Portola Hills

Portola Hills

Portola Hills was a census-designated place in Orange County, California, United States. The population was 6,391 at the 2000 census. It was incorporated into the city of Lake Forest, California as of the year 2000.


The tracts were developed in the late 1980s through the early 1990s. The development was named after Gaspar de Portola, California's first terrestrial Spanish explorer, who passed through the vicinity in 1769. (Nearby Trabuco Canyon is named for a blunderbuss which was lost by expedition members.)


Portola Hills is located at coor dms|33|41|1|N|117|37|58|W|city (33.683672, -117.632872)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.3 km² (1.3 mi²), all land.

Due to its checkered history, mail addressed to residents of Portola Hills (ZIP code 92679) may be labeled as Portola Hills, Trabuco Canyon, or Lake Forest.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 6,391 people, 2,164 households, and 1,729 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,958.4/km² (5,063.6/mi²). There were 2,181 housing units at an average density of 668.3/km² (1,728.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 84.60% White, 1.63% African American, 0.30% Native American, 6.76% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 2.64% from other races, and 3.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.03% of the population.

There were 2,164 households out of which 52.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.4% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.1% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 32.9% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 41.4% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 2.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $90,874, and the median income for a family was $96,076. Males had a median income of $63,672 versus $39,966 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $34,057. About 0.7% of families and 0.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Portola Hills is located in the 33rd Senate District, represented by Republican Dick Ackerman, and in the 70th Assembly District, represented by Republican Chuck DeVore. Federally, Portola Hills is located in California's 48th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +8 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url=http://www.clcblog.org/blog_item-85.html | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Republican John Campbell.


The community of Portola Hills has 2,181 housing units on convert|348.8|acre|km2 of land with an average housing density of 6.25 units per acre.

There are 14 tracts of housing built in single and multi-family configurations that can be classified as Condominium, Townhouse, Semi-Detached and Detached:
* Condominium – 2 tracts (Canyon View and Canyon View West) with a total of 225 units (18.5 units/acre) featuring 1 and 2 bedroom floorplans (644 to 1038 sf);
* Townhouse – 3 tracts (Bella Palermo, Canyon Rim, and Montecido) with a total of 657 units (9.6 to 13.3 units/acre) featuring 2 and 3 bedroom floorplans (940 to 1378 sf);
* Semi Detached – 2 tracts (Serenado and Sycamore Ridge) with a total of 378 units (5.1 to 8.9 units/acre) featuring 2 and 3 bedroom floorplans (1139 to 1891 sf); and
* Detacted – 7 tracts (Alderwood, Antiqua, J.M. Peters Portola, Crestmont, Crown Pointe, Live Oak Estates, and Portola Hills Estates) with a total of 921 units (3.1 to 7.4 units/acre) featuring 3 to 6 bedroom floorplans (1273 to 3584 sf).

A tract map and individual floorplans can be found [http://www.portolahills.net/tracts-n.html/ here]

Culture and recreation

Portola Hills boasts two separate club houses. Portola II is located in the heart of Portola Hills, while Portola I is on the far north side. Both club houses are equipped with pools, gyms, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. Portola I has 4 basketball courts and a playground.

Portola Hills also home to Concourse Park, located adjacent to Portola Hills I.


Children living in the area attend Portola Hills Elementary, a 2002 California Distinguished School. (Source: SVUSD, http://www.svusd.org/p_home.asp?tid=4545) The school’s 2007 Academic Performance Index of 917 ranks it first of the seven elementary schools in the City of Lake Forest, and third of the 26 elementary schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. It also places it above the 2007 mean score (914) of the elementary schools of the adjacent Irvine Unified School District, renowned for its academic excellence. (Source: California Department of Education, http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/). Currently, Portola Hills Elementary has approximately 867 students ranging from grades K-6th grade (Source: SVUSD Preliminary Multi-Year Projection, as of 10/1/2007).

Built in the mid-1990s, Portola Hills Elementary was subject to litigation between the SVUSD school district and the developer concerning land movement at the school site. The litigation was dismissed due to procedural issues regarding the statute of limitations. In 2004, three buildings were vacated for safety reasons due to damage potentially caused by the land movement and the students relocated in portable/temporary classrooms until a permanently solution could be made. As of mid-2008, the developer (USA Portola Center, LLC) entered into a School Facilities Funding and Mitigation Agreement with the school district for development originally known as “Portola Hills South” and now known as “Portola Center.” That agreement requires the developer to pay the district $2,900,000 (in addition to any other new development mitigation fees), solely for use in repair of the school (Source: http://www.ci.lake-forest.ca.us/pdf/agendas/2008.06.03/17.8.PDF). As of June 2008, the district is moving forward with plans to repair two buildings and potentially demolish/rebuild the third provided approval is obtained from the Department of State Architecture.

Click * [http://www.svusd.org/p_home.asp?tid=4545/ here] for the school's website.

External links

* [http://www.friendsofportola.org/ Friends of Portola] is a website that discusses issues affecting the community
* [http://www.lakeforesthills.wordpress.com/ Lake Forest Hills] is a weblog about the communities of Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, and Portola Hills
* [http://www.ocparks.com/whitingranch/ Whiting Ranch Wilderness] is a wildlands located adjacent to Portola Hills
* Cleveland National Forest
* [http://abbeynews.com/ St. Michael's Abbey] is a Norbertine monastery located adjacent to the community. It is incorrectly listed as being part of Silverado, California.
* [http://www.vedanta.org/vssc/centers/trabuco.html Ramakrishna Monastery] is a Vedanta Society monastery located near the development.
* [http://www.notfrisco2.com/webzine/Joel/index.html Pax Nortona] is a weblog by a resident of Portola Hills
* [http://www.portolahills.net/ Portola Hills Community Directory] Portola Hills Community Directory by Kanoa Watt

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