Lake Forest, California

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Not to be confused with Forest Lake, California.
For the community in Placer County, see Lake Forest, Placer County, California.
"El Toro, California" redirects here. For the decommissioned military base, see Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For the main high school in the city, see El Toro High School.
City of Lake Forest
City
Aerial view of Lake Forest
Aerial view of Lake Forest
Official seal of City of Lake Forest
Seal
Location of Lake Forest within Orange County, California.
Location of Lake Forest within Orange County, California.
Coordinates: 33°38′30″N 117°41′27″W / 33.64167°N 117.69083°W / 33.64167; -117.69083Coordinates: 33°38′30″N 117°41′27″W / 33.64167°N 117.69083°W / 33.64167; -117.69083
Country  United States
State  California
County Orange
Settled 1880s
Incorporated December 20, 1991[1]
Government
 • Mayor Dwight Robinson
Area[2]
 • Total 17.902 sq mi (46.366 km2)
 • Land 17.816 sq mi (46.143 km2)
 • Water 0.086 sq mi (0.223 km2)  0.48%
Elevation 400 ft (148 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 77,264
 • Density 4,300/sq mi (1,700/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92609, 92610, 92630, 92679
Area code(s) 949
FIPS code 06-39496
GNIS feature ID 1656503
Website lakeforestca.gov

Lake Forest is a city in Orange County, California. The population was 77,264 at the 2010 census.

Lake Forest incorporated as a city on December 20, 1991. Prior to a vote of the residents in that year, the community had formerly been known as El Toro since the 1880s. Since being incorporated, Lake Forest has expanded its limits to include the communities of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills. Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills are master planned developments that brought new homes and commercial centers to the Eastern boundary of Lake Forest throughout the 1990s. Lake Forest (along with its neighboring cities Mission Viejo and Irvine) is ranked as one of the safest cities in the country. The private research firm Morgan Quitno ranked Lake Forest as the 15th safest city and another firm later ranked Lake Forest 10th in 2007 in the United States.

The city has two "lakes" from which the city gets its name. The lakes are man-made, and condominiums and custom homes ranging from large to small line their shores. The Lake Forest Beach and Tennis Club and Sun and Sail Club feature tennis courts, gyms, basketball courts, barbecue pits, volleyball courts, multiple swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs and club houses for social events. The "forest" for which the city is also named lies in the area between Ridge Route, Jeronimo, Lake Forest and Serrano roads and consists mostly of Eucalyptus trees. It was born in the first decade of the 1900s when a local landowner, Dwight Whiting, planted 400 acres (1.6 km2) of Eucalyptus groves in the vicinity of Serrano Creek as part of a lumber operation. In the late 1960s, the Occidental Petroleum company developed a residential community in and around the Eucalyptus groves, which had long since expanded and grown much more dense.

El Toro original denomination[edit]

Since 1863, the community was known as El Toro. In 1874 José Serrano and his family occupied eleven thousand hectares of ranch that had been granted to them by the Government of Mexico, and that eventually reached the hands of Dwight Whiting. The Rancho Niguel was granted to Juan B. Alvarado, Juan Avila and his sister Conception, the widow of one Pedro Sánchez. From them it passed to other owners and was divided into plots, including Yorba. In 1874 most of it was owned by Cyrus B. Rawson. Jonathan E. Bacon also owned 1600 acres. In addition to the Serranos, established in Aliso Canyon, there was a group of pioneers who lived in the foothills and several miles above El Toro, many of whom were among the first settlers of this neighborhood.

El Toro Road business corridor revitalization[edit]

El Toro Road at the Interstate 5 Freeway was the epicenter of the Saddleback Valley from the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century. However, the area gradually deteriorated, and most of the shops closed or moved to other cities. After years of planning, the city has worked with the property owners of some ageing strip malls and developed the "Arbor at Lake Forest" commercial district. The new center can now compete with large shopping centers in cities that surround Lake Forest.

Notable businesses and organizations[edit]

The city is home to the headquarters of eyewear manufacturer Oakley, Inc.; metals company Kaiser Aluminum, in-flight entertainment provider Panasonic Avionics; Karem Aircraft[3] an aircraft company developing UAV's with major aircraft companies; telecommunications software developer Greenlight Wireless Corp.; barbecue retailer Barbeques Galore; restaurant chains Johnny Rockets and Del Taco; medical equipment maker Apria Healthcare; and skateboarding companies Sole Technology, Inc., Etnies, and Tilly's; among others. It is also the home of the corporate headquarters for Eagle Community Credit Union, a credit union focused on serving postal and federal employees who live or work in Orange County.

However, along with Oakley, the city is probably best known as the home of Rick Warren's famed megachurch, Saddleback Church, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States.

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[4] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Oakley 2,400
2 Panasonic Avionics Corporation 1,500
3 Loan Depot 680
4 Invensys 547
5 Apria Healthcare 367
6 Spectrum Brands[5] 362
7 The Home Depot 340
8 Walmart 300
9 Wet Seal 275
10 Saddleback Valley Unified School District 209
11 Dynacast 188
12 Sole Technology 130

Parks and education[edit]

Lake Forest is also home to two county parks. Whiting Ranch in the eastern part of the city was the site of an infamous mountain lion mauling in 2004 that captured the attention of the West Coast news media.[6]

Heritage Hill historical park is home to some of the oldest buildings in the county, including the Serrano Adobe, the old El Toro School House, and St. Georges Episcopal Church.

Lake Forest has one high school, El Toro High School. The high school was opened in 1973. It has established itself as one of the top[specify] schools in Southern California, along with the other three comprehensive high schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.[citation needed] The mascot is a bull and its teams are known as the Chargers. School colors are blue and gold.

Lake Forest is served by two libraries of the Orange County Public Library.

Lake Forest also has etnies Skatepark, which is the largest public skatepark with over 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2).[7]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46 km2). 17.8 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.48%) is water.

Lake Forest is bordered by Irvine on the west, Laguna Hills on the southwest, Mission Viejo on the southeast, Trabuco Canyon on the east, and Limestone Canyon Regional Park on the north.

El Toro/Lake Forest/Portola is located in the heart of the Saddleback Valley. It is also in the northern section of South Orange County.

It has two man-made lakes identified by the clubhouses on the lakes — the Beach and Tennis Club (Hidden Lakes, formerly Lake I) and the Sun and Sail Club (Lake II).

Demographics[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[8] reported that Lake Forest had a population of 77,264. The population density was 4,315.9 people per square mile (1,666.4/km²). The racial makeup of Lake Forest was 54,341 (70.3%) White (57.2% Non-Hispanic White),[9] 1,295 (1.7%) African American, 384 (0.5%) Native American, 10,115 (13.1%) Asian, 191 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 7,267 (9.4%) from other races, and 3,671 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19,024 persons (24.6%).

The Census reported that 76,749 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 299 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 216 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 26,224 households, out of which 10,407 (39.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 15,603 (59.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,710 (10.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,299 (5.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,217 (4.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 201 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,883 households (18.6%) were made up of individuals and 1,432 (5.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93. There were 19,612 families (74.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.30.

The population was spread out with 19,115 people (24.7%) under the age of 18, 6,775 people (8.8%) aged 18 to 24, 22,099 people (28.6%) aged 25 to 44, 22,184 people (28.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,091 people (9.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

There were 27,088 housing units at an average density of 1,513.1 per square mile (584.2/km²), of which 18,579 (70.8%) were owner-occupied, and 7,645 (29.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.3%. 54,082 people (70.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 22,667 people (29.3%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Lake Forest had a median household income of $93,127, with 5.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[9]

2000[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 58,707 people, 20,008 households, and 14,745 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,698.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,814.8/km²). There were 20,486 housing units at an average density of 1,639.7 per square mile (633.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.02% White, 1.83% African American, 0.50% Native American, 9.70% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 7.51% from other races, and 4.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.59% of the population.

There were 20,008 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $86,285, and the median income for a family was $96,133.[11] Males had a median income of $52,019 versus $37,100 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,583. About 3.2% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

The Lake Forest City Hall

Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was located one mile (1.6 km) from the city of Lake Forest in the city of Irvine. At one time, El Toro was considered a military town, but the city blossomed independently in the 1980s and 1990s before the base closed in 1999.[clarification needed]

Of the 40,352 registered voters in Lake Forest; 25.8% are Democrats and 53.4% are Republicans. The remaining 20.8% either declined to state political affiliation or are registered with one of the many minor political parties. Dwight Robinson serves as Lake Forest's Mayor and Adam Nick serves as Mayor Pro Tem. The three other City Council members are David Bass, Kathryn McCullough, and Scott Voigts.

In the state legislature Lake Forest is located in the 33rd Senate District, represented by Republican Mimi Walters, and in the 70th Assembly District, represented by Republican Don Wagner. Federally, Lake Forest is located in California's 45th congressional district, which is represented by Republican John Campbell.

Culture[edit]

The city of Lake Forest puts on an annual summer concert[12] at Pittsford park. Other public events include the Fourth of July 5K run[13] and fireworks display over the lake at the Sun & Sail Club. [14]

Popular hang-outs for Lake Forest include: "Regal" (the Foothill Town Center's Regal Cinemas Stadium 22[15]), The Spectrum (the Irvine Spectrum Center,[16] an outdoor shopping center in neighboring Irvine, CA), various restaurants along the El Toro Road and Lake Forest Drive corridors (this includes The Orchard Shopping Center,[17] and the Laguna Hills Mall[18] in the neighboring city of Laguna Hills), and several beaches in southern Orange County (most notably: Trestles in San Clemente, Corona del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, and 1000 Steps[19] in Laguna Beach).

Notable residents[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]