Welcome to the Neighborhood Improvement Task Force (NITF) and Southwest Lake Forest Project webpage. We are dedicated to making Southwest Lake Forest a better place to live, addressing the concerns of our residents, and enhancing the overall quality of life in our community. 

About Us

In 2021, the City of Lake Forest recognized the need to take action and improve the Southwest Lake Forest neighborhood. This initiative began in response to the concerns raised by residents during the City's biannual Community Satisfaction Survey in 2021. The Neighborhood Improvement Task Force (NITF) was established to identify and address these neighborhood issues.

Our Mission

The NITF's mission is to create a safer, more pleasant, and thriving environment in Southwest Lake Forest. We strive to enhance the quality of life for all residents by addressing key concerns related to lighting, parking, noise, crime, property maintenance, street sweeping, and more. 

Our Work

First Neighborhood Assessment

The NITF's first major project involved conducting a door-to-door survey of residents in the area bounded by Muirlands Boulevard, El Toro Road, and Rockfield Boulevard. We engaged a public affairs and community outreach firm to gather empirical information from residents. We also held a community pop-up event where residents were able to interact with City and Fire Authority personnel as well as other agencies to obtain information and resources. 


   

Based on the findings, we developed an action plan to address the concerns of the community. Several projects have been initiated and completed to improve quality of life in this neighborhood.

Click here for the SWLF Neighborhood Improvement Needs Assessment Report (2021)

Concern Solution Timeline

Speeding

Add reflectors on stop signs
and "Dip Ahead" sign.

Complete

Red Curb
Markings

Add markings on Jutewood Place
and La Vaca Street.

Complete

Lighting

Add lighting at the end of Packer for safety.

Complete

Crime (Part 1)

Launch Catalytic Converter Theft Deterrent Programs.

Complete

Crime (Part 2)

Increase Orange County Sheriff's patrols.

Ongoing

Parking/Street Sweeping

Increase parking permits and parking restrictions.

Ongoing

Noise

Work with neighboring businesses and initiate code cases if necessary.

Complete

Landscaping

Code Enforcement inspections and educate residents on regulations.

Complete

Property Maintenance

Educate the community about regulations.
Note: The City cannot force property owners to make maintenance upgrades. The City's Code Enforcement can address concerns that pose a health hazard
or safety risk. 

Complete

Homelessness

Increase Orange County Sheriff's patrols.

Complete

 
Second Neighborhood Assessment

Building upon the success of the first neighborhood assessment, the NITF has selected a second subject neighborhood within the boundaries of El Toro Road, Rockfield Boulevard, Gowdy Avenue, and Cavanaugh Road. This area is home to 213 residential properties and 43 businesses. We are committed to implementing strategies to address the concerns of residents and make this neighborhood a better place for everyone. 

Current Projects

The Southwest Lake Forest Task Force has created a list of key assessment issues to address that were identified during the door-to-door surveys. Many of these projects are already underway or completed. We are continually working to address the concerns raised by the community and improve the neighborhood.

Click here for the SWLF Neighborhood Improvement Needs Assessment Report (2023)

Concern Solution Timeline

Conduct Neighborhood Lighting Assessment

Evaluate and develop an action plan to improve neighborhood lighting to enhance perceptions of safety and security.

In Progress

Promote Enhanced Property Maintenance and Compliance / Distribute Code Enforcement Checklist

Educate residents on the responsibility to maintain their properties. This can be achieved through a "code enforcement checklist" flyer or postcard detailing resident responsibilities, especially regarding landscaping. 

In Progress

Host a Neighborhood Clean-Up Day

Encourage and empower residents to dispose of unwanted/unused items in their homes. 

Date TBD

Assess Street Parking on Gowdy Avenue

Evaluate street parking on Gowdy Ave. to address issues brought up by residents. Specifically address "road blockages" created by vehicles parked alongside Gowdy Ave. where the road curves. 

Complete - Parking sign relocated on the curve

Proactive Street Sweeping Enforcement and Signage

Evaluate the addition of street sweeping signs to inform residents and other drivers of the sweeping schedule. This may assist in deterring vehicles that reportedly do not move on street sweeping day. Proactive enforcement and ticketing may also serve as an additional deterrent. 

Contract in Progress

Assess Traffic Concerns for Action

Yield sign on Rockfield Boulevard and El Toro Road (increased reported speeding incidents on Cavanaugh Road and Dune Mear Road)

Complete - Installed free-right turn lane, advanced yield triangles/sign and additional pedestrian crossing signs to alert the motorists of the crossing. 

Address Bridger Road Access Point

To address concerns with the entry point, consult with planning professionals to assess solutions available to redesign/close Bridger Road. The access point is believed to facilitate the entry of homeless individuals into the neighborhood. 

Ongoing / Some minor landscaping and wood fencing added at the entrance

Address Concerns with Bridger Road Property

Given the negative perceptions residents have of this building and the multiple illegal marijuana dispensaries that have been housed at this location, it is important that the City maintain constant communication with the property owner to encourage them to maintain the property, trash bins, and do their due diligence before allowing a new business to operate. 

Complete / Ongoing

Noise Level Education

Distribute information to businesses in shopping centers adjacent to the subject neighborhood regarding City noise ordinance and discuss noise reports during early hours with management at Home Depot. A conversation should also take place with the agency that owns the construction vehicles on Ridge Route to share resident complaints regarding the noise caused by the trucks entering and exiting the street. 

Ongoing / Deliver schedule has been charged to more appropriate hours

Reimagine Cavanaugh Park

Evaluate the feasibility of redesigning Cavanaugh Park to remove reported opportunities for homeless activity and crime (walls, berms, hedges). Residents would also like to see a new playground that expands access to older age groups.

First Phase Complete

Increase Patrolling

Evaluate the feasibility of increasing patrolling in the areas which reported criminal and drug activity:

  • Cavanaugh Rd.
  • Dune Mear Rd.
  • Gowdy Ave.
  • Eaglemont Ave.
  • Red Robin Way
  • Lake Forest Marketplace

In Progress

Graffiti

Assess opportunities to enhance graffiti removal response time.

Complete - Removed within 24 hours of City notification

Raise Awareness of City's Efforts to Address Issues Related to Homelessness

In response to the reported significant presence of residents experiencing homelessness in the residential and business areas, it may be beneficial for community and business stakeholders to be informed of the City's general efforts to address this issue.

In Progress

Neighborhood Watch Program

Educate and encourage residents in the subject neighborhood to form a neighborhood watch program. 

In Progress - Two meetings completed

Beautification

Improved landscaping on Rockfield Blvd. 

In Progress

Infrastructure Repairs

Evaluate and address the merits of resident reports regarding underground power lines.

City will educate the requestors on the financial cost/process (FAQ below)

Short-Term Rentals

Ensure that the property on Duryea has a permit to operate a short-term rental business. Investigate allegations that the property rents rooms on a nightly basis. 

Complete / No Current Concerns

Assess Needs for a City Facility in South Lake Forest

Assess opportunities to establish a City facility in South Lake Forest to meet community needs.

In Progress

Promote Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Given the proximity of this neighborhood to the freeway; it may be beneficial for residents in this neighborhood to participate in the program.

Complete - No current interest/residents from that specific area. Collab w/ pop-up for neighborhood watch TBD.

City staff also identified additional assessments for the following:

Concern Solution Timeline

Neighborhood  Pride Paint Program

Update the policy and allocate more funds to the paint program.

In Progress

Community Preservation Project

Create a program with local nonprofit organizations to assist elderly and disabled residents with home repairs. Create an outline and secure a consultant.

In Progress

Bulk Disposal  Information

Create information on how to dispose of large items to distribute to residents. 

In Progress

Enhance Communications

Addition of a “Resources” subpage to the City website for direct resources and links to programs currently directly available to residents.


Continue to educate and encourage residents to download My360 App - 60% of residents who responded to the online survey reported not being aware of the City’s app.

Mailers/Doorhangers/Flyers - methods of communication may be more effective in this area.

In Progress

 

Next Steps

We are in the process of addressing concerns in the southwest Lake Forest neighborhood between Rockfield Boulevard, Ridge Route Drive, and Gowdy Avenue. Door-to-door surveys of over 240 homes within the area were completed in April 2023. The City has compiled the data collected from residents and staff is implementing an action plan to address these neighborhood concerns. 

Before                                                            After

   

Multiple code violations, including graffiti, water quality, and issues with trash containers were addressed when the property owner constructed a new enclosure and removed graffiti.

 Before                                                        After

   

Bushes were removed and replaced at Cavanaugh Park implementing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to allow a line-of-sight. This is a multi-disciplinary approach to crime prevention based on principles of designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior. While these initial steps have made a positive impact, future plans are underway to redesign the park as a whole.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Underground Power Lines

SCE has 3 “Rule 20 Undergrounding Programs. Each category of Rule 20 addresses different funding mechanisms and qualifications for undergrounding existing overhead utility lines.

Rule 20A funded by all of SCE’s ratepayers throughout the service area using Rule 20A work credits but only for projects deemed to create a general public benefit by satisfying at least one qualifying criterion. Also, SCE discontinued allocating new Rule 20A work credits on December 31, 2022.

Rule 20B projects enable limited ratepayer subsidies for undergrounding utility lines for projects that do not quality under Rule 20A and are a minimum of 600 feet or one city block in length. Rule 20B applicants are most frequently developers, but can also be cities and counties, groups of property owners, or individual property owners or customers. Local governments typically collect Rule 20B funding from the municipality’s general fund or through the formation of a local assessment district.  

Most Rule 20B projects can be completed in less than two years with the exception of larger Assessment District projects that involve an Engineering Assessment phase as well as a vote by the affected property owners.

Based on a review of completed Rule 20B projects over the past several years, costs range from $250,000 to $1,700,000, with the average Rule 20B project completed for approximately $570,000. These costs do not include the service laterals on private property and any modifications needed to meter panels to accept underground service as this work is performed by others. Costs will be considerably higher for an Assessment District project that may contain several hundred customers and properties.

Rule 20C projects includes any conversion of existing overhead facilities with underground facilities requested by an applicant, that does not fulfill the requirements of either a 20A or 20B. The cost for a rule 20C conversion is borne solely by the applicant. Rule 20C project costs can also vary depending upon the size and length of the project. Based on a review of completed Rule 20C projects over the past several years, costs range from $25,000 to over $1,000,000 with the average Rule 20C project completed for approximately $250,000. Most Rule 20C projects can be completed in less than 12 months.

https://www.sce.com/regulatory/distribution-manuals/rule20-underground-conversions

 

Get Involved

Your input and participation are crucial to our efforts. We invite you to get involved by attending our community meetings, volunteering, or simply sharing your thoughts and concerns. Together, we can make Southwest Lake Forest a better place to live. 

For more information or stay updated on our progress, please contact us or follow us on social media. Your voice matters, and together we can build a stronger and more vibrant community in Southwest Lake Forest!

https://www.lakeforestca.gov/en/contact-ask-us

 

Neighborhood Concerns? Contact Us

Download the City App to report an issue or ask a question

360Civic City

Services Number
Abandoned Car Parked 72+ Hours, Dumped Property 949-770-6011
Animal Control 714-935-6848
Broken Traffic Light, Broken Sprinkler (Public) 949-461-3480
Broken Street Light 800-611-1911
So Cal Edison
City Hall 949-461-3400
Graffiti 949-461-3583
Leaking Fire Hydrant 949-453-5300 IRWD
949-837-7050 ETWD
Orange County Sheriff's Department
Nonemergency Line
949-770-6011
Overflowing Sidewalk Trash, Potholes, Street Signs 949-461-3416
Trash, Recycling, Bulky-item Pick-up 949-625-6735
Shredding 949-461-3530

 

The City also works with the County of Orange to provide resources and services to residents who need housing assistance. Lake Forest offers a variety of programs including, housing rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance, rental assistance, and more.

Click here for more information on the programs the City offers. 

 

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2022 Business Survey


Social Media Accounts:

Please select all social media outlets that your business currently utilizes.

Social Media
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If you selected "more", please submit your response here.
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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.

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 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 Friday, March 24, 2023. There is currently one seat available on the commission.

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.

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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 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.

 

Business Address
Please enter Mailing Address information, if different from Business Address.
Home-Based Business?
If yes, you do not need to enter Property Manager Contact Information on the following page.

Commercial Business Additional Information

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

Reason(s) for locating Business in Lake Forest:

Property Manager Contact Information

Applicable if you are leasing or own commercial property.

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

Property Manager Address

Business Watch - Emergency Contact Information

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.

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

More Information on Lake Forest Business Watch:

Business Watch | Lake Forest, CA

To learn more about the Lake Forest Business Watch Program, please visit the link above.

Please enter the name of an individual to call in case of an emergency. They must have keys to your business.
Please enter the name of an individual to call in case of an emergency. They must have keys to your business.
Do you have an alarm system?
Do you have surveillance cameras?

Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce Membership

Membership Application

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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CCA

Address
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City of Lake Forest SMS Sign Up

Please provide the following information to join the waiting list for the Lake Forest CERT program.
Previous Experience Please check all that apply
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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


Applicant Information

Address

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

If Paying by Credit Card

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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Lake Forest eNewsletters

Thanks for your interest in joining our mailing list. Please choose from any of the following areas of interest, and you'll be automatically signed up to receive electronic newsletters.

Email Lists

By submitting this form, you are granting: City of Lake Forest, 25550 Commercentre Drive, Lake Forest, California, 92630, United States, http://lakeforestca.gov permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

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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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Do you have an active Neighborhood Watch now?
Do you have an active Neighborhood Watch now?
If so, would you like representatives from the OC Sheriff’s Department and City to attend a meeting?
If so, would you like representatives from the OC Sheriff’s Department and City to attend a meeting?
Do you believe your association would be interested in the Safe Lake Forest program?
Do you believe your association would be interested in the Safe Lake Forest program?
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