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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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San Juan Open Space Foundation Publishes Video Highlighting Reata Park and Event Center

The San Juan Capistrano Open Space Foundation has published a great high definition video (using aerial drone footage) of the completed and now-open Reata Park and Event Center. We can’t embed the video here, so please go watch it (in full screen) here. There is also a photo gallery here. According to the Open Space [...]

Cow Camp Road Bridge Taking Shape

We’ve been told that the Cow Camp Road bridge that will connect Antonio Parkway to Planning Area 2 (and beyond) is a long bridge — it’s length being necessary to preserve the environmentally sensitive habitat in the watershed below it. The photo below illustrates just how expansive the Cow Camp Road bridge will be when [...]

A Topographical View of Planning Area 2

Google Maps has a cool new feature where you can tilt the map and get a topographical view of an area. We decided to have some fun and lay the boundaries for Planning Area 2 over a topographical map of the region. Below is the result — note the boundaries aren’t perfect. We were just [...]

Updating What We Know About Planning Area 2: The Village of Esencia

We have noticed a sudden, recent uptick in the number of internet searches related to Planning Area 2 of the Ranch Plan, what Rancho Mission Viejo has named the Village of Esencia.

We are also learning more about Rancho Mission Viejo’s plans for Planning Area 2 of the Ranch Plan. It is being called “Esencia” [...]

OCTA Seeking Comments on its Draft Long Range Transportation Plan at Public Meeting Tonight

There is a ton of construction going on in South County right now. For the next few years, South County residents will need to deal with construction on I-5 at Avenida Pico, Ortega Highway and El Toro just for starters. We will also watch as the Rancho Mission Viejo transportation infrastructure is built out over [...]

NEVs Have Arrived at Sendero

Over a year ago, we wrote extensively about the NEV paths and lanes planned for the Ranch Plan. That article is here. First, if you don’t know what an NEV is, NEV stands for a “Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.”

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are categorized by the Department of Transportation as a “low speed vehicle,” meaning a [...]

Toll Roads Scrap I-5 Connector; Refocus on Tesoro Extension

The under-resourced and under-staffed Patch is still able to break some local news, such as this story:

Officials overseeing the 241 Toll Road in Orange County said today they have moved to scrap federal environmental reviews of an extension of the major arterial to San Diego County because they have languished for about a decade. [...]

La Pata Gap Closure May Break Ground This Month

The long anticipated La Pata Gap Closure project may break ground early as this month. We’ve previously reported on the OC Board of Supervisors approving the funds and selecting a contractor for the road construction project, and now the dirt will start moving.

According to a recent letter to the community:

In Spring 2014, the [...]

Groundbreaking Today on New OCFA Fire Station in Rancho Mission Viejo

The OCFA today celebrated the ground breaking on a new fire station in the “Rancho Mission Viejo” area of unincorporated south Orange County. In attendance were Fifth District Supervisor Patricia Bates, San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato, and Anthony Moiso, CEO of Rancho Mission Viejo. Officially called Fire Station 56, the new station is located [...]

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 [...]