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Del Rey Oaks is a small, primarily residential community found in Monterey County, California. Del Rey Oaks, which was formerly known as Del Ray Woods, is situated close to the Pacific coastline, near other Monterey communities such as Seaside and Carmel. The town has a population of less than two thousand, and covers a physical area of just one half mile. Del Rey Oaks is generally upper middle class, with a per capita and household income that are slightly higher than the national average. The current mayor is Jerry Edelen, and the town is represented in the California State Assembly by Bill Monning. Del Rey Oaks is situated on relatively flat land, with an average elevation of less than one hundred feet above sea level. The history of Del Rey Oaks stretches back several thousand years, including Native American habitation and control by the Spanish Empire. The United States took control of the area in the mid nineteenth century, although Del Rey Oaks itself was not formally incorporated as a distinct community until the second half of the twentieth century. Although there were a number of upscale residential communities in Monterey County during the early twentieth century, Del Rey Oaks did not formally come into existence until nineteen fifty three. Del Rey Oaks is generally ethnically homogeneous, and the majority of the households in the region are comprised of married couples. The median household and per capita income for Del Rey Oaks are slightly above the median national figures, and only about five percent of the population is under the poverty line. Del Rey Oaks does not have its own fire department or an independent school system, although those services are provided by neighboring communities such as Seaside. There are a number of private schools within driving distance, and a variety of post secondary educational institutions in the broader Monterey County region.
The largest nature preserve in Del Rey Oaks is the Frog Pond Wetland Preserve, which covers nearly twenty acres in the midst of the community. The Frog Pond Wetland Preserve is comprised of approximately sixty nine thousand square meters, and is notable for its diverse population of birds. Media services in the Del Rey Oaks area are served by a number of regional radio and television stations, as well as the Monterey County Herald. Despite its small population, there are a number of popular businesses found throughout Del Rey County. Notable institutions include Quizno’s Subs, Jack in the Box, The UPS Store, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and Wells Fargo Bank. Del Rey Oaks is also notable for having the largest Safeway in the entirety of Monterey County. Del Rey Oaks is found about two and a half hours away from San Francisco, and several hours away from Los Angeles. The communities of Salinas and Santa Cruz are located slightly closer, and there are a variety of smaller cities situated throughout the Monterey County region. The area has outstanding weather throughout the year, with temperatures rarely dropping below fifty degrees or wandering above eighty degrees.