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



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 [...]

San Juan Planning Commission Approves “San Juan Hotel & Villas” Project

The OC Register has an article ($) on the San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission’s 3-2 approval of the “other” downtown hotel project: a mixed use development dubbed the “San Juan Hotel & Villas” on a little over 3 acres near the Judge Egan House and the Esslinger Building, and adjacent to Historic Town Center Park. [...]

Planning Commission Delays Vote on Downtown San Juan Hotel Project

The Capistrano Dispatch has an article about the San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission’s decision last week to delay an approval vote on a large development project proposed for downtown San Juan Capistrano adjacent to Historic Town Center Park. The $43 million project would include a 136-room boutique hotel, 33 residential townhomes and 2,700 square feet [...]

Proposed Whispering Hills Apartment Complex Rejected by Planning Commission, City Council Review Next

A while back, we talked about the proposed “Whispering Hills” apartment complex near San Juan Hills High School. That article is here. The proposal contemplates an apartment complex with 100 units, of which 26 units are reserved for low and moderate income tenants. This week, the San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission rejected plans for the [...]

SJC City Council to Consider (More) Alcohol Sales on Los Rios Street

At tonight’s City Council meeting, the San Juan Capistrano City Council will consider a request from the Hummingbird House Cafe to permit alcohol sales at the restaurant. The Patch has an article about Hummingbird House’s appeal here. Alcohol sales are banned within the largely residential, entirely historic Los Rios Specific Plan. Banned, that is, except [...]