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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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OC Board of Supervisors and Rancho Mission Viejo Seem to be Planning for Life Without the 241 Tesoro Extension

It looks as though Orange County and Rancho Mission Viejo are ready to move forward with the alternative road plan, and appear to be concluding that the Tesoro Extension of the 241 will not be built. Back in April, we wrote in this article about how the 241 to the 5 connector was likely dead, [...]

Updating What We Know About Planning Area 2: The Village of Esencia

We have noticed a sudden, recent uptick in the number of internet searches related to Planning Area 2 of the Ranch Plan, what Rancho Mission Viejo has named the Village of Esencia.

We are also learning more about Rancho Mission Viejo’s plans for Planning Area 2 of the Ranch Plan. It is being called “Esencia” [...]

Toll Roads Scrap I-5 Connector; Refocus on Tesoro Extension

The under-resourced and under-staffed Patch is still able to break some local news, such as this story:

Officials overseeing the 241 Toll Road in Orange County said today they have moved to scrap federal environmental reviews of an extension of the major arterial to San Diego County because they have languished for about a decade. [...]

San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano Mayors Talk about the Future of South Orange County

The newly appointed mayors of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano (Tim Brown, Lisa Bartlett and Sam Allevato) sat down with the publishers of the Capistrano Dispatch and its sister publications to talk about the future of South Orange County. You should read the entire article here, but we wanted to highlight some [...]

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 [...]

Are the Toll Roads Headed for Bankruptcy?

Are the Toll Roads headed for bankruptcy? A Bloomberg article, citing a California Treasury commission report, warns that the Transportation Corridor Agency may “eventually” become unable to meet its debt service if it is unable to refinance.

The Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which operates 39 miles (63 kilometers) of toll highways in Orange County, risks [...]

Anti-Development Groups in Orange County Extend Their Winning Streak

Development is taking a beating in Orange County lately. First, the Tesoro Extension of the 241 was denied a permit in San Diego, then the Strand in Dana Point lost to the Coastal Commission. We discussed those setbacks here. Now, a controversial 113 acre development planned for north of Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon has [...]

Transportation Corridor Agency to Appeal San Diego Water Board’s Denial of Proposed 241 Tesoro Extension

At first it looked like the Tesoro Extension of the 241 toll road would begin this summer. Then the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board denied a permit for the 5.5 mile extension of the 241 located entirely within Orange County. We lamented that decision as a failure of local government here. That denial [...]

Does Trouble for the Toll Road Mean Trouble for the Ranch?

With the recent defeat suffered by the 241 and Transportation Corridor Agencies at the hands of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, some are wondering whether there will be an impact on the future development of the Ranch Plan. Does trouble for the toll road mean trouble for the Ranch? The short answer [...]

A Disappointing Week for Local Governance in South Orange County

We wanted to highlight two recent local stories for discussion. First, the 241 Tesoro Extension hit a roadblock when the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board denied its permit application. Here’s how the Patch reported it:

After more than six grueling hours of presentations and testimony Wednesday, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control [...]