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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Laguna Hills Votes to Take Part of Aliso Viejo

September 15, 2000

LAGUNA HILLS — To a round of applause from residents of Aliso Viejo, the Laguna Hills City Council Thursday unanimously approved annexation of a 150-acre section of the unincorporated community.

"We're looking forward to becoming full-fledged citizens of Laguna Hills," said resident David Woodward.

Two-year resident Sherry Bendall was the only person from the area who spoke out Thursday against annexation. She submitted a petition with 100 signatures protesting the city's plan. But that was substantially below the required 25% of the registered voters in a community needed to force the issue to a vote. If more than 50% of registered voters signed a petition of protest, the annexation would be terminated and the land would remain unincorporated.

Of the area's 1,800 residents, City Clerk Mary A. Carlson said, 1,105 are registered voters. The protest would have needed at least 277 signatures to succeed.

The state's Local Agency Formation Commission for Orange County, which oversees annexations, approved Laguna Hills' proposal last month. Don White, assistant city manager, said the council's vote will be validated by the agency today, and the annexation should be completed early next week.

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