The City of Mission ViejoSince March 31, 1988
ZIP codes: 92691–92692, 92694
Population: 96,016 (2017)
Incorporated: March 31, 1988
Mission Viejo is a city located in southern Orange County, California, U.S. in the Saddleback Valley. Mission Viejo is considered one of the largest master-planned communities ever built under a single project in the United States, and is rivaled only by Highlands Ranch, Colorado, in its size. The city has a 2011 estimated population of 93,483
Mission Viejo is suburban in nature and culture. The city is mainly residential, although there are a number of offices and businesses within its city limits. The city is known for its picturesque tree-lined neighborhoods, receiving recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The city’s name is a reference to Rancho Mission Viejo, a large Spanish land grant from which the community was founded.
Mission Viejo was named the safest city in the United States in a 2007 Morgan Quitno crime statistic survey (compiled from FBI data). In 2009, it was named the safest city in California and third safest in the nation, according to CQ Press.
Mission Viejo was a hilly region primarily used as cattle and sheep grazing land, since it was of little use to farmers. This city was one of the last regions of Orange County to be urbanized due to its geologic complexity. Mission Viejo was purchased by John Forster, a Mexican also known as Don Juan. During the Mexican-American War, Foster provided fresh horses to United States military forces which were used on the march of San Diego to retake Los Angeles.
In 1960, early developers dismissed most of the land in Mission Viejo as simply “undevelopable”. Donald Bren, an urban planner who later became the president of the Irvine Company, drafted a master plan which placed roads in the valleys and houses on the hills, and contoured to the geography of the area. The plan worked, and by 1980 much of the city of Mission Viejo was completed. During the late 1970s and the 1980s, houses in Mission Viejo were in such high demand that housing tracts often sold out before construction even began on them. The houses and shopping centers in the city are almost uniformly designed in a Spanish mission style, with “adobe”-like stucco walls and barrel-tile roofs. Many point to Mission Viejo as the first and largest manifestation of Bren’s obsession with Spanish architecture. Bren’s company was also the creator of the developments in Irvine, and Newport Beach suburbs. The company expanded its operations and went on to build the Lakes project in Tempe Arizona, Mission Viejo Aurora in Colorado and was the initial master planner of Highlands Ranch, both suburbs of the Denver Metropolitan area.
Mission Viejo is located at 33°36′46″N 117°39′22″W (33.612739, −117.656038).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.1 square miles (47 km2). 17.7 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (2.12%) is water. A significant portion of the surface water is held in Lake Mission Viejo, an artificial lake stretching approximately one mile from Olympiad Road to Alicia Parkway along Marguerite Parkway.
It is bordered by Lake Forest on the northwest, Trabuco Canyon on the northeast, Rancho Santa Margarita and Ladera Ranch on the east, San Juan Capistrano on the south, and Laguna Niguel and Laguna Hills on the west.
Mission Viejo experiences a borderline semi-arid/Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification BSh/Csa).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Mission Viejo had a population of 93,305. The population density was 5,148.3 people per square mile (1,987.8/km²). The racial makeup of Mission Viejo was 74,493 (79.8%) White, 1,210 (1.3%) African American, 379 (0.4%) Native American, 8,462 (9.1%) Asian, 153 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 4,332 (4.6%) from other races, and 4,276 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15,877 persons (17.0%).
The Census reported that 92,363 people (99.0% of the population) lived in households, 859 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 83 (0.1%) were institutionalized.
There were 33,208 households, out of which 11,767 (35.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 20,792 (62.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,967 (8.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,306 (3.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,211 (3.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 225 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,314 households (19.0%) were made up of individuals and 2,949 (8.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78. There were 25,065 families (75.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.18.
The population was spread out with 21,270 people (22.8%) under the age of 18, 7,852 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 21,648 people (23.2%) aged 25 to 44, 29,003 people (31.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 13,532 people (14.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
There were 34,228 housing units at an average density of 1,888.6 per square mile (729.2/km²), of which 25,859 (77.9%) were owner-occupied, and 7,349 (22.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.9%. 72,390 people (77.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 19,973 people (21.4%) lived in rental housing units.
Mission Viejo has numerous recreational areas such as the Norman P. Murry Community and Senior Center there are about two parks per square mile. The city has three golf courses, The Mission Viejo Country Club, Casta del Sol Golf Course, and the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. At the center of the city is a man-made lake, Lake Mission Viejo, a private association for Mission Viejo residents with custom waterfront homes, condominiums, boat rentals, and swim beaches.
Of the 56,286 registered voters in the city, 31,090 (55.2%) are Republicans, 14,319 (25.4%) are Democrats, 8,790 (15.6%) declined to state political affiliation, and the remaining 2,087 (3.8%) are registered with a minor party.
In the state legislature Mission Viejo is located in the 33rd Senate District, represented by Republican Mimi Walters, and in the 71st Assembly District, represented by Republican Jeff Miller. Federally, Mission Viejo is located in California’s 42nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +10 and is represented by Republican Gary Miller.
Mission Viejo has a major youth athletic facility, Mission Viejo Youth Athletic Park. The park consists of eight baseball fields and five soccer fields. It is host to Little League District 68, AYSO Region 84  and four competitive soccer clubs: Pateadores Soccer Club, Mission Viejo Soccer Club, West Coast Futbol Club, and Saddleback United Soccer Club.
The Mission Viejo Nadadores Swimming and Mission Viejo Nadadores Diving Team won a string of national championships and produced a number of Olympians and world record holders in the 1970s and 1980s. Olympians included Shirley Babashoff, Brian Goodell, Larson Jenson, Maryanne Graham, Nicole Kramer, Casy Converse, Marcia Morey, Dara Torres, and Greg Louganis.
Mission Viejo hosted the Road Cycling Events during the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. The old O’Neill Road was renamed Olympiad Rd. in honor of the Olympic events in 1984.
There is also a soccer facility, now used by the town’s youth soccer program, that was used as a training field by the United States men’s national soccer team before and during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, hosted by the United States. Mission Viejo is the largest AYSO Region in the country.
The Saddleback College ballpark hosted the Mission Viejo Vigilantes minor league baseball team of the Western Baseball League from 1996–2001. Now the ballpark has a semi-pro collegiate team, the Orange County Fire.
Mission Viejo is also the hometown of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sánchez, New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes, and Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Adam LaRoche, former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Don August and Saint Louis Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig.
Mission Viejo News is an independent weekly newspaper published every Friday. We are not owned or operated by any of the big daily newspapers. The views and opinions expressed are those of the publisher and not any organization. No reproduction, in whole or in part is permitted without the express written permission of Mission Viejo News.
Legal Advertising: Mission Viejo News was adjudicated by the Orange County Superior Court as a newspaper of general circulation pursuant to Government Code 6000 case #A202554 on July 6, 2000 and as such is the appropriate newspaper to place legal and public notices for the South Orange County Judicial District and the City of Mission Viejo.
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