Villa Park, California

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Villa Park is a city in northern Orange County, California near Orange and Anaheim Hills that incorporated in 1962. It had a population of 5,999 in the 2000 census, achieving the status of the smallest city in Orange County by population (La Palma is Orange County's smallest city in area). Villa Park includes about 2,000 homes and the land is nearly 99% built out. The city is zoned for single-family residences; most house occupy lots of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2). There is one small shopping center that includes a Ralph's grocery store, some banks, a pharmacy with a postal substation, a variety of stores and offices, City Hall and community room, and a branch of the Orange County Public Library. Three restaurants, including Rockwell's Cafe & Bakery, are located in the shopping center. Public elementary, middle, and high schools are operated by the Orange Unified School District.

There are no public parks within the city limits. Many homes have pools or tennis courts, or both. Villa Park has winding streets and it is known for having few sidewalks and no street lights. There are many trees and flowers planted that contribute to a rural, green ambience. Villa Park is an enclave within the city of Orange. Villa Park's geography is due largely to its unwillingness to annex land beyond Santiago Creek, to the east. The city of Orange annexed these lands around and beyond Villa Park.

Contents

History

Members of the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations long inhabited this area.[citation needed] After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Father Junipero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the areas first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain.

In 1810, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. 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.

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