Tustin is a city located in Orange County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the census of 2017, Tustin had a population of 82,372. The city is located next to the county seat, Santa Ana, and does not include North Tustin.
Because of a top 10% ranking in start-ups and sole proprietors per capita and one of the shortest commutes in Southern California, the city was chosen in 2009 by Forbes as one of the top 25 towns to live well in America.
A bit of history
Members of the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations long inhabited this area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanishexpedition led by Father Junipero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistranobecame the area’s first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba’s great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today. Smaller ranchos evolved from this large rancho including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
After the Mexican-American war, Alta California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area. Columbus Tustin, a carriage maker from Northern California, founded the city in the 1870s on 1,300 acres (5 km²) of land from the former Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. The city was incorporated in 1927 with a population of about 900. The townsite was bordered by Camino Real on the south, Newport Avenue on the east, 1st Street on the north, and the Costa Mesa Freeway on the west.
During World War II, a Navy anti-submarine airship base (later to become a Marine Corps helicopter station) was established in unincorporated land south of the city; the two dirigible hangars are among the largest wooden structures ever built and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and ASCE List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. Suburban growth after the war resulted in increased population, annexation of nearby unincorporated land including the base, and development of orchards and farmland into housing tracts and shopping malls.
The City of Trees
People who know this area well sometimes refer to Tustin as “The City of the Trees.” Although a variety of trees are responsible for this nickname, this is a distinctive quality of the area which dates back centuries, actually to the time of the early Spanish explorers.
Tustin is located in central Orange County and encompasses an area of 11.08 square miles. The City is bounded on the south by the cities of Irvine and Santa Ana, on the north by the unincorporated portions of the County of Orange and the City of Orange, and on the east by unincorporated County territory and the City of Irvine. Within the context of the larger Southern California region, Tustin is located approximately two miles north of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport and is transected by two major regional freeways: the I-5 (Santa Ana) Freeway, divides the City into north and south; and the SR-55 (Costa Mesa) Freeway, divides westerly portions of the City.
The City continues to be a discernible entity, characterized physically by its strategic crossroads location, the former Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, (closed in July 1999), hillside areas which offer sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Coast and Saddleback Mountains, prime commercial, industrial, and residential development, and one of the oldest historical “old towns” in Orange County. These significant natural and man-made characteristics provide a commonly acknowledged basis for a “sense of place”. Together, they act as a foundation for Tustin’s Future…a functional desirable and attractive community to live, work or visit.
Incorporated in 1927, the City of Tustin is a General Law city. The Constitution of the State of California establishes two types of cities: Charter and General Law. A General Law City, may exercise only those powers expressly given under State law. All cities begin as General Law cities, and the City of Tustin has chosen to remain such.
Tustin has a Council-Manager form of government which consists of an elected City Council responsible for policy making, and a professional City Manager, appointed by the Council. The City Manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of City government, handles personnel functions (including the power to appoint and remove employees) and is responsible for preparing the City budget. State law permits two basic forms of government in General Law Cities: the Mayor-City Council and Council-Manager system.