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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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Rancho Mission Viejo Patriarch To Keynote Shea Riding Center Philanthropy Night

Rancho Mission Viejo Patriarch Tony Moiso will headline the 6th Annual Leaders for Philanthropy Night fundraiser for J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center. The event is scheduled for April 10, 2014 and tickets start at $40. proceeds will benefit the Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, which is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through [...]

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 [...]

Rancho Mission Viejo Named “2013 Developer of the Year” by Builder and Developer Magazine

Congratulations to our friends at Rancho Mission Viejo on being named “2013 Developer of the Year” by Builder and Developer Magazine for their work on Sendero. According to the magazine:

Residents enjoy beautiful views of sprawling hillsides and valleys on a 17,000 acre reserve, known as The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. Anthony R. Moiso, [...]

What is the Ortega Reservoir Project?

Earlier this week, we published an updated map of the Ranch Plan. You might have noticed a large body of water noted on the map and labeled the “Ortega Reservoir.” See the map excerpt below:

Image source: OC Public Works

What is the Ortega Reservoir Project? It is a joint development between the Santa [...]

Rancho Mission Viejo Claims its Territory Online

Perhaps Rancho Mission Viejo Company learned from this mistake, as they registered the domain name (as well as and several others) with Network Solutions in November 2013, as indicated by this record. Alas, like most domain names worth having, the simpler was long gone — registered in 1997.


Visions of South County Cityhood Dancing in our Heads

Susan Wilson is the Chairwoman of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission. What is LAFCO? Well, if you’ve been reading our blog, you would know that when it comes to South County local governance and cityhood, LAFCO is the most important government agency you’ve never heard of. Wilson has written a guest opinion piece, [...]

An Introduction to Planning Area 2

With the success of Sendero (originally known to some of us as Planning Area 1), Rancho Mission Viejo is already working on Planning Area 2:

For those who are just starting the home shopping process, Rancho Mission Viejo would still welcome you out. As Johnson explained, “We’re already working on Planning Area 2 to begin [...]

Ladera Ranch: A Case Study in Innovative Community Design

Yesterday, we congratulated Rancho Mission Viejo on winning the Building Industry Association of Southern California’s 2013 “master-planned community of the year” award. Winning such awards is not new for Rancho Mission Viejo Company. Ladera Ranch was one of the most decorated communities available. We thought it would be interesting to examine the Urban Land Institute’s [...]

Rancho Mission Viejo Wins Master-Planned Community of the Year

Congratulations to the Rancho Mission Viejo Company for winning the prestigious Master-Planned Community of the Year award for 2013 from the Building Industry Association of Southern California. From the Rancho Mission Viejo press release:

As one of the building industry’s most coveted honors, “Master-Planned Community of the Year” was bestowed on Rancho Mission Viejo and [...]

Developers Retaining Mineral Rights Under Residential Developments and What That Means for Ladera Ranch

Reuters News has published an article about the trend of master planned community developers to reserve the minerals rights beneath the properties they sell to homebuyers. According to the Special Report, entitled U.S. Builders Hoard Mineral Rights Under New Homes:

[T]ens of thousands of families … have in recent years moved into new homes [...]