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Chapter 5 - Becoming a City - Incorporation
The tall, strong eucalyptus trees, beautiful horses, and other farm animals gave Yorba Linda a nice, country feeling, and many people began to move into the town.
As the town grew, the people became concerned about changes that were happening. Many neighboring cities were trying to take part of Yorba Linda for themselves. People in Yorba Linda wanted to make their own laws and be an independent city, and keep Yorba Linda as a town for families.
The way they could do this was to become incorporated as a city. Incorporation means being able to govern your city and make your own laws.
Some people did not want incorporation. People who owned a lot of land were worried they would have to pay high taxes to the city. The oil companies were concerned that the city would try to limit oil drilling.
They formed a citizens' committee to discuss these problems. In 1956 Fay Young was made temporary chairman of this committee. They looked into different possibilities to solve their  problems: remaining as they were; becoming an independent, incorporated city; or joining with a neighboring city.
With Jin Craig as their leader, the committee for incorporation filed a request with the Board of Supervisors of Orange County on December 18, 1961. It took six more years before the question of being a city was brought to the people for a vote.
Shortly before the election, former Vice President Richard Nixon wrote a letter to the Yorba Linda Star in favor of incorporation.
On October 24, 1967, the election was held. People voted from 7:00 A. M until 7:00 P. M. Those people who were in line at 7:00 pm were allowed to vote, and many stayed on to chat in front of the old fire station on Lemon Street.
The next day the headline in the Yorba Linda Star announced, “INCORPORATION WINS.” There were 1963 votes for cityhood and 638 votes against.
Of the twenty-six people running for city council, five men were elected. The new councilmen were Roland Bigonger, Burton Brooks, Whit Cromwell, Bill Ross, and Herbert Warren. At the first city council meeting, Roland Bigonger was chosen as mayor of Yorba Linda, and Whit Cromwell was chosen as vice mayor.
A lot has happened in the years since Yorba Linda became a city. Yorba Linda has grown from two-and-a-half square miles to more than eighteen square miles, spreading mostly toward the east. The population has grown from 11433 in 1967 to 62000 in 2000.
The character of the people moving in Yorba Linda is also changing. People want more businesses. In 1967 there were two shopping centers here; now there are over thirty neighborhood centers that offer restaurants, shops, and professional offices. Large business centers have also been built in east Yorba Linda.
The people also want more  public services. Parks, sports fields, and horse trails have been added, and more are planned.
The Yorba Linda Elementary School District joined with the Placentia Unified School District in 1989. There is now one large school district serving Yorba Linda children. Even though the orange groves and lemon groves have been replaced by home, Yorba Linda still has a large population of horses. The horse trails are as beautiful as ever, and Yorba Linda is still a desirable place to live. 
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