Laguna Woods, California
Laguna Woods is a city in Orange County, California, United States. The population was 16,192 at the 2010 census, down from 16,507 at the 2000 census with a median age of 78.
About ninety percent of the city consists of Laguna Woods Village, a private gated retirement community, formerly known as Leisure World. The other ten percent consists of businesses and the city hall, which are available to the public. Incorporation efforts in the late 1990s were largely driven by the need for residents to have a stronger voice against the prospective construction of an international airport at the nearby decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The airport proposal was defeated and the land in question has been tabbed for development as the Orange County Great Park.
Laguna Woods is both one of California’s newest and oldest cities. Incorporated in 1999 as Orange County’s 32nd city, the average age of Laguna Woods residents is 78. Ninety percent of the City’s 4 square miles is contained within the senior citizen gated community of Leisure World. The balance of the City contains three additional senior residential communities and several thriving commercial centers.
Laguna Woods is a general law city, operating with a “council-manager” form of government. The council-manager form of government blends five elected City Council citizen representatives, who set policies and adopt local laws, with a City Manager and team of professional staff and consultants who carry out these policies. Two of Laguna Woods’ current Councilmembers – Mayor Hack and Councilmember Ross – have served the City since incorporation, as has its City Manager, Leslie Keane.