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



Proposed Modifications to the Ranch Plan’s Affordable Housing Implementation Agreement

When the Ranch Plan Development Agreement was approved in 2004, it contemplated a master development of approximately 22,682 acres with 14,000 homes and over five million square feet of retail and commercial property.  As part of that Development Agreement, Rancho Mission Viejo is required to provide 60 acres of land to the County for development as affordable housing.  It was the intention of the County to develop approximately 1,200 to 1,800 affordable housing units on those 60 acres, distributed through the various planning areas.  These affordable housing units were intended to be rental housing for low and very-low income households, and would have been in addition to the 14,000 homes approved as part of the Ranch Plan.  (HUD guidelines generally define a low income family as one whose incomes do not exceed 80% of the median family income for the area, and a very-low income family as one whose incomes do not exceed 50% of the median family income for the area.)  Under a 2006 implementation agreement, Rancho Mission Viejo is required to provide the County with various sites between two and 10 acres, up to the total allotted 60 acres of property.  The County is obligated to develop the affordable housing within a certain period of time, and is responsible for financing that construction.

Since 2006, the State’s budget situation has changed.  Redevelopment funds are gone and available federal funds have been cut by 40%.  In short, the County cannot afford to develop the affordable housing sites as originally planned.  As a result, the Orange County Board of Supervisors is considering amending the affordable housing implementation plan as it relates to Planning Areas 1 and 2 (both currently under development).  Under the proposed amendment, Rancho Mission Viejo may develop affordable rental housing at its cost (not the County’s) and the County will credit Rancho Mission Viejo with two acres (against its 60 acre obligation) for every one acre developed.  In other words, instead of giving the County 60 acres of raw land on which to build County-owned affordable housing, Rancho Mission Viejo will build the affordable housing for the County (at RMV’s expense) but could potentially reduce its affordable housing obligations to the equivalent of 30 acres of land.

To qualify under the amended agreement, the affordable housing will need to have a minimum of 25 dwelling units per net acre, and will be eventually offered to the County fully completed, at no cost.  As mentioned above, this low income and very-low income rental housing will be located in Planning Area 1 (possibly as part of the Sendero Gateway Apartments being built at the corner of Antonio and Ortega) and in Planning Area 2.1, currently under development.  Other planning areas would be subject to the original implementation agreement.  Rancho Mission Viejo (or a property management company) will operate the affordable housing in the near term, because the County is not obligated to take title until 15 years after completion.

More information available in the Board of Supervisors Staff Report here.

Comments are closed.