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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The newly minted City of Aliso Viejo officially opens for business today, after voters in March approved incorporating the South County community so they could have more influence on issues ranging from new development projects to the conversion of the closed El Toro Marine Base.

None of the five members on the newly formed City Council have given a clear indication of where they stand on many issues. But most suggested on the campaign trail that they would take a relatively cautious approach to future growth.

Thousands of homes and millions of square feet of commercial office space have sprung up in Aliso Viejo over the past several years. The Census Bureau says the community’s population has grown from 7,612 in 1990 to 40,166 last year—a 428% increase that was highest in the county.

New Mayor Carmen L. Vali also notes that the new city is under the flight path of the commercial airport that has been proposed for the nearby El Toro Marine Base, which was shuttered several years ago. The new council is already under pressure to join an anti-airport coalition of other Orange County cities, but Vali has stopped short of promising that the new City of Aliso Viejo will become the coalition’s next member.

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