FOCUS : Center of the Southland

Clipboard researched by Susan Greene, Nancy Reed, Deborrah Wilkinson / Los Angeles Times

Some county cities seek to halt an overwhelming tourist trade, but North County's Buena Park invites it. The home to Knott's Berry Farm, Movieland Wax Museum and Medieval Times draws more than 5 million visitors a year, but city planners hope to multiply the number of tourists and extend the length of their stay. Already a retailing center with 14 automobile franchises, a mall, and the county's first Home Express store, the city bordering Los Angeles County--known as the "Center of the Southland"--wants to be recognized as a place to shop. A building moratorium imposed along the main artery--a mile-long stretch of Beach Boulevard--was lifted in September when new land-use standards kicked in to attract regional and national retail operators, hotel and restaurant owners. City officials hope entertainment-attraction visitors will stick around for more than a day or two to shop in a redeveloped and renovated strip. Construction on the 1961 museum's first face lift in 26 years begins in March and the 40-acre amusement park, also on the boulevard, opens a new wild water ride on Memorial Day weekend.


City Council: Don Griffin (mayor), Rhonda J. McCune (mayor pro tem), Kenneth B. Jones, Lester Reese, Donna Chessen

City Manager: Kevin O'Rourke

Fire Chief: Sam Winner

Chief of Police: Robert T. Reber


Population: (1986 est.) 66,081

Area:10.3 square miles

Incorporation: Jan. 27, 1953

Median household income: $30,856

Median home value: $85,069

Racial/ethnic mix: white, 85.2; Latino, 21.5%; black, 1.7%; other, 13.0% (Total is more than 100% because racial/ethnic breakdowns overlap)

City Services City Hall


6650 Beach Blvd.


(business) 521-9352

6650 Beach Blvd.


(business) 521-9900

8081 Western Ave.

Post Office


7377 La Palma Ave.

In Emergency, Dial 911

Employment status

Employed persons: 32,457

Unemployed: 1,829

Not in labor force: 14,044

Per capita income: $8,267


By sex and age

In thousands Median Age: 31.4years


Adults over 25

Years of school completed:

0-11 years: 26.8%

12 years: 39.1%

13-15 years: 22.3%

16+ years: 11.8% Median years completed: 12.5

Statistics: Donnelley Demographics

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World