Laguna Woods Village

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Laguna Woods Village is an age-restricted community for persons aged 55 and over in Laguna Woods, California. The development, formerly known as Leisure World, was developed by Ross Cortese, a former fruit stand owner turned retirement community developer.[1]

Laguna Woods Village Golf Course as viewed from the clubhouse restaurant
One of the swimming pools at Laguna Woods Village
Woodworking shop at Laguna Woods Village


Ross Cortese’s early success in 1961 with Leisure World Seal Beach provided the concept of what would become Laguna Woods Village.[2] Cortese purchased several sites across the nation, including 3,500 acres (14 km2) rural of the Moulton Ranch, located in the Saddleback Valley of southern Orange County, California.

Construction of Laguna Woods Village began in the spring of 1963 with an initial phase of 530 units. The first ten homeowners moved into the community September 10, 1964.

In October 2005 the community formally changed its name to what is now known as Laguna Woods Village,[3] to avoid copyright disagreements with the estate of Ross Cortese over the use of the Leisure World name.[4]


Laguna Woods Village is located within the City of Laguna Woods, California, incorporated in 1999 as Orange County's 32nd city.[5] Laguna Woods Village comprises approximately ninety percent of the City’s 4 square miles (10 km2). Laguna Woods is bordered by Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Beach. Aliso Creek roughly bisects the community.


The average age of the residents of Laguna Woods Village is 78.[3]

Governance structure[edit]

The governance of the community is organized under the California Non Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law. There are four such corporations, three of which are mutual housing corporations and the fourth is the Golden Rain Foundation (commonly called GRF). The housing mutuals are responsible for services directly related to housing and common areas and GRF is responsible for all shared community amenities.[6]

Recreation and amenities[edit]

The community has fourteen guarded gates with a private security department that provides traffic enforcement, patrol service and gate control 24 hours a day. Housing consists of one and two bedroom cooperatives as well as one, two or three-bedroom condominiums and single family homes. Recreation opportunities include five swimming pools, a 27-hole golf course,[7] a nine-hole course, two fitness centers, ten tennis courts, horse stables, four paddle tennis courts, seven clubhouses, woodworking and art studios, a sewing room, lawn bowling courts, shuffleboard courts, ping-pong tables, pool tables and other amenities.[3]

There are over 225 official clubs in Laguna Woods Village. Dozens of classes and activities are organized by the community’s recreation department. In addition, nearby Saddleback College offers over 200 emeritus classes within Laguna Woods Village.


Laguna Woods Village is self managed by Village Management Services, Inc.[8]


  1. ^ Burt A. Folkart (October 31, 1991). "Leisure World Builder Ross Cortese Dies at 74". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "The History of Our Community" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Community Fact Sheet". March 24, 2005. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007.
  4. ^ Erika I. Ritchie (October 8, 2005). "Voters choose Laguna Woods Village". The Orange County Register. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "History of Laguna Woods". Archived from the original on 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Laguna Woods Golf Course". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ Scott Bosco (October 29, 2015). "PCM staff receives termination notices". The Orange County Register.

External links[edit]