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LAGUNA HILLS : 2 Parcels Dropped From Cityhood Plan

Leaders of a drive to form a city of Laguna Hills have bowed to requests from the Mission Viejo Co. and Leisure World to drop two parcels of land from the plans.

The surprise decision to pare down the size of the proposed eight-square-mile city came hours after cityhood leaders met Wednesday with the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission.

“It’s official,” said Ellen Martin, chairwoman of the pro-cityhood group, Citizens to Save Laguna Hills. “We’re going to change the map.”

The Mission Viejo Co., which designed the Aliso Viejo Planned Community, has opposed the bid to include six Aliso Viejo neighborhoods near the Laguna Hills High School in the proposed Laguna Hills city map.

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And Leisure World officials said that they opposed inclusion of a shopping center and non-residential Leisure World property near Moulton Parkway and El Toro Road because they planned to include that property in their own incorporation effort.

The two groups had vowed to campaign actively against the incorporation effort if the county approves a ballot measure for the November election.

Cityhood leaders, saying that they were sensitive to any strong opposition to incorporation, decided to sidestep the growing controversy by asking LAFCO to exclude the disputed properties.

The map change also will mean that the proposed city will lose the largely undeveloped Forbes Ranch and New World neighborhood, located west of Leisure World.

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That area, which made up about one-tenth of the city, could be reached only by the triangular section of Aliso Viejo bounded by Moulton Parkway on the west, Via Lomas and Alicia Parkway on the south, Paseo de Valencia on the east and Laguna Hills Road and Leisure World on the north.

A recent poll taken by the Aliso Viejo Community Assn. indicated that 75% of the 630 households preferred to remain a part of Aliso Viejo, said Don Swift, association director.

“The majority of our people are very pleased with the decision and commend the (cityhood) committee for realizing that there was considerable opposition,” Swift said.


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