The City Of Mission Viejo
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
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,
Laguna Niguel and
Laguna Hills on the west.
Mission Viejo experiences a borderline
climate classification BSh/Csa).
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.
Latino of any race were 15,877
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
There were 33,208 households, out of which 11,767
(35.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 20,792
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
Norman P. Murry Community and Senior Center
there are about two parks per square mile. The city has three golf
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
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.
state legislature Mission Viejo is
located in the 33rd
Senate District, represented by
Mimi Walters, and in the 71st
Assembly District, represented by
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
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
Dara Torres, and
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
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.