Contact Us


Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

We have installed some new anti-spam software, and we are going to try again with open registration. Registration and sign-in information are available at the bottom of the far right column. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you may email us at



Capistrano Dispatch Article on Rancho Mission Viejo Grand Opening

There is some early media coverage of this weekend’s big grand opening in Rancho Mission Viejo.  The Capistrano Dispatch published a lengthy and well-written article that is full of information and updates.  Below are some key excerpts about some of the subjects we have been discussing lately, but we have only scratched the surface.  Please read the whole article at the Dispatch site.

On Saturday and Sunday, Rancho Mission Viejo LLC will host a grand opening for Sendero, the first village of a 14,000-home community called Rancho Mission Viejo.  It’s what company executives have called “the last ride.” Over the next 20 to 25 years, the ranch will build up 6,000 developable acres of its remaining 23,000 acres of property. The other 17,000 acres, known as The Reserve, will be permanently preserved as open space and will be combined with county land to form the 33,000-acre Southern Subregion Habitat Preserve.

Regarding the retail center:

Sendero will also include 10 acres for a retail plaza near the southeast corner of Ortega Highway and La Pata Avenue.  “It’s going to be small, ranch-style stores and shops. Not your big box stores. The acreage doesn’t support that,” said Erica Yanchus, a spokesperson for the ranch.  Ware said the company is negotiating with different providers to create a small, farm-to-market type of grocery store at the plaza. The center could also include a dry cleaner, salon, coffee shop and possibly a gas station. Once deals are signed, Ware said the entire plaza could open by late 2014.

On the impact to local schools:

During a presentation to the Capistrano Unified School District in late January, ranch representatives told the school board that about 4,561 students are expected to come into the district from Rancho Mission Viejo. The majority of the student population influx would likely be in Kindergarten through fifth grade, around 2,724 students. About 991 students are projected for grades six through eight with another 846 for high school.

An update on the La Pata Gap Closure:

Last Wednesday, the California Transportation Commission approved $5.1 million to help complete the 4-mile extension of La Pata, between the end of Avenida Saluda in Talega and the Prima Deshecha landfill in San Juan Capistrano. The $94 million project still requires an additional $6.9 million in funding, but construction may begin regardless in December.

The impact of the 241 permit denial on construction of Cow Camp Road:

However, the ranch’s plan to build Cow Camp Road isn’t dependent on the proposed toll road extension, according to Gaynor. As part of SCRIP, the ranch has also identified a road, identified on maps as “F street,” that could also direct traffic northward.

On future cityhood:

Emery said LAFCO prefers incorporation but speculation that Rancho Mission Viejo could combine with Ladera Ranch, as well as other neighboring unincorporated communities, to form a new city is premature at this point. Market forces will play into the ranch’s plans for villages after Sendero, but even after Rancho Mission Viejo is built out, Emery said LAFCO would need to determine if there is enough revenue to support municipal infrastructure.

The Orange County Register also has an article out today on Rancho Mission Viejo, but it is behind the paywall.

Comments are closed.