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



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 [...]

Supervisor Bates on La Pata Gap Closure Project

Astute readers will recognize that nothing below is inconsistent with what we reported back in August, but the letter below (sent by Supervisor Patricia Bates to the Ladera Ranch Civic Council) confirms that the La Pata Gap Closure project is out for bid, with an estimated construction schedule of three years.

We know that [...]

La Pata Gap Closure Project Will Solicit Construction Bids

The Orange County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the county clerk to advertise the La Pata Gap Closure project for bids. Bid opening will be October 23, 2013 and the terms of at least one of the grants requires the County to award the construction contract by December 11, 2013.

For those of you not [...]

Progress Towards Reducing the Speed Limit on Benjamin Drive

Wow, this must be Ladera Ranch Civic Council week. Another positive development from the folks on the Civic Council:

After years of hard work, the Ladera Ranch Civic Council has successfully implemented enough changes on Benjamin Drive to legally lower the speed limit from 45 MPH to 40 MPH. Benjamin’s traffic has been at capacity [...]

Ladera Ranch Civic Council’s Roadmap for Cityhood

For the last few days, we’ve been discussing the issue of cityhood in detail. Yesterday, we used the Ladera Ranch Civic Council’s letter to Supervisor Patricia Bates as an opportunity to discuss LAFCO – a little-known independent regulatory commission that holds supreme power over issues related to cityhood. Because that discussion was so important, we [...]

Save the Date: Ladera Ranch State of Community Address

The Ladera Rancho Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its sixth annual “State of the Community” address. The keynote speaker will be the Honorable Patricia Bates, Fifth District Supervisor on the Orange County Board of Supervisor. Additional speakers will include representatives from CUSD and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. There are many interesting and important things [...]

Mission Viejo Annexes 40 Acres

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement between the County and the City of Mission Viejo to permit Mission Viejo to annex 40 acres of property in an unincorporated area between Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Rancho Santa Margarita at the corner of El Toro Road and Glenn Ranch Road, in the vicinity [...]

Map of Orange County’s Fifth District

From time to time, we make reference to Orange County’s Fifth District. Patricia Bates is currently the Fifth District’s representative on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors. What are the boundaries of the Fifth District? What cities constitute the Fifth District? The map below shows the boundaries and the cities of Orange County’s Fifth Supervisorial District:


Latest Developments on Cow Camp Road and the La Pata Gap Closure

Fifth District Supervisor Patricia Bates’ office has provided recent updates on two key South County road projects. First, with regard to construction of Cow Camp Road:

The Board approved a Construction Reimbursement Agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV) for the construction of Cow Camp Road.

The total estimated cost for Cow Camp Road Segment 1 [...]

Pacific Research Institute Study Questions the Financial Viability of the Toll Roads

The poor toll road! It is being whip-sawed back and forth this week. First, on Tuesday it received good news in the form of $8.3M in funding from the Orange County Board of Supervisors and OCTA for construction of Cow Camp Road to an interchange with the proposed 241 Tesoro Extension. Today, however, a research [...]