Located in the southern portion of Orange County, the city of Laguna Niguel, California, was built around 1980 as an unincorporated master-planned community. It lies in the San Joaquin Hills, near Laguna Beach, and is home to a population of just over 60,000, as of 2000 census figures. It is bordered by the following towns: Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo; and encompasses a total area of 14.7 miles, with a population density of more than 4,200 persons per square mile. Estimates from 2007 put the city's median household income at more than $95,000, making it a wealthier city.
The city is found on a spot that was the former Mexican land grant of Juan Avila. The area was purchased by Lewis Moulton, owner of the Moulton Company, in 1895, and the Laguna Niguel Corporation, started by some men from Boston in 1959, purchased the land and transformed it into one of the first master-planned communities in California, with a community plan for 7,100 acres. In 1989, the community officially incorporated into a city.
Laguna Niguel is one of several cities that borders the large Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park and it also has its own Laguna Niguel Regional Park. The city's Crown Valley Community Park is the hub of recreational activity, brining in nearly a quarter of a million visitors each year and is also home to an outdoor amphitheater where summer concerts are held. Other attractions where the beautiful Southern California weather can be enjoyed include the Niguel Botanical Preserve, the Crown Valley Community Park Pool, which is open year-round, and El Niguel Country Club. In fact, more than one-third of the city's area is designated as open space.
The Capistrano Unified School District serves the children in the district with seven elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. There also is a private K-8 school, St. Anne Private Roman Catholic School. Colleges nearby include Saddleback College, Chapman University, Soka University of America, the University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Fullerton. Local area hospitals include Mission Hospital, Saddleback Memorial Hospital and South Coast Medical Center.
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