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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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Fifty Years in the Making: The La Pata Gap Closure Has Broken Ground!

It’s been a long time coming, but the much anticipated, much needed La Pata Gap Closure project broke ground on April 4th. Below is a picture from the groundbreaking ceremony that was tweeted by various participants and news outlets:

image source: Twitter

There have been signs of progress even before Friday’s groundbreaking. Anyone driving [...]

I-5 South County Improvement Project Construction Update

We wish this was an April Fool’s Day prank, but alas, South County residents are currently monitoring three massive construction projects going on simultaneously on the I-5 freeway. Below is the latest information about the I-5 South County Improvement Project that stretches from Avenida Pico in San Clemente to San Juan Creek Road in San [...]

Public Invited to SONGS Decommissioning Meeting

The public is invited to the first meeting of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Community Engagement Panel tomorrow, March 25, 2014. The meeting will be held from 6-9 PM at the San Clemente Community Center. More information is available below:

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 [...]

OC Public Works Schedules Two La Pata Gap Closure Project Open Houses

The OC Public Works Department has scheduled two upcoming open houses for the public to learn more about the La Pata Avenue Gap Closure product and related construction. One open house will be held on either side of “the Gap.” The San Juan Capistrano/Ladera Ranch open house is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from [...]

Dana Point Captain Captures Epic Drone Footage of So Cal Dolphins and Whales

Wow, talk about an epic video. Captain Dave Anderson runs a dophin and whale watching business out of Dana Point. He is also a photographer and filmmaker. With the use of drone technology, he has produced a short flim featuring a large pod of dolphins off the coast of Dana Point, a gray whale migration [...]

Marblehead Sale Hits a Snag

Efforts by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate to sell off the residential portion of the Marblehead development in San Clemente have hit a snag. The potential buyer is rumored to be Taylor Morrison, an Arizona-based homebuilder. According to the OC Register:

A Builder Magazine article published in January said Lehman got 11 bids, and Bloomberg [...]

Happy Birthday, San Clemente

On February 27, 1928, the City of San Clemente was incorporated. Population: 650.

Highlights from I-5/Avenida Pico Groundbreaking Ceremony

Below is a short video compilation, courtesy of Patch (full article here), showing highlights from yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the I-5/Avenida Pico improvement project.

How Would South Orange County Fare in a Flood?

With all this talk about drought and water shortages, we thought it might be fun to imagine the opposite scenario. What would South Orange County look like following unprecedented rainfall? FEMA uses the concepts of a 100 year flood and a 500 year flood to determine high risk flood zones and establish high water marks. [...]