Fountain Valley is a suburban city in Orange County, California. The population was 55,313 at the 2010 census. A classic bedroom community, Fountain Valley is a middle-class residential area.
The area encompassing Fountain Valley was originally inhabited by the Tongva people. European settlement of the area began when Manuel Nieto was granted the land for Rancho Los Nietos, which encompassed over 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), including present-day Fountain Valley. Control of the land was subsequently transferred to Mexico upon independence from Spain, and then to the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The city was incorporated in 1957, before which it was known as Talbert (also as Gospel Swamps by residents). The name of Fountain Valley refers to the very high water table in the area at the time the name was chosen, and the many corresponding artesian wells in the area. Early settlers constructed drainage canals to make the land usable for agriculture, which remained the dominant use of land until the 1960s, when construction of large housing tracts accelerated. The first mayor of Fountain Valley was James Kanno, who with this appointment became the first Japanese-American mayor of a mainland United States city.
After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, there was a large influx of Vietnamese refugees settling in Fountain Valley, especially in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, forming a large percentage of Asian Americans in the city.
The city is located southwest and northeast of the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405), which diagonally bisects the city, and is surrounded by Huntington Beach on the south and west, Westminster and Garden Grove on the north, Santa Ana on the northeast, and Costa Mesa on the southeast. Its eastern border is the Santa Ana River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.4 km2 (9.0 sq mi) 0.14% of which is water.
Fountain Valley is home to Mile Square Regional Park, a 640 acres (2.6 km2) park containing two lakes, three 18-hole golf courses, playing fields, picnic shelters, and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) urban-nature area planted with California native plants, a 55-acre (220,000 m2) recreation center with tennis courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, a gymnasium, and the Kingston Boys & Girls Club; There is also a community center and a 16,652sq ft senior center that opened in September, 2005. A major redevelopment of the recreation center and city-administered sports fields was completed in early 2009.
Fire protection and emergency medical services are provided by two stations of the Fountain Valley Fire Department. Law enforcement is provided by the Fountain Valley Police Department. Ambulance service is provided by Care Ambulance Service.
The Orange County Sanitation District’s administrative offices and primary plant is located in Fountain Valley next to the Santa Ana River. The agency is the third-largest sanitation district in the western United States. Fountain Valley is also home to the offices of the Municipal Water District of Orange County, a member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and of the Orange County Water District. The Orange County Water District manages the groundwater basin in central and northern Orange County and operates the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world’s largest water purification plant for groundwater recharge.
Fountain Valley has two fully accredited major medical centers: the Fountain Valley Regional Hospital with 400 beds available, and Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center with 230 beds, a medical clinic, and an outpatient medical building.
The city also has 18 churches, one Reform synagogue, a mosque and a public library.
Fountain Valley has its own newspaper, the Fountain Valley View, operated by the Orange County Register.
As a suburban city, most of Fountain Valley’s residents commute to work in other urban centers. However, in recent years, the city has seen an increase in commercial jobs in the city, with the growth of a commercial center near the Santa Ana River known as the „Southpark“ district.
Although the economy of the area was once based mainly on agriculture, the remaining production consists of several fields of strawberries or other small crops, which are gradually being replaced by new office development. Efforts to bolster economic activity are evidenced by the city enacting policies to benefit small businesses, and even going so far as to paint a mural on the facade of a large water treatment building facing the freeway that depicts two shopping bags headlined by the words, „Shop in Fountain Valley.“
Fountain Valley is home to the national headquarters of Hyundai Motor America and D-Link Corporation, the global headquarters of memory chip manufacturer Kingston Technology, and the corporate headquarters of Surefire, LLC, maker of military and commercial flashlights. The Southpark commercial area is also home to offices for companies such as D-Link, Starbucks, Satura and the Orange County Register. There are also a limited number of light industrial companies in this area. In addition, Fountain Valley is the location for Noritz, a tankless water heater manufacturer, and the main west coast offices of Ceridian, a professional employer organization.
The increasing commercial growth can be evidenced by the frequent rush-hour traffic bottlenecks on the San Diego (405) Freeway through Fountain Valley.
According to the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
Fountain Valley holds an annual Summerfest in June in Mile Square Regional Park. This event has a car show, rides, music, and booths.
There are three high schools, three middle schools, nine elementary schools, one K-12 school, and two K-8 schools. However, some students who live in the city of Fountain Valley actually attend schools in other cities.
Fountain Valley is also home to Coastline Community College. Community colleges in the area include Orange Coast College and Golden West College, located nearby in the cities of Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, respectively.
High schools in Huntington Beach Union High School District
High schools in Garden Grove Unified School District
Middle schools in Fountain Valley School District
Middle schools in Ocean View Middle School District
Elementary schools in Garden Grove Unified School District
Elementary schools in Fountain Valley School District
The Lycée International de Los Angeles previously had its Orange County campus in Fountain Valley, but it moved to Orange by 2001.
In addition to the San Diego Freeway, which bisects the city, Fountain Valley is served by several bus lines operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority. Bus routes 33, 35, 37, 70, 72, 74, and 172 cover the city’s major streets.
Most of the major roads are equipped with bicycle lanes, especially around Mile Square Park, which offers wide bike paths along the major streets that mark its boundary. Dedicated bike paths along the Santa Ana River run from the city of Corona to the Pacific Ocean.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Fountain Valley had a population of 55,313. The population density was 6,124.7 people per square mile (2,364.8/km²). The racial makeup of Fountain Valley was 31,225 (56.5%) White (49.2% Non-Hispanic White), 510 (0.9%) African American, 229 (0.4%) Native American, 18,418 (33.3%) Asian, 171 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 2,445 (4.4%) from other races, and 2,315 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,250 persons (13.1%).
The Census reported that 54,876 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 257 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 180 (0.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 18,648 households, out of which 6,341 (34.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 11,142 (59.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,102 (11.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 970 (5.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 646 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 108 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,451 households (18.5%) were made up of individuals and 1,772 (9.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94. There were 14,214 families (76.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.34.
The population was spread out with 11,643 people (21.0%) under the age of 18, 4,624 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 13,310 people (24.1%) aged 25 to 44, 16,020 people (29.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 9,716 people (17.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
There were 19,164 housing units at an average density of 2,122.0 per square mile (819.3/km²), of which 13,458 (72.2%) were owner-occupied, and 5,190 (27.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.8%. 40,718 people (73.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 14,158 people (25.6%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Fountain Valley had a median household income of $81,212, with 6.7% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
According to the census of 2000, there were 54,978 people, 18,162 households, and 14,220 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,167.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,382.4/km²). There were 18,473 housing units at an average density of 2,072.4 per square mile (800.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.02% White, 1.11% Black or African American, 0.46% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 10.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.76% Asian, 0.40% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 3.95% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races.
There were 18,162 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $78,729, and the median income for a family was $90,335. Males had a median income of $60,399 versus $43,089 for females. The per capita income for the city was $48,521. About 1.6% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.
In the California State Legislature, Fountain Valley is in the 34th Senate District, represented by Republican Janet Nguyen, and in the 72nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Travis Allen.
In the United States House of Representatives, Fountain Valley is in California’s 48th congressional district, represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.