History of Lake Mission Viejo

Development And Ownership:

Mission Viejo Company was organized in 1963 to initiate the first residential development on Rancho Mission Viejo land.  In January 1970, Phillip Morris Incorporated acquired a major interest in Mission Viejo Company.  In September 1972, Mission Viejo Company became a wholly owned operating company of Phillip Morris Incorporated.  The Lake was developed by the Mission Viejo Company and added to the overall Master Plan of the community.

On March 30, 1977, the Mission Viejo Company dedicated the Lake to the Lake Mission Viejo Association, organized pursuant to the general non-profit corporation law of the State of California.  The Lake Association owns, operates and manages the Lake, dam, Playa del Norte (North Beach), Playa del Este (East Beach) and marina facilities.
In January 1996 control of the Homeowners Association was transferred from the Mission Viejo Company to the Unit Owners.


The land upon which Mission Viejo was developed was formerly part of the 53,000 acre Rancho Mission Viejo, owned by the O’Neill family.  They took title in 1907 to the lands historically known as the Ranchos Trabuco and Mission Viejo.  The chain of title to the land dates from the year 1769 which marked the beginning of the Spanish Regime in California. 

Construction of the Lake began in October 1974, after the Orange County Planning commission and the Board of Supervisors accepted the draft Environmental Report (EIR).  The California Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams, concurred with the construction design of the Alicia Parkway earth-filled dam.  
The Lake officially opened to Association Members on June 3, 1978.

Description And Location:

Lake Mission Viejo is a 124-acre man-made recreational Lake located in the Northern portion of the planned community of Mission Viejo.  The maximum depth of the Lake exceeds 70 feet near the dam with an overall average depth of 30 feet.   The Lake holds 3,800 acre feet of water (1.2 billion gallons).  The normal water level is 18 to 24 inches below the top of the bulkhead at an elevation of 700 feet above sea level.  Approximately 700 feet of sand beach stretches across the shoreline at Playa del Norte (North Beach).  Additional private beaches have been incorporated for residents of developing Lakeside housing units.

The Lake is situated in the Oso Creek Valley, bordered on the South by the Alicia Parkway Dam; on the North by the O’Neill Road (now known as Olympiad Road) embankment; on the west by Marguerite parkway.  A 42 acre retention basin located just north of the Lake, designed to contain and prevent storm waters from entering the Lake, also serves as multi-purpose parkland and youth athletic park.  A $1 million bypass storm drain system surrounding the Lake diverts hillside runoff water downstream into the Oso Creek.

(Mission Viejo Company, 1979)

Lake Membership Back Then

As of April, 1977, virtually all new homes within the planned community of Mission Viejo include mandatory membership in the Lake Mission Viejo Association as an aspect of ownership.

(Mission Viejo Company, 1979)

Lake Membership Today

As of 1977 there have been many new homes built, with the last community of Painted Trails completed in 2003.  As of November 2018 there are 24,995 homes that are within
the Lake Mission Viejo Association.

Lake Eligible Homes: LMVA was established as a Homeowners Association (HOA) in March 1977. The Mission Viejo Company dedicated Lake Mission Viejo to the Association as a California non-profit corporation consisting of those property owners within the ultimate boundaries of the Mission Viejo planned community.  Lake Eligible Homes were among the first 12,000 homes built by the Mission Viejo Company in the 1960s and early ‘70s. Another 18,000 homes were built after the Lake’s creation. Since these Lake Eligible Homes were built and occupied before the Lake was established, the original Homeowner was offered the chance to belong. The offer remains open for these homes to join the Lake Mission Viejo Association. As of November 2018 there are 4,600 Lake eligible homes that are still able to join
the Lake Mission Viejo Association from the original 12,000.


TuesdayJune 11th 2024LMVA Board of Directors Meeting
SaturdayJune 22nd 2024Yachty by Nature Concert
WednesdayJune 26th 2024The Super Mario Bros Movie
FridayJune 28th 2024The Super Mario Bros Movie
SaturdayJuly 6th 2024Blue Öyster Cult Concert


North Beach (Daily)Open8:00am10:00pm
East BeachClosed
Membership (Daily)Open8:00am5:00pm
Boat Rentals – Last rental 1 hour before closingOpen8:00am7:00pm
Lake Services (Daily)Open8:00am5:00pm
Snack Bar (Sat & Sun only till May 30)Open11:30am4:30pm


Visit Our Social Media Sites!

Pay my Bill Guest Passes