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



Big Issues on the San Juan City Council Agenda Tonight

There is an important City Council meeting scheduled for tonight in San Juan Capistrano. On the agenda are several items that are generating a lot of resident input and opinion.

First, on the agenda is a two year renewal of the management agreement between the City of San Juan Capistrano and Blenheim Facility Management, LLC [...]

Video: San Juan Capistrano and Caspers Wilderness Park

Although this is an older video, it takes a very artistic view at downtown San Juan Capistrano, including the Mission, and nearby Caspers Wilderness Park:

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 [...]

KPCC Story on San Juan Water Rate Litigation

Radio station KPCC recently did a story on San Juan Capistrano’s water rate litigation.

The city of San Juan Capistrano, which helped pioneer conservation-minded water rates in Southern California, is now the site of a dispute around whether those rates are permissible. Residents have challenged the city’s “tiered pricing” system in a lawsuit that’s being [...]

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 [...]

OCTA Hosts Cycling Roundtable Discussion Tonight

Tonight the Orange County Transportation Authority joins with the City of San Juan Capistrano and other local cities and agencies to host a roundtable discussion about cycling in Orange County. The public is invited and public input is encouraged. In particular, the meeting will discuss how to increase cyclist safety and improve regional bikeways. The [...]

Three Movie Nights in September at the RMV Riding Park

As summer comes to an end, families can still enjoy the popular Movies in the Park series at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Below is the schedule for September’s three movies, courtesy of the City of San Juan Capistrano:

Enjoy the next showing of “Movies in the Park” starting on Saturday, September 13th at [...]

Local Golf Club at Center of New Water Rights Litigation

Water is a critical issue in Southern California, particularly during this historic drought. We’ve talked a lot about water on this blog, including recent articles about the Santa Margarita Water District’s mandatory water conservation policies and the Capistrano Taxpayers Association water rate litigation. We’ve received word that there is yet another legal battle over water [...]

Car Wash to Benefit San Juan Adopted Marines

Courtesy of the City of San Juan Capistrano:

Don’t Miss the Marine Car Wash Saturday, Sept. 6

The City of San Juan Capistrano will host a car wash on Saturday, September 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot at the corner of Ortega Highway and El Camino Real near the Camino [...]

OC Weekly Honors Two South County Coffee Roasters Among OC’s Best

Don Juan Ortega is a bit of a coffee nerd and has tried nearly every coffee house in Orange County at some point. The OC Weekly published its list of the top 5 coffee roasters in Orange County and Don Juan extends a hearty caffeine-infused congratulations to one his favorites — Hidden House Coffee Roasters [...]