work, shop or dine."  Brea
The City of Buena Park, California 
 
 
In 1783 California belonged to Spain, and Pedro Fages was the Governor of this part of the country. He was given permission from the King of Spain to make land grants in California, and gave one such piece of land to Manuel Nieto, ex-corporal of the 'Leather Jacket' guards of the Portola Expedition. This piece of land extended from the San Gabriel River to the Santa Ana River, and from the ocean to the road, from San Gabriel Mission. In 1834 Manuel Nieto's land was divided into five ranchos. One of the five ranchos was named Rancho Los Coyotes and totaled 48,806 acres. Buena Park is located near the center of this rancho. Rancho Los Coyotes is a center of California and American history, for it was here in January 1847, that Commodore Robert S. Stockton and his band of Americans rested in preparation for the battle of the San Gabriel River. The battle was won and the outcome of the Mexican War (1846-48) was settled in this area. The exact location of Stockton's encampment is historically marked near the Los Coyotes Country Club in the Bellehurst area of Buena Park. In 1885, James A. Whitaker, a wholesale grocer from Chicago, bought 690 acres of the Stearns Rancho, part of what was once the sprawling Rancho Los Coyotes. Whitaker intended to create a cattle ranch, but Santa Fe Railway officials convinced him to use the land for a new town. Whitaker filed his township papers in 1887 in Los Angeles County - Orange County had not been formed - to create the town of Buena Park. The city was not incorporated until 1953. Buena Park first became known as a dairy center, and both the Sante Fe and Southern Pacific railroads built depots. The Lily Creamery started operations in Buena Park in 1889. With the exception of a few wineries, the creamery was the first industry in the city. Today, the City's main claim to fame is as the home of the popular E-Zone or Entertainment Zone. Located on and around Beach Boulevard south of the 91 Freeway the E-Zone is home to such exciting attractions as Knott's Berry Farm, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, Movieland Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum and Knott's Soak City U.S.A."  Buena Park
The City of Costa Mesa, California 
 
 
"The City of Costa Mesa boasts of being one of Orange County's leading cultural and business centers. Located 37 miles southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles north of San Diego and 475 miles south of San Francisco, Costa Mesa encompasses a total of 16 square miles with its southernmost border only 1 mile from the Pacific Ocean. The current population of approximately 103,823 has grown from 16,840 at the time of incorporation in 1953. Since that time, it has evolved from a semi-rural farming community to a city with its local economy primarily based upon retail commercial business and light manufacturing of electronics, pharmaceuticals and plastics. A general law city, Costa Mesa has a council-manager form of government and staff of approximately 600 full-time employees. Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. The home of Orange Coast College and Vanguard University as well as Whittier Law School and National University, a number of universities and colleges are in close proximity to Costa Mesa. The Orange County Performing Arts Center, Orange County Fairgrounds, South Coast Repertory Theater and South Coast Plaza are prominent centers of cultural and economic activity within the City. The South Coast Plaza shopping center is the single largest commercial activity center in the City. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of 322 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. The 9.5 acre Costa Mesa Civic Center is located at 77 Fair Drive. City Hall is a five-story building where the primary administrative functions of the City are conducted. Also contained in the Civic Center complex are Council Chambers, the Police facility, Communications building and Fire Station No. 5. State Highways 55, 73 and Interstate 405 all run through Costa Mesa. Costa Mesa residents enjoy an ideally mild Southern California climate. Its location provides easy access to many of Southern California’s major attractions such as beaches, mountain areas, high and low deserts, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Palm Springs and Los Angeles with its sports arenas and major league teams. Surrounded by the cities of Newport Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Santa Ana, Costa Mesa is in an area where it is wonderful to live and work."  Costa Mesa
The City of Cypress, California 
 
 
"The City of Cypress, in partnership with the community, will maintain and enhance a safe, attractive and sustainable environment in which to live, work and play.... The vision of the City of Cypress is to be an outstanding family-oriented community and premier business center.... The City is in North Western Orange County, California, east of the San Gabriel River Freeway (605), south of the Artesia Freeway (91) and north of the Garden Grove (22) and San Diego (405) Freeways."  Cypress
The City of Dana Point, California 
 
 
"Dana Point is situated on the beautiful Southern California coast, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles. It prides itself with nearly seven miles of coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean with its charming beaches and wild surfs. Most noteworthy of these bluffs is a unique promontory known as the “Headlands”, which overlooks Dana Point Harbor, one of the most significant man-made alterations of the Orange County coastline. Dana Point encompasses 6.5 square miles and is home to 35,110 people and numerous businesses, all working together as one community. You can see this collaboration in action during some of the City’s annual festivals and events such as the Turkey Trot in November, Festival of Whales in March, and its 4th of July fireworks show. The City is home to the Dana Point Harbor, the newly opened Ocean Institute presenting a wide array of marine life, to several beautiful lodging facilities and restaurants to accommodate your special needs. Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast. His writings document the voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim, and describe the area once known as Capistrano Bay, as “the most romantic spot on the California Coast”. Today, Capistrano Bay is known as Dana Point. Another fascinating area commonly known to many as Monarch Bay, is also known as Dana Point. For more historical information about Capistrano Bay and Monarch Bay, please visit the Dana Point Historical Society at www.danapointhistorical.org. The City incorporated in January 1989 as a general law City with a Council-Manager form of government with five Council members elected citywide. The City’s leadership and development is guided by its Mission, and Strategic and General Plans. The City provides a myriad of services such as Police and Fire (through the County of Orange and the Fire District Authority), code enforcement, zoning and building permitting, public works, recreation, parks and senior services. It also provides other services and programs such as animal control, street sweeping, annual tree maintenance, community gardens, vacation checks, and others."  Dana Point
The City of Fountain Valley, California 
 
 
"A nice place to live." Near Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Huntington Beach.  Fountain Valley
The City of Fullerton, California 
 
 
"Located 22 miles southeast of metropolitan Los Angeles, in the center of North Orange County, Fullerton is a full-service city renowned for its unique mix of residential, commercial and industrial, educational, and cultural environments which provide an outstanding quality of life for both residents and businesses alike. Fullerton, one of the largest cities in Orange County, is a community with a strong sense of tradition, one that treasures its historic past as it prepares to meet the challenges of its future."  Fullerton
The City of Garden Grove, California 
 
 
"Garden Grove is a vibrantly progressive and growing city located just south of Los Angeles in Orange County, California. Our motto, 'The City of Youth and Ambition', accurately reflects this culturally diverse community of over 170,000 people. Garden Grove is home to four annual cultural festivals that celebrate the Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, and American heritage. Garden Grove's Strawberry Festival, now more than 45 years old, is the largest community-based Memorial Day event in the western United States. Garden Grove is conveniently located less than 1 mile away from Disneyland, seven miles from Knott's Berry Farm, nine miles from local beaches, and 10 miles from Orange County John Wayne Airport. The beautiful Mojave Desert and San Bernardino Mountains are also just a short drive away. Schools in the Garden Grove Unified School District have been rated as some of the best and safest in the County. With 45 elementary schools, nine junior high schools, eight high schools, and five community colleges, Garden Grove can meet all of your family's educational needs. The City of Garden Grove has many services to offer its community, including employment assistance, educational programs, recreational programs, and family entertainment. Garden Grove has 7 fire stations and 13 police stations/substations helping to make our city one of the safest places to live in California. The City's staff of over 626 full-time employees is supported by more than 100 community-minded volunteers. Our community has a proud reputation for its outstanding commitment to volunteerism. Garden Grove is home to the highest number of churches and places of worship per capita in California, including the world-famous Crystal Cathedral. With safe streets, warm, sunny weather year-round, and religious and cultural diversity; it's no wonder that residents consider Garden Grove a good place to call home. To learn more about Garden Grove and all we have to offer, simply click on the links below. Located in Orange County, California, the City of Garden Grove (17.8 sq.miles) is home to over 170,000 residents and is a friendly, spirited and balanced community rich in diversity -- a city with a view to the future. Incorporated June 18, 1956, the City will celebrate 50 years of cityhood next year and 132 years since the founding of Garden Grove in 1874 by Dr. Alonzo Cook. The city motto is 'City of Youth and Ambition.' The city flower is the Orange Tropicana Rose and the city tree is Flame Coral."  Garden Grove
The City of Huntington Beach, California 
 
 
"Welcome to Huntington Beach - Surf City, USA - The dynamic coastal City of Huntington Beach, with its sunny Mediterranean climate and idyllic setting, is home to more than 195,000 residents. Internationally known as Surf City, Huntington Beach boasts eight miles of scenic, accessible beachfront, the largest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront on the West Coast. Tourism remains a vital part of the economy, as over 11 million visitors flock to the city during the summer, on weekends and for special events. Our parks and recreation features one of the largest recreational piers in the world, public parks, riding stables and equestrian trails, a marina, and a wildlife preserve, and an eight-mile biking, inline skating, jogging, and walking trail along the ocean. The crown jewel of the recreation system is the wide expanse of beautiful and spacious beaches, where large crowds gather to watch professional sporting events as the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and Van's World Championship of Skateboarding. The quality of life in Huntington Beach is enhanced by its reputation as one of the ten safest cities by City Crime Rankings and the quality of the community services offered to its citizens. The Huntington Beach Art Center and the Huntington Beach Playhouse provide a wide variety of fine arts, and the excellent library system and numerous museums provide a strong cultural foundation. The educational system, with five city high schools and 35 elementary schools, is excellent. Huntington Beach is home to Golden West Community College and nearby UC Irvine and Cal State Long Beach and Fullerton. The city is located 40 miles south of Los Angeles and provides easy access to Long Beach and all of Orange county."  Huntington Beach
The City of Irvine, California 
 
 
"The City of Irvine was incorporated on December 28, 1971, under the general laws of the State of California. We operate under a charter law form of government which was adopted in 1975, meaning we have a City Council-City Manager form of government. The City Manager is appointed by the City Council to function as the chief administrator of the City. City Council sets the policy directions for the City, and the City Manager is charged with implementing those directions. Additionally, the City Manager keeps the Council informed of City operations, prepares the annual budget, oversees special programs, and coordinates the various department activities. Irvine is one of the nation's largest planned urban communities and encompasses more than 55 square miles. We contract for fire and medical services with the County of Orange, and have three independent districts: library, educational and utility services. Other government services include: animal control; building and safety regulation and inspection; general administrative services; planning and zoning; police; public facility/capital improvement construction; recreation and cultural programs; refuse collection and recycling; street lighting; street maintenance; landscape maintenance and transportation management."  Irvine
The City of La Habra, California 
 
 
"Located at Orange County's northernmost corner, La Habra today is 7.3 square miles, with a population of 55,000 and 20,000 households. A quiet bedroom community, it is conveniently located within an hour's drive of many beaches, mountain, and desert recreation areas. A full-service city employing 300 people, La Habra provides a full range of services, including police and fire protection, water and sanitation services, street maintenance, and animal control. Police and Fire Department equipment as well as the communications system is state-of-the-art. The City's water supply has been diversified to produce a lower cost and more flexible delivery system to its customers. Within the City are three outstanding school districts, which combined, operate 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 2 high schools. A number of private and specialty schools also exist including preschools and those for the developmentally challenged. The City continues to focus on public safety, economic enhancement, redevelopment beautification, and infrastructure improvements. La Habra also offers a distinctive and well-rounded program of civic, recreational, social and cultural services to its residents, including 20 parks, a Children's Museum, Community Theater, Tennis Center, and diverse Community Center. Community services include ESL, Community Resource Center, facility rentals, an active volunteer program, and a variety of recreation classes and excursions, and senior programs."  La Habra
The City of La Palma, California 
 
 
"With 18 dairies dotting an area of 1.76 square miles, the City of La Palma in 1955 looked nothing like it does today. In fact, the City of La Palma was first incorporated as Dairyland and remained so until the dairies relocated. The name was changed in later years to La Palma in reflection of Orange County's Spanish heritage. Soon after the small farming community began its life, city planners decided that the city should benefit from a long term program for orderly development. The Civic Center and Central Park, now La Palma's premier gathering places, were among the first projects to be completed to better the community. The city's major redevelopment project, Centerpointe, added new commercial and light industrial uses in the early 1980's. Since many of La Palma's residential structures were built nearly 30 years ago, the city's homes are currently undergoing extensive remodeling and real estate values in the area have been climbing as a result. In addition, a city-wide research survey conducted in late 1997 evidenced a clear desire by the residents that the city take measures to improve its streets and public places. The upcoming year will provide the most ambitious program of public improvements that residents have seen in 15 years. Today, La Palma is a well balanced city which prides itself on a responsive municipal government and a strong sense of community. The city's small town character allows residents to live in quiet and friendly neighborhoods. With one of the lowest crime rates in Orange County, La Palma is a place where residents can rest easy and enjoy hometown living."  La Palma
The City of 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."  Laguna Beach
The City of Laguna Hills, California 
 
 
Just south of the "El Toro Y" where the 405 and 5 freeways converge - near Aliso Viejo, Irvine, El Toro, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Irvine.  Laguna Hills
The City of 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 Leisure World. The balance of the City contains three additional senior residential communities and several thriving commercial centers. Development of Leisure World 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 gardenlike 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. 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."  Laguna Woods
The City of Lake Forest, California 
 
 
"Seeded in history, nestled within rolling hills, lakes and stands of eucalyptus, and freeway close, Lake Forest is a community that is responsive to business and aggressive in its desire for attracting and retaining an excellent business community. Although Lake Forest is a new City, having incorporated on December 20, 1991, the Lake Forest area has a long history. Starting out as an agricultural area like most of Orange County region, Lake Forest began to grow rapidly following World War II. Residential, commercial and industrial development began to replace the acres of citrus and other agricultural products. A significant reason for the change was the growing importance of the El Toro Marine Base. The growth of the base increased the need for new homes and support services. Steadily, the Lake Forest area was built into the City we have today. Lake Forest has been carefully master-planned to help ensure that it will always be an ideal place to live and conducive to business growth. Consequently, the amenities for encouraging residential and business growth are highly valued and carefully nurtured by those groups and individuals whose role is to help the City grow."  Lake Forest
The City of Los Alamitos, California 
 
 
"On March 1, 1960, the township of Los Alamitos became a chartered city. Since then it has advanced both as a residential and business community. It is debt-free, with excellent recreational and park facilities, a top-notch police force and an enthusiastic Chamber of Commerce. All in all, the city of Little Cottonwoods is best described as "A Little Jewel of a City." Its city seal reflects its ancestry; its official flower, the Daisy, reflects its youth, since it was named by a young boy who nominated the bloom because it was his mother’s favorite flower. With its outstanding schools, friendly neighbors and strategic location as the crossroads of two of the area’s principal freeways, Los Alamitos has nowhere to go but up!"  Los Alamitos
The City of Mission Viejo, California 
 
 
"Mission Viejo, the 'California Promise'". Near Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, Trabuco, Rancho Santa Margarita, El Toro, Irvine.  Mission Viejo
The City of Newport Beach, California 
 
 
Near Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach. Includes Corona del Mar.  Newport Beach
The City of Orange, California 
 
 
"The City of Orange was incorporated on April 6, 1888 under the general laws of the State of California. However, Orange dates back to 1869 when Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell, both lawyers, accepted 1,385 acres of land from the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana as legal fees. Soon thereafter, the men laid out a one square mile town with ten-acre farm lots surrounding a forty-acre central town site. The center of the town site became known as the Plaza, which has become the symbol of the community. Today, the Plaza and the majority of the original one square mile town site, contain many homes and buildings dating to the early days of the City; the site is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Under a council-manager form of government, a mayor is elected every two years and four council members are elected to four-year terms alternating on a two-year basis. The City Manager, who is the administrative official of the City, is appointed by the City Council. The City provides a full range of services for its citizens. These services include police, fire, paramedic, emergency transportation, library, recreation and parks, planning and development, street improvements and lighting, and general administration. The City also operates a water utility and provides for refuse collection and sanitation. In addition, the City provides aid to its citizens in the form of residential and commercial rehabilitation loans and economic development programs. The City contracts with a private non-profit agency to operate its senior citizen center."  Orange
The City of Placentia, California 
 
 
"Placentia's colorful history began in 1837 when the Mexican Governor granted the Rancho San Juan Cajon De Santa Ana to Juan Ontiveros. This land grant included the area which today comprises Placentia, Anaheim, Fullerton, La Habra, and Yorba Linda. Our first pioneer was Daniel Kraemer, who purchased 3900 acres in 1865. Three years later, William McFadden and his wife, Sarah Ann, acquired 100 additional acres in this area. Many other settlers arrived in the following years. As our community slowly developed, schools and churches were erected. In 1876, at the suggestion of Sarah Ann McFadden, the area was named 'Placentia', derived from a Spanish word meaning 'pleasant place to live'. Placentia was placed on the map in 1910 when A. S. Bradford persuaded the Santa Fe Railroad to re-route their track through this area, thus shortening the rail distance to Los Angeles. A station was built and packing houses were established for the town's growing citrus industry. Mr. Bradford also laid out the main streets of the town; and, in his honor, Bradford Avenue retains his name today. The climate and rich land attracted an ever-growing number of new residents. Five hundred citizens voted to incorporate in 1926. The area was well suited to the raising of citrus, walnuts, avocados, and grapes. Placentia became the center of Valencia orange growing and packing. In 1960, Placentia's population had reached only 5000; but, at that time, a phenomenal growth period began. In ten years, by 1970, the population increased five-fold to nearly 25,000. Today, Placentia is still a fast-growing community of 45,000 residents, with beautiful suburban homes, good schools, stately churches, and wholesome recreation. We are not the only 'Placentia' in the world. A check of the World Atlas reveals a Placentia in Newfoundland. Placentia Point is a geographical feature on the coast on British Honduras. Hannibal, with his army and warrior elephants, camped in Placentia in Northern Italy prior to crossing the Alps."  Placentia
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita, California 
 
 
"In 1989, the people of the community of Rancho Santa Margarita established a Community Civic Association (CCA) for the purpose of providing a political voice of the community. The CCA, later known as the Rancho Margarita Civic Association (and still later as the Civic Council), briefly explored self-governance, but it was in 1995 that the RSM Cityhood Committee, a separate community organization, began the official cityhood process. Rancho Santa Margarita was planned to be an “Urban Village,” offering the best of two worlds: all of the elements and advantages of a small city plus the quality of life of a small village. In 1996 the Celebrating the Vision Committee developed Rancho Santa Margarita’s Vision Statement: “A Small City with the Soul of a Small Village.” The City of Rancho Santa Margarita is located along the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. The City incorporated on January 1, 2000, and became the 33rd city in the County of Orange. The City has a population of 47,214 (2000 census). The City is a general law city and operates under the council-manager form of government. Rancho Santa Margarita is a contract city. Police services are provided through contract with the Orange County Sheriff. Fire Protection services are provided through the Orange County Fire Authority."  Rancho Santa Margarita
The City of San Clemente, California 
 
 
"San Clemente residents often think of their town as paradise—where the 1920’s vision of a Spanish Village by the Sea still lingers, the sun shines 342 days a year and the conveniences of metropolitan Southern California are balanced by fresh ocean air and beaches untouched by time. Just 75 years ago, most of the coastal land between Los Angeles and San Diego was no more than barren rolling hills covered with mustard and sagebrush. San Clemente was no exception.... People indeed love beautiful places and the boom in San Clemente’s population—at 55,000 this year as the City celebrates its 75th anniversary—reflects the popularity of San Clemente and the development that has transformed all of Orange County in the past century. However, San Clemente started and has evolved differently than many of its neighboring communities. San Clemente was among the first master planned communities built from totally open land in the United States. Before erecting a single structure on the rolling coastal hills, Ole Hanson laid out an expansive plan based on the Spanish Colonial architectural style including restaurants, a clubhouse, residences, public parks, a public pool, a fishing pier, and even equestrian trails."  San Clemente
The City of San Juan Capistrano, California 
 
 
"The City of San Juan Capistrano is a unique community grounded in a history of native American culture, the Mission established by Franciscan missionaries in 1776, and an agrarian past. Officially incorporated as a city in 1961, San Juan Capistrano recently celebrated 40 years of cityhood. A council-manager form of government, with five elected council members elected citywide, direct the city operations and municipal services. The City has grown from a small community of approximately 10,000 persons in 1974 to a developed city of 34,193 in 2004, with a variety of land uses providing open space, recreation, housing, jobs, shopping and services. The City prides itself on effectively maintaining its open space character by acquiring land to preserve its defining ridgelines, hillsides, and trails. Nearly 40% of the City is in open space and park land. Only about 10% of land suitable for development still remains vacant."  San Juan Capistrano
The City of Santa Ana, California 
 
 
The Orange County Seat. "Don Gaspár de Portolá, a Spanish expedition party leader, discovered a picturesque valley and river in Southern California which he christened Santa Ana, in honor of Saint Anne, on July 26, 1769. José Antonio Yorba, a youthful expedition soldier, and his nephew Juan Peralta, were given a Spanish land grant for the area. They developed the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana for cattle grazing and productive farmland. In 1869, William H. Spurgeon purchased 70 acres from the Yorba family and plotted a townsite. The new town was given the name Santa Ana. In 1886, Santa Ana was incorporated as a city. Orange County was separated from Los Angeles in 1889, and Santa Ana was designated the County Seat. Santa Ana is the financial and governmental center of Orange County and a major city in the state.... Largest city in Orange County by population and the County Seat Ninth largest in California by population.... The City of Santa Ana was incorporated on June 1, 1886. A City Charter was adopted in 1952, which established a Council/Manager form of Government. The City is governed by a Council consisting of six Council members and a directly elected Mayor. Council candidates are nominated from wards, but elected by voters from the entire city. Council members are elected to four-year terms and the mayor is elected every two years."  Santa Ana
The City of Seal Beach, California 
 
 
"Seal Beach sits on the coast as the gateway to Orange County between the cities of Long Beach and Huntington Beach. With a population of 24,098, Seal Beach celebrated its 85th anniversary in October 2000. Governed by a five member council/city manager form of government, who are elected by district, Seal Beach has retained its quaint, small-town atmosphere. Seal Beach is the home of Leisure World, a gated senior citizen community of approximately 7-10,000 persons. The Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station comprises 2/3 of the land within the City."  Seal Beach
The City of Stanton, California 
 
 
"Modern Stanton can trace its origins to one of the largest land grants made in California - a concession which covered over 300,000 acres of land. Manuel Perez Nieto, the successful petitioner, found his grant reduced approximately one-half following a protest by the padres of Mission San Gabriel. Upon Manuel Nieto's death in 1804, his son Juan Jose, took title to Rancho Los Coyotes and Rancho Los Alamitos.... On May 15, 1956 a successful election was held on incorporation. On June 4, 1956, the City of Stanton was officially incorporated under the general law form of government as specified by the State of California.... In recent years Stanton, now three square miles with over 38,305 residents, has experienced rapid growth in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors, creating a balanced community, with a deep sense of pride in its accomplishments. The Stanton Redevelopment Agency has been extremely successful in improving the quality of life in the City through revitalization of its commercial and residential areas. Through public-private partnerships, major new developments have been attracted which promise to sustain the City for years to come. The City of Stanton, a municipal corporation, operates under the Council-Manager form of government and provides a full range of quality municipal services through its various operating departments and contracted services. As such, every citizen in the City is a stockholder entitled to be heard on City issues."  Stanton
The City of Tustin, California 
 
 
"People who know this area well sometimes refer to Tustin as 'The City of the Trees.' Although a variety of trees are responsible for this nickname, this is a distinctive quality of the area which dates back centuries, actually to the time of the early Spanish explorers. The first Europeans in Orange County came with the Portola Expedition in 1769. This expedition, which had two padres (including Father Juan Crespi) and a small contingent of the army, set out north to establish the string of missions throughout California. (Father Serra, who was in charge of this project, was not along on this expedition, remaining in San Diego to establish the mission there.) A few years later, the early Spanish Grijalva scouting party (The Anza Expedition, 1776) identified the area from Santiago Creek to Red Hill as El Alisal, the Sycamore Grove. At that time, the land was dotted with massive, white-barked sycamore trees. It is of some note that three of the massive trees still exist, although today they are on private property.... Columbus Tustin, a Northern California carriage maker, and his partner Nelson Stafford, purchased 1,300 acres of what had been the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana for the price of one dollar and fifty cents per acre. Mr. Tustin attempted to create 'Tustin City', but sales of homesites were slow, and in the early 1870s he ended up giving free lots to anyone who would build a home. In 1877, Tustin lost out to Santa Ana as the Southern terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and Columbus Tustin died in 1883, a bitterly disappointed man. Nonetheless, with the abundance of water, the community named after him gradually became established as an agricultural center.... Today, almost all the orchards are gone; now Tustin is an urban area. However, if you know where to look, you can still see signs of the City's proud history. Historic old buildings, some dating back to the 1880s, are maintained in 'Old Town' on Main Street and El Camino Real. The museum shows a living history of those times gone by. And there's more: three trees yet remain of those original massive sycamores. And finally, everywhere lining the streets, one still sees trees, trees and more trees in Tustin, The City of Trees."  Tustin
The City of Villa Park, California 
 
 
"Villa Park is Orange County's smallest city, but one of its friendliest and most welcoming places to live. Here, you will find people with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, and occupations; quiet neighborhoods and attractive residential streets; the lowest crime rate in the County; and four schools within walking distance. The City of Villa Park is in the center of Orange County. It has an area of 2.1 square miles, a population of 6,500 and approximately 1,900 homes, and is almost 99% built out. With the exception of one shopping center, the City is zoned for single-family residences, most of which are on half-acre lots. The shopping center includes a grocery store, banks, a pharmacy with a postal substation, a variety of specialty shops and offices, the City Hall and community room, and a branch of the Orange County Public Library."  Villa Park
The City of Westminster, California 
 
 
"The settlers who founded the temperance colony of Westminster in 1870 were not the first to come to the coastal plain. The earliest settlers were the Oak Grove people who occupied the land over 8,000 years ago and stayed until the climate became too dry and vegetation dwindled. The area remained uninhabited until the Gabrieleno Indians moved in from the desert to this area and numbered over 200,000. White man’s diseases ---- measles, smallpox and diphtheria eventually decimated the Indians almost to extinction. The next recorded history of the North Orange County area dates to 1492, when Pope Alexander IV decreed that all unclaimed land in the North American continent belonged to the King of Spain. Large land grants called ranchos were awarded by the King to induce colonization of the continent. The Spaniards cleared, surveyed and mapped their new land. In 1784 the Spanish Governor of California honored Manuel Nieto with a 21 mile square concession of land to be called the Rancho Las Bolsas. It covered most of what we know today as west Orange County. The Rancho prospered with large crops and fine herds, however, after Nieto’s death in 1804 his heirs quarreled and the Rancho was partitioned in1834.... The turn of the century and early years of 2000 found continued growth and improvement in Westminster. Design and completion of two 8million gallon state of the art water tanks at Hoover and Hazard Avenues assures an adequate water supply. In the Civic Center area, Sid Goldstein Memorial Park was dedicated. An important part of the park is the Vietnam War Memorial which is a tribute to all who served in that arena. Ground has been broken in the Civic Center area for Coastline Community College which will serve the community. Construction is also underway for the Westminster Rose Center, which will provide a much needed area for community events and programs. The Westminster Rose Center, Coastline College Educational buildings and Sid Goldstein Freedom Park join the Civic Center City Buildings, Senior Center, the Orange County Courthouse, and the Orange County Library to create a focal point for Westminster that provide services for the residents of the community. Residential and commercial growth continue as the assessed valuation has reached $5,186,876,215 and a population in 2005 that is 92,000 and growing."  Westminster
The City of Yorba Linda, California 
 
 
"The name Yorba dates as far back as 1769 when Jose Yorba was part of a Spanish expedition exploring the area now known as Orange County. In 1809, Jose Yorba petitioned the King of Spain for a land grant and was awarded 62,000 acres of land which came to be known as Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Nearly a century later, (1907), Jacob Stern, a Fullerton resident and owner of portions of the former Yorba lands, sold a large area to the Janss Corporation. The Janss Corporation subdivided this property and named the new town 'Yorba Linda'. 'Yorba' after the early land grant family and 'Linda' meaning pretty in Spanish. The Janss Corporation began selling its Yorba Linda subdivisions emphasizing its agricultural potential and offering parcels of land for $150 an acre. Early residents came to Yorba Linda with the intent of operating small farms. These families came between 1910 and 1920 and constructed numerous ranch houses, and planted citrus groves; Yorba Linda began as a community of hard-working citizens. The construction of the Pacific Electric Railroad line between Yorba Linda and Los Angeles established an important transportation link; Yorba Linda growers could now easily get their produce to a major produce market. Soon after, two packing houses were built adjacent to the railroad station and the center of the community had begun.... It was not until the 1960's that Yorba Linda began experiencing the tremendous population growth which the rest of Orange County had been experiencing for the previous two decades. Yorba Linda, once a small agricultural community of approximately 4,000 people, began its transformation into a modern community with incorporation occurring in 1967."  Yorba Linda
The County of Orange, California 
 
 
"The colorful pageantry of human history in Orange County began at some undetermined point in the distant past when Shoshone Indians came to dwell along the coast and in the lower canyons of the mountains. Theirs was a simple form of existence: they lived off of the abundance of the land. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola, a military man and Spanish aristocrat, was appointed governor of Lower California. He commanded an expedition traveling northward into the literally unmapped and half mythical territory of Alta California. His assignment was to seek out the legendary Bay of Monterey. He was also to secure the Spanish claim to his vast frontier against any invasion from Russian trappers or British colonizers. Portola called upon Father Junipero Serra, president of the Mexico City Missionary College, to assist in this monumental undertaking. It was late in July in 1769 when this first party of European explorers reached the boundaries of present-day Orange County. Members of the expedition named the region 'The Valley of Saint Anne' (Santa Ana). It was to this valley that Father Serra returned six years later, where he proceeded with the work of establishing the Church and converting the local people. While the East Coast of North America was engaged in revolution and spectacular change, the West Coast too was undergoing a quiet and almost undetected transformation. Father Serra dedicated the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, Orange County's first permanent settlement, on November 1, 1776. The Mission became a self-sustaining unit based upon an agricultural economy. Its chapel and adjoining structure were the first signs of civilization erected upon the fertile, virgin soil of the Santa Ana Region.... In 1955, Walt Disney opened his Magic Kingdom in Anaheim. Noted as the pioneer of animated films, Disney revolutionized the entertainment world again with his 'theme park' recreation concept. By 1960, the neighboring metropolis of Los Angeles was 'bursting at the seams.' As the population spilled over the county line and across the rural Santa Ana Valley, it left in its wake an urban landscape of homes, shopping malls, and industrial parks. Today Orange County is the home of a vast number of major industries and service organizations. As an integral part of the second largest market in America, this highly diversified region has become a Mecca for talented individuals in virtually every field imaginable. Indeed the colorful pageant of human history continues to unfold here; for perhaps in no other place on earth is there an environment more conducive to innovative thinking, creativity and growth than this balmy, sun bathed valley stretching between the mountains and the sea in Orange County."  Santa Ana
Dial 2-1-1 
 
 
"Info Link Orange County to Launch New Health and Human Services Hotline Info Link Orange County has launched its free 2-1-1 phone service effective today, June 30, 2005. Specially trained operators will be able to tell callers where they can get a variety of health and social services, such as emergency housing, food for their family, help overcoming substance abuse, finding a runaway teen, or reporting suspected child abuse.... DIAL 2-1-1 today for – 1/ Referrals to human care resources o Food o Shelter o Child Care o Services for persons with disabilities o Resources for Older Adults and their caregivers o Alcohol and drug services o And much more… 2/ Volunteer Match 3/ Service Providers wanting to be included in our comprehensive database."  
Midway City 
 
 
According to Wikipedia, "Midway City is an unincorporated community located in Orange County, California. It is bordered by [The City of Westminster] to its east and [The City of Huntington Beach] to its west. It was so named because it is midway between Long Beach, California and [The City of Santa Ana]."  
© Keith Weber
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