Woodbridge Village, in the city of Irvine, received national attention in 1976 for holding one of the nation's first housing lotteries. More than 7,000 prospective buyers literally camped out to get first dibs on Woodbridge's 10-year master-planned community. Only 3,000 made the final cut, and from that list 221 won the opportunity to become tenants in the first phase of the community.
Prices for the homes ranged from $49,000 to $97,000. In true Orange County fashion, however, their value has soared to the six-figure range. Homes built around the two neighborhood lakes sell for $150,000 more than identical ones across the street without lake fronts.
The largest development ever built on the Irvine Ranch, Woodbridge was designed and built with sophistication, location and demand in mind. It offers more recreational activities and amenities than any other community in Orange County.
On any day visitors driving through the village will see children fishing on the shores of the two man-made lakes, and cyclists and joggers along the designated paths. Even with the berm around the village, one can occasionally glimpse greenbelts, beaches, tennis resorts, swimming pools, lagoons, schools and churches.
Twelve years ago, the Woodbridge Village Assn. was formed to maintain, service and manage the 40 neighborhoods, along with common grounds. With an annual budget of $3 million and 100 employees, the village keeps its movie-set look year-round.
At a glance, one would believe homeowners live a carefree existence. Unfortunately, even the association hasn't figured out how to handle the water-fowl problem. Every fall the man-made lakes attract hundreds of American coots. They meander the shore lawns to eat and destroy the expensive landscaping, leaving traces of their visits everywhere, even on homeowners' decks. This ongoing problem costs the association more than $10,000 annually to repair.
Besides mercantile arenas such as Stonecreek Plaza and the Woodbridge Village Center, a new 115,000- square-foot shopping center will be completed in 1990 at the intersection of Alton Parkway and Jeffrey Road. Woodbridge is so self-contained that, other than work, residents have no need to leave. And then only if they must.
NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE: WOODBRIDGE
Population: (1987 est.) 24,121
1980-88 change: +182%%
Median Age: 32.8
By sex and age:
Racial/ethnic mix: White (non-Hispanic), 85%; Hispanic, 6%; Black, 1%; Other, 8%
Per capita: 25,088
Median Household: 60,090
Average Household: 62,750
More than $75,000: 30%