1989: THE YEAR AHEAD : SOUTH COUNTY : Cityhood Remains a Dominant Issue

As Dana Point starts off the 1989 new year incorporating as Orange County’s 28th city, the issue of incorporation once again becomes the dominant issue in south Orange County.

The county Local Agency Formation Commission, which decides whether or not to place cityhood measures on the ballot, is holding a study session Jan. 11 to discuss the following proposals:

* A city of Laguna Hills. Many residents of Laguna Hills fought bitterly against the Saddleback Valley incorporation proposal which would have included their community, and now they want to pursue a cityhood plan of their own. The proposed city of 43,000 residents would include the Leisure World retirement community. LAFCO has scheduled another Jan. 25 hearing on the Laguna Hills plan.

* Annexation of Aegean Hills by Mission Viejo. Many of the 7,000 residents of Aegean Hills were, likewise, opposed to the valleywide cityhood plan that would also have included their community. They have petitioned LAFCO to be annexed by adjoining Mission Viejo, which became the county’s 27th city in 1988. LAFCO is to further review that annexation proposal at a Feb. 1 hearing.


* A city of Laguna Niguel. Residents of Laguna Niguel want to incorporate but fear that they may not be able to do so without having access to lucrative tax revenues available in a coastal resort strip that has been claimed by both Laguna Niguel and Dana Point. The 1.5-mile strip was awarded to Dana Point by both the county and the courts, but Laguna Niguel cityhood activists have vowed to continue a legal fight trying to reclaim the land. The strip would represent Laguna Niguel’s only access to the coast.