The planned community of Aliso Viejo’s original 6,600 acres was once part of the 26,000-acre Moulton Ranch, owned by the Moulton family, who took title in the 1890s to land originally granted to Juan Avila by the Mexican government in 1842. Hence the name Don Juan Avila Elementary and Middle School. Over the years, portions of the ranch were sold and became Laguna Woods Village, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel. In 1976, the Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres to create a new planned community, Aliso Viejo, with a master plan for 20,000 homes for a planned population of 50,000. The master plan was approved by the Orange County in 1979, and homes were first offered for sale in March 1982. Aliso Viejo’s first family moved in that November. As part of the project, 2,600 acres were dedicated to Orange County as part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park, and 800 additional acres were set aside for local parks, recreation, schools and community facilities. The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) was set up to manage the local parks and community open space. It was the first community-wide association of its kind in California and has the unique ability to provide a full-range of community services and facilities. My grandfather purchased our home in 1994 in the community of Pacific Ridge. I spent my entire life living in this home and I went to Don Juan Avila for Elementary and Middle School and Aliso Niguel for High School. While in Middle School I was the lead, Juan Avila, in a play about the Moulton family. I was also involved as a player and volunteer in perhaps the best baseball little league in all of California. Growing up in Aliso Viejo was great and I would not change anything about my experience.
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