”The City of Laguna Niguel is dedicated to preserving a safe, flourishing and community-oriented environment through thoughtful engagement, financial responsibility, and a commitment to innovation.”
During its 30th anniversary year of 2019, the Laguna Niguel City Council tasked the City Hall professional staff to create a strong strategic plan for the City’s future. In November 2019, City Manager Tamara Letourneau presented the in-depth Strategic Plan to the Mayor and City Council, and they voted unanimously to accept and adopt the plan.
The presentation made it very clear and simple. It is important to note that the Strategic Plan was not a simple template nor some other city’s process pulled off the shelf. It was definitively all for and about Laguna Niguel. In the end, it is a “living document” that will guide the City’s governance and operation for the next several decades.
The months-long process included proactive outreach to the citizenry and in-depth analysis of those findings and factual data. Literally thousands of Laguna Niguel residents and business leaders provided their input. The end result was a solid strategic plan entitled: “LAGUNA NIGUEL 2050: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”
After a series of workshops, proactive input via online and mailed surveys, person-to-person discussions and considerable input from the City staff who work daily with elements of the City’s operation, the result was a definitive mission and vision statement, core guiding values, goals and strategies. Together, they paint a picture of how the City will look and operate in 2050 and what it will take to get there.
A mission statement provides the framework and direction for the organization. It states the purpose and provides the marketing focus. The mission statement gives rationale for programs that are carried out by the organization and guides the prioritization of opportunities.
Meanwhile, a vision statement articulates where an organization strives to be in the future. It provides targets of excellence toward which an organization (or city) will strive and provides a tangible basis for its goals and objectives.
The Strategic Plan does not pretend to predict the future, but rather provides an image of success. A set of goals determined by a set of values. A roadmap to the future.
Every person who reads the Strategic Plan has their own existing image of the City, and reading the plan helps them conjure up their own different vision of where we are headed. That is the intent.
Following the individual input, the series of strategic plan workshops and analysis of the gathered information, the City developed the following Mission and Vision statements:
The City of Laguna Niguel is dedicated to preserving a safe, flourishing and community-oriented environment through thoughtful engagement, financial responsibility, and a commitment to innovation.
The City’s values are the underlying set of core beliefs stakeholders have deemed to be important. Core values help to define how the City operates, guides its behavior, and are the foundation of operational activities. They set the standard by which all facets of the City’s operation and its long-range planning will be measured.
As part of the strategic planning process, the following core values were identified:
The City then set goals and standards for six elements. They are:
Goal 1: Public Safety
Goal 2: Fiscal Sustainability
Goal 3: Open Space and Environmental Preservation
Goal 4: Infrastructure and Technology
Goal 5: Economic and Community Development
Goal 6: Communication and Community Outreach
The action plan for implementing these findings contains key steps for implementing each of the strategies and identifies the individual or department responsible for completing the strategy. The plan further identifies the financial and staff resources forecast and establishes timelines and success indicators to ensure that each of these goals are achieved.
To read the full Strategic Plan, please visit the City of Laguna Niguel’s website: www.cityoflagunaniguel.org
In preparing this Strategic Plan, an environmental scan was conducted to provide a framework for understanding some of the issues the City of Laguna Niguel has faced and would be likely to face in the future. A variety of academic, governmental and social sources were used, as well as practical and knowledge-based internal documentation.
The environmental scan contains population trends and projections and numerous other sources of demographic information. These included housing trends, City budget trends, and City staffing levels for response to needs and critical timing.
Housing, Income and Demographic growth and trends
In the case of Laguna Niguel, the number of dwelling units has steadily increased since 1990, from 18,892 units to 26,834 units in 2019. Owner occupancy has also steadily increased, while renter occupancy has seen slower growth since 2010.
Laguna Niguel median home values have increased consistently and steadily since the City’s founding. In 1990, the median home value for a Laguna Niguel home was $311,800. 30 years later, the median home value for Laguna Niguel homes in 2019 is $876,870.
The median income for residents of the City of Laguna Niguel continues to trend upward as well. Median household income of City residents currently sits at $105,466, up from $61,501 in 1990. That figure was at $80,733 in 2000, and $93,427 in 2010.
Since 2000, various resident age groups within the City have increased, while others have decreased. For instance, the City has seen a 5% decline in residents between 5-14 years old and a 10% decline in residents 35-44 years old in the past twenty years.
Meanwhile, the City has seen a 6% increase in residents ages 55-64 and an 8% increase in residents 65-74 since 2000, while seeing an increase of 12,096 residents 55 years old and older – a cumulative 16% increase of that demographic age group.
GOALS and STRATEGIES
The goals illuminated in the Strategic Plan are multi-year in nature and set the framework for policies and decisions going forward. Those six goals, which state the elements of the City’s General Plan and Way of Life, have been identified by the City and are listed above.
It’s not enough to state your goals. The City wisely determined its strategic priorities and its path to reach those goals. That strategy is key to achieving sustained success.
Strategies are the means to achieve goals. In the case of Laguna Niguel’s newly adopted Strategic Plan, they are the projects, priorities and plans to achieve the goals.
Strategies are measurable and are the specific projects for which the City staff and the community will be held accountable. Strategies provide a way for progress to be tracked. A set of strategies has been created for each of the six goals.
Each of the goals for this Strategic Plan are identified, along with a set of strategies to achieve each goal. The process includes the adoption of an Implementation Action Plan, which will be updated annually.
You can’t get where you want to go without knowing how to get there. The City of Laguna Niguel has a road map to its future…and it’s called “Laguna Niguel 2050: The Pursuit of Happiness.”