Laguna Niguel, California
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Laguna Niguel is an affluent master-planned community located in the coastal San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County, California. The name Laguna Niguel is derived from the words "Laguna" (Spanish for "lagoon") and "Nigueli" (the name of a Juaneño Indian village once located near Aliso Creek). The population increased from 61,891 at the 2000 census to 62,979 in 2010. The city of Dana Point to the south separates Laguna Niguel and the Pacific Ocean. On the east side, Laguna Niguel is separated from San Juan Capistrano by a significant ridge running along Trabuco Creek. To the north lie Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills. Laguna Niguel is also bordered by Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo.
Laguna Niguel is located on the Rancho Niguel Mexican land grant of Juan Avila. He retained ownership until 1865, when a severe drought killed off most of his cattle. Lewis Moulton, owner of the Moulton Company, bought the area of modern-day Laguna Niguel in 1895, along with significant other portions of the surrounding area from farmers that were hard-pressed to earn a living due to a local drought in the area.
In 1959, the Laguna Niguel Corporation, started by Cabot, Cabot & Forbes from Boston, made Laguna Niguel one of the first master-planned communities in California. Victor Gruen and Associates, a Vienna architect, developed a community plan for 7,100 acres (29 km2). The Avco Community Developer in 1969 continued the plan, which by then held 6,500 residents.
The construction of the San Diego, I-5, Freeway in 1959 allowed more people to arrive. The first communities developed in Laguna Niguel were right along the coast, touching the southern border of Laguna Beach. These communities were called Monarch Bay and the Monarch Bay Terrace built between 1960 and 1962.
In 1973, Laguna Niguel Regional Park opened, and in 1974 a one-million square-foot Ziggurat building was given to the United States government.
On December 1, 1989, Laguna Niguel became an incorporated city in Orange County and became its 29th city.
In 2012, Laguna Niguel resident McKayla Maroney won a gold medal in team finals and silver in the vault finals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Laguna Niguel is located at 33°31′55″N 117°42′9″W (33.531938, -117.702503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km2). 14.8 square miles (38 km2) of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) of it (0.35%) is water.
Laguna Niguel occupies a hilly basin near the southern end of the San Joaquin Hills, a small coastal mountain range in southern Orange County. On the west is 650-foot (200 m) Niguel Hill, which separates the city from Aliso Canyon, an immense gorge cut by Aliso Creek, one of the county's primary watercourses. The Aliso Canyon area is home to Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park, a large wilderness area in the southern county. Although the creek itself only brushes the northwestern border of the city, a major tributary, Sulphur Creek, drains most of northern Laguna Niguel. Sulphur Creek runs through Crown Valley in eastern Laguna Niguel, Crown Valley Park, Laguna Niguel Regional Park and Sulphur Creek Reservoir (Laguna Niguel Lake). The two parks and the lake lie just north of the geographic center of the city.
Low ridges dissect much of the Laguna Niguel area. Most of these mountain ridges, some of them attaining heights of one or two hundred feet, run northeast to southwest, delineating the hydrography of the area. Laguna Niguel's other primary drainage, Salt Creek, has two forks in the southern half of the city, flowing southwards to the Pacific Ocean. Laguna Niguel itself has no border on the ocean. The city of Dana Point to the south separates Laguna Niguel and the Pacific. On the east side, Laguna Niguel is separated from San Juan Capistrano by a significant ridge running along Trabuco Creek. To the north lie Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills.
Crown Valley and Alicia Parkways are the primary thoroughfares in the city. Crown Valley Parkway runs along Sulphur Creek and the northern fork of Salt Creek, bisecting the city northeast to southwest. Alicia Parkway, mostly a north-south road, follows Aliso Creek to where it joins Crown Valley Parkway in close proximity to Crown Valley Park and the city center. California State Route 73 runs north of the city, diverging from Interstate 5 just northeast of Laguna Niguel. Moulton Parkway/Street of the Golden Lantern runs along the eastern boundary of Laguna Niguel. Pacific Island Drive/Camino del Avión follow parts of the west and south boundaries, respectively. Another major road, Niguel Road, runs roughly parallel and east of Crown Valley Parkway along the Salt Creek canyon. Marina Hills Drive is the largest crossing between Niguel Road and Golden Lantern, and Aliso Creek Road runs east-west through northern Laguna Niguel.
Like much of Southern California, Laguna Niguel has pleasant weather year-round. On average, August is the hottest month and December the coolest. The highest recorded temperature is 108°F, which occurred in 1963, and the lowest such temperature is 21°F, which was recorded in 1949. Precipitation is sparse in Laguna Niguel, as only five months out of the year receive rainfall greater than one inch. The highest monthly rainfall on average occurs in February and is 2.96 inches (75 mm).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Laguna Niguel had a population of 62,979. The population density was 4,231.1 people per square mile (1,633.6/km²). The racial makeup of Laguna Niguel was 50,625 (80.4%) White (72.5% Non-Hispanic White), 777 (1.2%) African American, 219 (0.3%) Native American, 5,459 (8.7%) Asian, 87 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 3,019 (4.8%) from other races, and 2,793 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8,761 persons (13.9%).
There were 25,312 housing units at an average density of 1,700.5 per square mile (656.6/km²), of which 17,453 (72.0%) were owner-occupied, and 6,779 (28.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 45,029 people (71.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,702 people (28.1%) lived in rental housing units.
During 2009–2013, Laguna Niguel had a median household income of $99,771, with 6.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 61,891 people, 23,217 households, and 16,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,221.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,630.0/km²). There were 23,885 housing units at an average density of 1,629.0 per square mile (629.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.50% White, 1.25% African American, 0.29% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.48% from other races, and 3.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.38% of the population.
There were 23,217 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
According to the Census Bureau's 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $98,072, and the median income for a family was $150,963. Males had a median income of $68,640 versus $40,487 for females. The per capita income for the city was $50,980. About 2.8% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
In 1971, a one-million square-foot ziggurat building, originally built for Rockwell International and presently owned by the United States government, was designed by Los Angeles-based architect William Pereira. The Chet Holifield Federal Building, as it is now known, is home to millions of microfilms as documents of land agreements between the American government and the original Indian Tribes of the southwest United States. It is also home to the Western Regional Department of Homeland Security and the California Service Center of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The building was used for the 1995 movie Outbreak, where it served as the exterior for the Center for Disease Control headquarters. Earlier, the building was featured in an ending scene for the 1975 sci-fi movie Death Race 2000. It also served as the headquarters for the Luckup Corporation in the 1983 movie Deal of the Century.
The city is served by the Capistrano Unified School District.
Moulton Elementary School
Marian Bergeson Elementary
Crown Valley Elementary School
Hidden Hills Elementary School
Laguna Niguel Elementary School
Malcolm Elementary School
George White Elementary School
Niguel Hills Middle School
Aliso Viejo Middle School (in Aliso Viejo)
Aliso Niguel High School (in Aliso Viejo)
Dana Hills High School (in Dana Point)
Saddleback College (in Mission Viejo - Served by the South
Orange County Community College District)
Chapman University (in Orange)
Soka University of America (in Aliso Viejo)
University of California, Irvine (in Irvine)
California State University, Fullerton (in Irvine)
California State University, Fullerton (in Fullerton)
Southern California Institute of Technology, SCIT (in Anaheim)
Pepperdine University (in Irvine)
St. Anne School
Points of interest
Over one-third of Laguna Niguel is designated as open space. Major parks in the city include:
Niguel Road, just north of Marina Hills and El Niguel Heights neighborhoods.
Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park
Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Laguna Niguel is home to many upscale neighborhoods including Bear Brand Ranch, Ocean Ranch, Laguna Crest, Coronado Pointe, South Peak, Crest de Ville, Niguel Coast, Palmilla, and Monarch Pointe, which offer city, canyon, and ocean views. Other major neighborhoods include Rancho Niguel, Marina Hills, Niguel West, Niguel Summit, Beacon Hill, El Niguel Heights, Kite Hill, and San Joaquin Hills.
The Census reported that 62,731 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 248 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 24,232 households, out of which 8,085 (33.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,077 (58.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,271 (9.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 886 (3.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 994 (4.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 237 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,390 households (22.2%) were made up of individuals and 1,790 (7.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59. There were 17,234 families (71.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.06.
The population was spread out with 14,216 people (22.6%) under the age of 18, 4,722 people (7.5%) aged 18 to 24, 14,667 people (23.3%) aged 25 to 44, 21,177 people (33.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 8,197 people (13.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.