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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.

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).

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Vamos a la Escuela a Aprender: Mapping and Translating the Street Names of Esencia’s First Phase

On Friday we mentioned that development was progressing on the first phase of Planning Area 2, east of Antonio Parkway in Rancho Mission Viejo. Today, we have some preliminary tract maps showing the street patterns and names for Planning Area 2.1 and giving us a more detailed glimpse into the layout of the new community. [...]

Status Update on Planning Area 2

Those interested in following the progress at Rancho Mission Viejo’s Planning Area 2 have to do so from afar. From what we understand, here is the current status of development in Planning Area 2, dubbed the Village of Esencia. Underway now is phase 2.1 of Planning Area 2, covering 464 acres. This phase will eventually [...]

Video: Rancho Mission Viejo – An Ageless Vision

Rancho Mission Viejo does a good job with these videos that illustrate the beauty of South Orange County. Here is a recent one titled Rancho Mission Viejo – An Ageless Vision:

Rancho Mission Viejo – An Ageless Vision from Carolyn Corbett on Vimeo.

Planning Commission Rejects Laguna Glen Retirement Community Project

The Capistrano Dispatch has the details on Wednesday night’s Planning Commission meeting in San Juan Capistrano. The controversial Laguna Glen retirement community project on the Vermeulen/Armstrong Gardens property was on the agenda. At the end of the meeting, the Planning Commission voted 2-1 (with one Commissioner absent and another Commissioner abstaining) against the project. The [...]

LAFCO Presents Local Governance Options to Rancho Mission Viejo Stakeholder Working Group

Below is a presentation on local governance options published for the RMV Stakeholder Working Group by Orange County LAFCO:

The presentation lays out the different governance options available to the Rancho Mission Viejo Study Area (which includes Ladera Ranch and the Ranch Plan area). Among those potential governance options are:

County Service Area

A [...]


One of the interesting things about writing this blog is that most of our communication with readers occurs through the back channel. We have also found that our audience includes many of the people involved with the issues about which we write, and that is gratifying because it means we are providing useful information. We [...]

San Juan Parking Lot is Casualty of Development Feud

Apparently the feud between the staff of the Mission San Juan Capistrano and the developers of a shopping center proposed nearby has escalated to the point where the developers are terminating the monthly lease that allows the City of San Juan Capistrano to use the parking lot for public parking. The parking lot is located [...]

San Juan Hotel and Villa Backers Holding Info Session This Friday

Do you have questions about the proposed hotel and townhome development being considered for downtown San Juan Capistrano. Proponents of the development will provide information and answer questions this Friday, August 1st at the Mission Grill (across from the Mission) all day between 8 AM and 8 PM. We’ve discussed the proposed “San Juan Hotel [...]

South Orange County Needs More Public Equestrian Facilities

This article in the Orange County Register laments the loss of equestrian facilities in Orange County, a trend that is as prevalent in South Orange County as anywhere else. The article estimates that near half of the public horse boarding facilities in the County have closed since 1984, with more closures on the way. For [...]

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 [...]