is a city located in southern Orange
County, California in the Saddleback
Valley. It 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 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. As of the January 1, 2010, the
city had a total population of 100,725.
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 planned
and features a very large number of single-family
homes, some condominiums,
a two-year community college,
and a regional mall,
The Shops at Mission Viejo.
city's name is a reference to Rancho
Mission Viejo, a large Spanish land grant from which the community
was founded. There is no Spanish mission in Mission Viejo, and
the name is an ungrammatical use of a masculine adjective with
a feminine noun. The correct Spanish term meaning "old mission"
is "misión vieja."
Hospital (Mission Viejo, California) is the largest hospital
in south Orange County and serves as the area's regional trauma
center. It also offers one of two CHOC (Children's Hospital of
Orange County) locations providing outstanding care for children.
Mission Hospital is a critical asset to the region. It is undergoing
a multi-year campus expansion, which includes emergency services,
conference and medical office space as well as a new in-patient
hospital tower. Other medical facilities and offices have clustered
around the hospital. It is conveniently located off the I-5 Crown
Valley Parkway exit about half a mile from the freeway.
activities abound; the city has numerous recreational areas such
as the newly remodeled 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.
Viejo (meaning vieja mision in Spanish)
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 John Foster provided fresh horses to United States military
forces which were used on the march of San Diego to retake Los
1960 early developers dismissed most of the land in Mission Viejo
as simply "undevelopable". Donald Bren an urban planner who would
later become 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 Donald
Bren's obsession with Spanish architecture. Donald Bren's was
also the creater 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 were the initial master planners of Highlands Ranch, both
suburbs of the Denver Metropolitan area.
Seal of the City of Mission Viejo was designed and drawn by Carl
Glassford, an artist and former resident of the city.
to the United States Census
Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.3 km² (19.0 mi²).
48.3 km² (18.7 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²)
of it (1.94%) 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.
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.
Viejo experiences a borderline semi-arid/Mediterranean
climate classification BSh/Csa).
|Climate data for Mission Viejo
|Average high °C (°F)
|Average low °C (°F)
of the census of 2000, there were 93,102
people, 32,449 households, and 25,212 families residing in the
city. The population density
was 1,926.4/km² (4,990.1/mi²). There were 32,986 housing units
at an average density of 682.5/km² (1,767.9/mi²). The racial makeup
of the city was 79.7% White,
American, 0.4% Native
American, 8.3% Asian,
Islander, 6.2% from other
races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 15.9% of the population. There were 32,449 households
out of which 39.7% had children under the age of 18 living with
them, 66.1% were married couples living
together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present,
and 22.3% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made
up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65
years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and
the average family size was 3.22.
the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age
of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45
to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city
was $93,330, and the median income for a family was $113,439.
Males had a median income of $74,703 versus $53,196 for females.
The per capita income for the
city was $41,459. 1.9% of families and 4.4% of the population
were below the poverty
line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 6% of those
age 65 or over.
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.
the state legislature
Mission Viejo is located in the 33rd Senate
District, represented by Republican
Dick Ackerman, 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
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 of Little League District 55, 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.
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.
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.
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 Reigon in the country.
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.
Viejo is also the hometown of New York
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez,
New York Yankees pitcher Phil
Hughes, and Arizona Diamondbacks
first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Viejo is served by two school districts, the Capistrano Unified
Valley Unified School Districts. Capistrano Unified serves
the eastern, northeastern, and southern portions of the city with
eight schools. As of 2006, all high school students in the Capistrano
Unified portion of Mission Viejo attend Capistrano
Valley High School. Students from western Mission Viejo (north
of Oso Parkway and west of Marguerite until Alicia Parkway) attend
Saddleback Valley's Mission
Viejo High School. Far northern Mission Viejo attends Saddleback
Valley's Trabuco Hills High
School, though most of that school has students from Rancho
Santa Margarita and Lake Forest.
High School, Mira Monte High School, and Pathfinder are continuation
and adult schools within the city. Silverado
High School provides a day school environment while Mira Monte,
which shares the same campus, is strictly independent study.
College, near The Shops
at Mission Viejo and Capistrano
Valley High School, is a large community college in the southern
half of the city. In addition, the University
of California, Irvine, Chapman
University, Soka University
of America, and California State University, Fullerton (El
Toro Campus), are nearby in adjacent cities.
Tierra Elementary is scheduled to be shut down in June 2009 due
to budget cuts. It was chosen due to its small size and minimal
student body. The school will remain closed until further notice.
Mission Viejo residents refer to La Tierra as "The Little School
With a Big Heart." Students there are reassigned to Del Cerro
Elementary, the city's first elementary school, closed in June
2009 also due to budget cuts in SVUSD. Students in the Deanne
Home community surrounding the school will be moved to nearby
De Portola Elementary. Students living in the homes north of the
lake will be moved to Melinda Heights Elementary in Rancho Santa
Paz Intermediate School-SVUSD
Alisos Intermediate School- SVUSD