In 1890, the Moulton family took title to approximately 22,000 acres of land, naming the area Moulton Ranch. Over the years, portions of the ranch were sold and became Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, and Laguna Woods. In 1976, the Mission Viejo Company purchased the last remaining 6,600 acres of the Moulton Ranch, located adjacent to Laguna Beach, just west of Mission Viejo. The Company then drew up plans for a 20,000 unit master-planned community named Aliso Viejo.
The city is located about 22 miles south of Disneyland, approximately 10 miles from the Orange County John Wayne Airport and only a short drive to Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. It is approximately 7.5 square miles and the population is just over 48,000 people. All residents live within 2.5 miles of the Aliso Viejo Town Center, the focal point of the city. The downtown provides over 800,000 square feet of retail shops and stores, restaurants and medical offices. Aliso Viejo was the first planned community in California with a master plan that provided for balance between projected jobs and projected residential workforce. It was designed to make it possible to live, work and play in the same place.
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