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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.

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LA Times Article Describes Sendero as an Example of an Agrihood

The LA Times has published an interesting article about Rancho Mission Viejo’s community of Sendero.  The article is here, and it focuses on Sendero as an example of an emerging trend in residential development described by the Times as “a trend by land developers nationally to design communities that center around sustainable farms rather than golf courses or swimming pools.”  The article calls this type of development an agrihood.  While Sendero has both swimming pools and a golf course (well, at least a putting green), it also includes the agricultural amenities referred to in the article.  According to the article:

The housing development’s quarter-acre community farm, when completed, will be a commercial operation that produces food for residents to buy and offers educational programs in planting, raising chickens and cooking organically. Developers say this kind of agricultural and residential integration fosters health, environmental sustainability and connection among residents.

Wait … what?  Are Sendero residents going to be allowed to raise chickens?  Where is that in the HOA rules?

Rancho Mission Viejo describes Sendero Farm as follows:

The Village of Sendero has its very own farm. A community garden within a working organic farm means that neighbors can tend to plots of vegetables, herbs and flowers with the help of Sendero Farm’s own local agrarian pro. It’s the kind of place that cultivates real community—not to mention flavorful and nutritious produce for salads and sides.

The articles also describes Sendero’s location within the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo:

About 450 acres of lemon and avocado orchards and 17,000 acres of preserved open spaces surround Sendero. It’s all part of historic Rancho Mission Viejo, a 130-year-old family-owned farm and cattle business that is the largest citrus producer in Orange County.

We might take issue with the story in this regard.  The statement above isn’t quite accurate as written.  Residents can’t access much of those 17,000 acres of open space currently — although maybe they will in the future.  And those lemon and avocado orchards are currently surrounded by barbed wire fences and ominous no trespassing signs, some only recently installed.

In all seriousness, Sendero is barely a year old and development is underway in adjacent Planing Area 2, so we’ll be patient.  That being said, as much as Rancho Mission Viejo has marketed the Ranch Plan as being “connected to the land,” we hope the reality eventually matches the marketing materials.

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