Midway City is a census-designated place in the United States that forms part of the county land controlled by Orange County, California. The only area in Orange County that incorporates its chamber of commerce and homeowners association to act in concert like a city council, the area mostly is surrounded by Westminster with Huntington Beach bordering it on the southwest. Midway City was so named because it is horizontally midway between Seal Beach, to the west, and Santa Ana, to the east. The 2010 census listed the population as 8,485.
Midway City is one of Orange County’s oldest communities, and many of its homes are 1950s construction. The area includes two mobile home parks and the residents who live here are of moderate income, with many of them senior citizens. As described by Midway City local historian in 2008, “Midway City is desirable because of its large lots – typically over 8,000 square feet with many larger lots as well…. The trend is that buyers are scraping the lots and building big homes or adding large additions onto the original home.” The community fits within a 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) area and takes up 0.632 square miles (1.64 km2) of land.
Being an unincorporated county area, municipal annexation by cities bordering Midway City is an ongoing issue for Midway City. Attempts at complete annexation have met fierce resistance from Midway’s residents, who would rather have their community remain an unincorporated area of Orange County to maintain water and property tax rates that are lower than neighboring communities.
However, Midway City’s land adjacent to its borders has slowly been annexed by Westminster over time, particularly for public schools sites, to transfer decision making and government school funds from the county to the city. Annexation has also occurred along the heavily-traveled Beach Boulevard/California State Route 39, where that annexed land could be redeveloped to generate significant business tax revenue for Westminster. As a result, Midway City presently is composed of four anemic sections, or “islands”, that have stepped boundaries which include mostly residential property, small businesses, and not-for-profit businesses such as churches, American Legion Post 555, and the Brothers of Saint Patrick order.