Laguna Niguel Offers
More Than Meets The Eye.
Whether taking advantage of some of the City’s plentiful amenities, spending the afternoon shopping, or enjoying an evening out on the town, Laguna Niguel offers its residents an exceptional quality of life. In fact, the City’s well-thought-out design and superior infrastructure; variety of housing choices; award-winning public, private and charter-school system with a number of colleges and universities; and wealth of shopping and dining options all make this gem of South Orange County the perfect place to call home. With so many vibrant options available, it’s easy to see why for 30 years and counting, Laguna Niguel has been growing strong.
Laguna Niguel’s genesis dates back to 1959 with the establishment of the Laguna Niguel Corporation 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, and land sales began in Monarch Bay and Laguna Terrace subdivisions shortly thereafter. Avco Community Developer acquired the Laguna Niguel Plan in 1971 and initiated development as set forth in the original master plan.
Three years after the formation of the Community Services District on November 7, 1989, 89% of voters favored incorporation and on December 1, 1989, Laguna Niguel became the 29th city in Orange County. Laguna Niguel resident and Chamber of Commerce member Malinda Goller says those early movers and shakers laid the foundation for what the City is today.
From the very beginning, Laguna Niguel has had great community volunteer participation. In fact, in 1986, it was a group of Laguna Niguel residents looking for local governance who took the first step toward cityhood by volunteering to form a Community Services District. These committed individuals helped Laguna Niguel progress from a quiet bedroom community to a city that is bustling with services, programs and events, quality schools, and wonderful thriving businesses.
“A lot of people refer to LN as a sleepy bedroom community, but I don’t think it really is,” Goller says. “I think we really owe it to our forefathers and mothers who established us as a city. (They were) activist-minded, strong and smart.”
Committed to Building A Stronger Community
Laguna Niguel has seemingly unlocked the secret for great coastal living in a slow, easy style. With a family-friendly vibe, the City’s distinctive lifestyle and smaller size help foster a strong sense of community. The commitment to that community that began with the City’s founding volunteers remains today, and residents take great pride working together to build on a strong foundation, and a great way of life.
Throughout the last 30 years, Laguna Niguel has grown into a dynamic, business friendly and family-oriented city. To keep that growth moving forward, City officials are focused on promoting a strong, local, small business base that results in an enhanced and sustainable economy.
“What’s really very cool is there’s a lot of that ‘Norman Rockwell’ feel, you know,” says new Chamber President and CEO, Scott Alevy. “This is a place where you care about your neighbors and that’s who you do business with.”
One way City leaders have committed to that vision is by creating the Economic Development Committee. That group was asked to develop short and long-term strategies to attract and retain quality businesses and services to meet the needs of residents and preserve and enhance sales tax revenue. The Committee’s first initiative was the establishment of “concierge level” services for businesses and residents seeking permits, with concurrent permit approval processes and one point of contact to guide them through. The service allows the City to cut the red tape and roll out the red carpet both for businesses and residents looking to move to the community or to make improvements to their property. The process was recently recognized by a regional organization for its innovative efficiency.
Through this process, the City of Laguna Niguel is dedicated to working collaboratively with businesses and residents so they can focus on growing their business and enhancing their homes. Laguna Niguel does not require business licenses and works closely with many of the shopping center property owners and the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce to ensure any regulatory challenges faced by local businesses are addressed quickly. In addition, the City has one of the fastest building plan check reviews anywhere and responds within 10 business days. All subsequent submittals have a response time of five business days or fewer.
Promoting the community’s exceptional standard of living, its dedicated volunteers, and priority on public safety, the City officials and staff are busy working to make Laguna Niguel a magnet for families and businesses. A new website to help further their efforts, www.CityOfLagunaNiguel.com/Economic-Development, was launched to attract quality shops, stores and restaurants to the community.
When you combine that with a mix of amenities and incredible outdoor recreational options backed by thriving retail, dining, and entertainment choices, it’s easy to see why so many call Laguna Niguel home.
Location, Location, Location
City officials focused on growth often find the community is an easy sell, as Laguna Niguel’s assets go far beyond the obvious and make the most of the area’s incredible scenery and fantastic weather. In fact, not only do the 66,000+ residents enjoy an upscale but laid-back lifestyle in a safe community with stunning natural beauty at every angle, they also enjoy an incredible parks system with plenty of ways to make the most of their environment.
The City of Laguna Niguel’s Parks and Recreation Department provides a wide variety of innovative, diverse and inclusive recreational and cultural opportunities to enhance the quality of life for residents of Laguna Niguel. You can find additional details on the City’s park amenities beginning on page 24.
This is another area where “growth” is the key, and the Parks & Recreation Department is tasked with meeting the community’s current and future facility needs, in cooperation with the City’s Capital Improvement Program. The Laguna Niguel Parks and Recreation Master Plan was originally adopted in 1989 and was updated in 1998. It serves as an overall guide to the expansion of recreation programs and the construction and improvement of City parks and recreational facilities.
Crown Valley Park attracts more than 240,000 visitors annually and has recently undergone extensive renovations and improvements. A new Community Center adds to the Park’s amenities. The park is also home to:
Crown Valley Pool
The Laguna Niguel Labyrinth
Niguel Botanical Preserve
Laguna Niguel Family YMCA
Two new playgrounds
A variety of sports fields
Throughout Laguna Niguel, the Parks & Recreation Department provides a number of fun and family-oriented free and low-cost events and serves the residents in multiple ways year-round. In addition, the parks host a number of local non-profit sports organizations, providing ways for area youth to make the most of their time outdoors.
Taking advantage of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, one third of the area inside Laguna Niguel’s city limits is permanently designated as open space, distinguishing it from other area communities. City and county parks are connected by a series of walking trails that meander through or around neighborhoods, and an extensive trail system runs throughout the community.