By 1965, the Irvine master plan was taking shape. Young families flocked to Irvine’s first village, University Park, with its green belts and bike paths. A few miles away, UC Irvine welcomed its first class of newbies.
The excitement in the young community increased. At least four neighboring cities wanted to include parts of the Irvine Ranch, which would have made it impossible to fulfill the vision of the master plan. After Santa Ana tried to annex the entire central part of the ranch, local residents saw the need for self-determination.
They launched a historic initiative for the city to preserve the vision of the master plan. And on December 21, 1971, residents overwhelmingly voted to establish itself as Orange County’s 26th city.
“It’s not every day that a reporter gets the opportunity to watch a new city come into being,” wrote George Leidal in the Daily Pilot. “Somehow, over the past few weeks, I’ve got the feeling that I’ve just been hired to cover the sailing of the Mayflower via a time capsule.”
When Woodbridge Village opened in 1976, more than 10,000 people had turned up to bid on the first 221 homes put up for auction – National News.
Village by village, the new town took shape, with each village defined by its own natural features and associated with schools, parks, paths and shops.
It was these characteristics that set Irvine apart from dozens of subdivisions scattered across Southern California.
Irvine’s newest village – Woodbridge – embodied that distinction perfectly.
When the first 221 houses were auctioned, more than 10,000 people came to deliver national news.
The new city of Irvine had begun its rise as one of America’s finest cities.
An advertisement for the new town of Irvine on the Orange County Register.