More than one-third of Laguna Niguel is considered as open space. The amount of open space in an area is one of the characteristics that define an urban community. The city comes with a great number of parks, which includes 2 community parks, 23 neighborhood parks, 3 small or what they call as mini-parks, a dog park, 2 county regional parks, and 2 small county parks. Where else can people find as many parks as these? In addition, you can also find the Laguna Niguel Skate and Soccer Park here
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city comes with a total area of 14.9 square miles, and 0.35% of this is water. Laguna Niguel is seated at the southern end of San Joaquin Hills, a small mountain at the south of Orange County. On the westside, the Niguel Hill stands at 200 meters tall, this separates the city from the Aliso Canyon
The name of this city, “Laguna Niguel”, comes from the Spanish word “Laguna”. Obviously, this means lagoon. On the other hand, “Nigueli” comes from a Juaneno Indian Village near Aliso Creek. In the year 1821, the state of California became a Mexican territory. Several Rancheros were built around Southern California, and one of which is Rancho Niguel. At that time, Rancho Niguel was used as a sheep ranch. And the very first owner of this ranch is none other than Juan Avila. He also successfully regained the land when California became U.S. territory once again in 1848
Today’s Laguna Niguel was established by the Laguna Niguel Corporation, which started in 1959. It is actually the first master planned community in all of California. Victor Gruen Associates were assigned to make a developmental plan for the site, which measures around 7,100 acres of land. The sales started in 1961 with the Monarch Bay and Laguna Terrace Subdivisions. By 1971, the development plan was then passed to Avco Community Developer, continuing the original master plan for the Laguna Niguel
In 1986, the residents of the place set forth to look for local governance, therefore taking the first few steps in becoming a city by forming a Community Services District. In three years’ time, 89% of the people voted for incorporation, and Laguna Niguel became an official city in Orange County, in fact, the 29th city in the said county
One of the trademarks of the city is the Chet Holfield Federal Building. This is a 1 million square foot ziggurat building, a one of a kind structure in California. It was originally made for the Rockwell International, but now it is owned by the U.S. government. The building is designed by Mr. William Pereira, a Los Angeles-based architect. The Chet Holfield Federal Building is considered as a home to thousands of mircofilms, as well as documents of land agreements among the Indian tribes and the American government. Aside from that, this is where people will find the Western Regional Department of Homeland Security and the California Service Center of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.