About the City of Orange

Foundation and Incorporation

The City of Orange was incorporated on April 6, 1888 under the general laws of the State of California, however, Orange dates back to 1869 when Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell, both lawyers, accepted 1,385 acres of land from the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana as legal fees.

Historic Plaza

Soon thereafter, the men laid out a one square mile town with ten-acre farm lots surrounding a forty-acre central town site. The center of the town site became known as the Plaza, which has become the symbol of the community.

Today, the Plaza and the majority of the original one square mile town site, contain many homes and buildings dating to the early days of the City; the site is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
A historical image of a child drinking from a water fountain in the Plaza

Demographics and Government

The City of Orange, with a population of 138,640 is situated in Central Orange County, approximately 32 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The City's land area is 27 square miles. The City's planning area is 38 square miles, with a "Sphere of Influence" area of 55 square miles. Included in the City's Sphere of Influence is 18,500 acres of undeveloped land owned by The Irvine Company.

The City of Orange is a General Law City operating under a council-manager form of government. The elected City Council performs the legislative and policy-making functions of government, and directs the administration of its policy decisions through the City Manager for delegation to appropriate City staff. The City Council consists of six members and a directly elected Mayor. The six members of the City Council are elected by-district to a four-year term. The terms of office alternate on a two-year basis. The Mayor is directly elected at-large to a two-year term.

City Services Provided

The City provides a full range of services for its citizens. These services include:
  • Emergency transportation
  • Fire
  • General administration
  • Library
  • Paramedic
  • Planning and development
  • Police
  • Recreation and park
  • Street improvements and lighting 

The City also operates a water utility and provides for refuse collection and sanitation. In addition, the City provides aid to its citizens in the form of residential and commercial rehabilitation loans and economic development programs. 

Senior Center

The City of Orange contracts with a private, non-profit agency to operate its senior citizen center.