Mixed-use zones provide diverse housing options as well as new places for people to work, shop, and recreate.

A City-initiated Zoning Code Amendment, approved by the City Council in August 2022, established mixed-use zoning in five select areas throughout the City. The mixed-use zoning designations include: Mixed-Use 32 (MU 32), Mixed-Use 43 (MU 43), Mixed-Use Office (MUO), Urban Industrial (UI 25), and Urban Industrial 43 (UI 43). With the exception of the MUO zone, which is intended for high intensity business parks and office uses, the remaining four zones allow stand-alone residential development or a mix of residential, commercial, and/or industrial development. For the UI 25 and UI 43 districts, 27 commercially oriented uses such as beauty shops, pharmacies, restaurants, cyber cafes, coin operated laundry facilities, emergency health service facilities, and other uses have been included. For a complete list of allowable uses, refer to the Mixed-Use Land Use Matrix.

Map of Mixed-Use Focus Areas

Background

Timeline

  • In early 2018, the City of Lake Forest embarked on an effort to update its General Plan, a State-mandated long-range plan to guide future development in the City.
  • In June 2020, the City Council adopted the 2040 General Plan. The 2040 General Plan is a roadmap for the City’s future growth. It is a blueprint for the future physical and economic development of the City.
  • After an extensive public outreach process, the City identified five “focus areas” near major roadways and transportation facilities where future growth could be accommodated (see map).
  • In response to the State mandating the City to designate properties for residential use, the 2040 General Plan established a new land use designation: “mixed-use” to encourage greater opportunities for residential development in the future.  
  • City staff is now proposing mixed-use zoning regulations to set forth the allowable uses and development standards such as building height, building setbacks, and open space for these five areas.
  • On July 7, 2022, the Planning Commission recommended the City Council approve a Zoning Amendment (ZC 03-22-5511) to allow mixed-use zoning. The amendment established allowable uses and development standards such as building height, building setbacks, and open space for the five focus areas.
  • On August 16, 2022, the City Council approved the Zoning Amendment (ZC 03-22-5511) to allow mixed-use zoning. Under the new mixed-use zoning, some new uses will now be permitted, such as residential in key areas that were previously only non-residential. Existing uses in commercial and industrial areas will remain as permitted uses.

Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ")

1. What is mixed-use?

Mixed-use zoning is a mix of land uses or development on one lot or in one building. It may take the form of all nonresidential (e.g., commercial, office, industrial uses), all residential use, or a combination of both nonresidential and residential. In some cases, mixed-use will be accomplished by placing nonresidential uses on a multi-storied building’s ground floor with residential units above, or a nonresidential building next to a residential building.

2. What is mixed-use zoning?

Mixed-use zoning implements the General Plan adopted by the City Council in the year 2020. Mixed-use zoning regulations set forth the allowable uses and development standards such as building height, building setbacks, and open space.

3. How many mixed-use zones are there?

There are five (5) mixed-use zones: Mixed-use 32 (MU 32), mixed-use 43 (MU 43), mixed-use office (MUO), mixed-use industrial 25 (UI 25), and mixed-use industrial 43 (UI 43). The MU 32, and MU 43 zones provide opportunities for a mix of commercial, office, and residential uses in the same building, on the same parcel of land, or within the same area.

4. What is the difference between the mixed-use zones?

The MU 32 and MU 43 zones provide for mixtures of commercial, office, and residential uses. The MU 32is limited to 32 units per acre and has a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.0:1. The MU 43 zone allows 43 units per acre and a maximum FAR of 1.2:1. Building heights within these zones are limited to 65 feet.

The MUO accommodates high-intensity business parks, hotels, office buildings, light manufacturing parks, and light industrial uses, but no residential. The MOU zone allows a maximum FAR of 1.5:1. Building heights in this zone are limited to 65 feet, similar to existing hotel uses along the 5-freeway.

The UI 25 and UI 43 provide for a mix of traditional light industrial, commercial uses, and residential uses. Residential densities in the IU 25 zone are limited to 25 dwelling units per acre and a FAR of 1.0:1. (FAR). Residential densities in the IU 43 zone are limited to 43 dwelling units per acre, and a maximum FAR of 1.2:1. Building heights in these zones are also limited to 65 feet.

5. Where are mixed-use zones located?

The mixed-use zones are located in five key areas as identified in the 2040 General Plan. These five key areas are located near major roadways and transportation facilities and are shown on the map above and identified as:

1) Foothill Ranch Towne Center

2) Civic Center Area

3) Lake Forest Drive Corridor

4) El Toro Road Corridor

5) Light Industrial/Rail Corridor

6. How do I know if my property is located in a mixed-use zone?

A listing of properties by parcel number and/or address can be found by utilizing the City’s ArcGIS online map. Please enter the property address or assessor’s parcel number, and press search. The map will identify the mixed-use zone associated with your property Lake Forest Proposed Mixed-Use Sites (arcgis.com).

7. How will mixed-use zoning affect my property?

Mixed-use zoning will allow permitted uses to remain as well as add new uses (see mixed-use land use matrix under the Mixed-Use Zoning heading. https://lakeforestca.sharepoint.com/sites/CommunityDevelopment/SitePages/Planning-Division.aspx

8. Where can I get more information?

Please contact City staff: Marie Luna, Senior Planner, is available to answer your questions. Marie can be reached at (949) 461-3466 or by e-mail at mluna@lakeforestca.gov and is also available to meet with you in person, or virtually.

Mixed-Use Land Use Matrix Outreach History ArcGIS Map link

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2022 Business Survey


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2023 Community Services Commission

Notice

The City of Lake Forest is accepting applications to serve on the Community Services Commission. Applications must be submitted online using this form and must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

The Community Services Commission advises the City Council on matters pertaining to the acquisition, development, and maintenance of public parks and recreational facilities. The Commission also advises the City Council on matters relating to recreational programs and provides advice to the Community Services Department.

This Commission meets the Wednesday after the first City Council meeting of each month, at 6:30 p.m. Commission members pledge upon appointment to represent the overall public good and not that of an exclusive group or interest and will sign an Ethics Policy upon appointment to the Commission. The City assigns a staff liaison to work with the Commission and facilitate communication between the Commission and the City Council.

In addition to attending the regular monthly Commission meetings, Commissioners are expected to periodically attend and participate in City programs and activities. Commissioners receive a salary of $59 per meeting, not to exceed $118 per month.

Address
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Please limit your responses to 100 words each for Questions 7-10.

Tell us about your relationships to Current Council Members or Employees. Please limit your responses to 50 words each for Questions 11-13.

Tell us about your understanding of government: Please limit your comments to 100 words each for Questions 14 & 15.

Tell us about your vision for the City: Please limit your comments to 200 words each for Questions 16-18.

Attachments

The following attachments are part of the reference materials for the application:

Applicant Verification

I attest to the following: 1. I am a legal resident of the City of Lake Forest. 2. I am registered to vote in the City of Lake Forest. 3. I am able to attend Community Services Commission meetings that are regularly scheduled on the Wednesday following the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. 4. I have submitted a Statement of Economic Interest, in accordance with the Political Reform Act. 5. I understand this application is a Public Record and may be made available to members of the public upon request, with personal contact information redacted. The information provided in this application is true and accurate.

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2023 Planning Commission Application

Notice

The City of Lake Forest is accepting applications to serve on the Planning Commission. Applications must be submitted online using this form and must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

The City's Planning Commission is a decision-making body tasked with reviewing matters related to planning and development in the City. The Planning Commission consists of five members which are appointed by the City- Council with Commissioners serving four-year terms. Typical projects reviewed by the Planning Commission include applications for new development, proposed changes in zoning or the text of the Municipal Code, as well as review proposed subdivisions of land. The Planning Commission is also responsible for making recommendations to the City Council as to whether a project or action would be consistent with the General Plan.

The Commission meets on the same week in which the City Council holds their first meeting of the month on Thursdays and meetings commence at 6:30 p.m. In addition to attending the regular monthly Commission meetings, Commissioners are expected to periodically attend and participate in City programs and activities.

Commissioners receive a salary of $118 per meeting, not to exceed $236 per month.

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Please limit your responses to 100 words each for Questions 7-10.

Tell us about your relationships to Current Council Members or Employees. Please limit your responses to 50 words each for Questions 11-13.

Tell us about your understanding of government: Please limit your comments to 100 words each for Questions 14 & 15.

Tell us about your vision for the City: Please limit your comments to 200 words each for Questions 16-18.

Attachments

The following attachments are part of the reference materials for the application:

Applicant Verification

I attest to the following: 1. I am a legal resident of the City of Lake Forest. 2. I am registered to vote in the City of Lake Forest. 3. I am able to attend Planning Commission meetings that are regularly scheduled on the same week in which the City Council holds their first meeting of the month on Thursdays and meetings commence at 6:30 p.m. 4. I have submitted a Statement of Economic Interest, in accordance with the Political Reform Act. 5. I understand this application is a Public Record and may be made available to members of the public upon request, with personal contact information redacted. The information provided in this application is true and accurate.

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2023 Traffic and Parking Commission

Notice

The City of Lake Forest is accepting applications to serve on the Traffic and Parking Commission. Applications must be submitted online using this form and must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

The Traffic and Parking Commission advises the City Council on issues relating to parking and the safe and efficient movement of traffic, including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and other modes of transportation upon the circulation network of the City. The Commission will provide recommendations related to traffic and parking including, but not limited to traffic and parking related field studies, requests for traffic control devices, requests for permit parking and street sweeping parking restrictions, and other related matters.

This Commission meets the Monday prior to the first City Council meeting of each month, at 6:30 p.m. Commission members pledge upon appointment to represent the overall public good and not that of an exclusive group or interest and will sign an Ethics Policy upon appointment to the Commission. The City assigns a staff liaison to work with the Commission and facilitate communication between the Commission and the City Council. In addition to attending the regular monthly Commission meetings, Commissioners are expected to periodically attend and participate in City programs and activities.

Commissioners receive a salary of $118 per meeting, not to exceed $236 per month.

Address
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Allowed types: gif, jpg, jpeg, png, bmp, eps, tif, pict, psd, txt, rtf, html, odf, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls, xlsx, xml, avi, mov, mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, bz2, dmg, gz, jar, rar, sit, svg, tar, zip.

Please limit your responses to 100 words each for Questions 7-10.

Tell us about your relationships to Current Council Members or Employees. Please limit your responses to 50 words each for Questions 11-13.

Tell us about your understanding of government: Please limit your comments to 100 words each for Questions 14 & 15.

Tell us about your vision for the City: Please limit your comments to 200 words each for Questions 16-18.

Attachments

The following attachments are part of the reference materials for the application:

Applicant Verification

I attest to the following: 1. I am a legal resident of the City of Lake Forest. 2. I am registered to vote in the City of Lake Forest. 3. I am able to attend Traffic and Parking Commission meetings that are regularly scheduled the Monday prior to the first City Council meeting each month ar 6:30 p.m. 4. I have submitted a Statement of Economic Interest, in accordance with the Political Reform Act. 5. I understand this application is a Public Record and may be made available to members of the public upon request, with personal contact information redacted. The information provided in this application is true and accurate.

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This form is for businesses that are physically located at a Lake Forest address.

 

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Applicable if you are a commercial or a home-based business.

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PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THIS SECTION IF YOU ARE A HOME-BASED BUSINESS.

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Please complete the following emergency contact information if your business wishes to participate in the Orange County Sheriff's Department "Business Watch Program". You will be contacted and provided with additional information and receive a "Business Watch" decal.

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Business Watch | Lake Forest, CA

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Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce Membership

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Joining the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce offers numerous opportunities to network, gain valuable experience, expand your business, and more. If you are interested in joining or would like more information, select the link above.

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Expand the Forest

Expand the Forest Beautification Program

Public Works Department | 100 Civic Center Dr. | Lake Forest, Ca 92630 | (949) 461 - 3493


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Note: Due to the health and wellbeing of the selected trees, plantings will occur only from October 1st though December 1st and March 1st through June 1st. Staff will contact you during this time frame. Dedication plaques are not allowed. 


Location

 

Disclaimer: If a planting date cannot be arranged, the tree(s) will be planted by the end of the planting period. 

 


Type of Tree


Dedication

The City Council Certificate: The dedication and sponsor(s) information will appear on the City Council signed certificate mailed to you after the tree planting has occurred.

(Example: In loving memory of John Doe, a great friend and co-worker) 


Payment

The cost of the Expand the Forest Program is $93.00/15 gallon tree. 

If Paying by Check, Mail to:

City of Lake Forest
Expand the Forest Program
100 Civic Center Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630

If Paying with Cash, Bring to:

City of Lake Forest
100 Civic Center Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630

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Credit card payments are accepted through eLakeForest.com with a 3.29% service fee. Register for a new account through eLakeForest.com.

 

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Responsible Pet Ownership

Vet / Clinic:
20780 Lake Forest Dr., Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 600-8310
23162 El Toro Frontage Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 837-5222
29040 Portola Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 380-1255
24301 Muirlands Blvd Ste P, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 837-7660
22377 El Toro Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 855-9744
3 Rancho Circle, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 581-7979

Owner Information

City: Lake Forest

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