Rancho Mission Viejo's guiding principle on responsible planning originates from the wisdom of Marguerite ''Daisy'' O'Neill of the O'Neill/Moiso/Avery Family, ''Take care of the land and the land will take care of you." Over the past 50 years, this credo has helped produce some of Southern California's most recognized, timeless and loved communities.
In 1964 the County approved the Mission Viejo Community Plan which included approximately 10,000 acres and 30,200 dwelling units. In 1988 Mission Viejo become the County's 27th city and now has a population of approximately 95,000.
In 1986 The Ranch family joined with Orange County to begin planning of Rancho Santa Margarita which comprised approximately 4,000 acres and 16,600 dwelling units. In 2000 Rancho Santa Margarita became the County's 33rd city and now has a population of approximately 48,000.
In 1992 Orange County approved the Las Flores plan which was made up of approximately 1,000 acres and 1,900 dwelling units as well as 690 acres of natural open space. Las Flores now has a population of approximately 5,800.
In 1997 the Ladera Ranch plan was approved by Orange County and included approximately 2,400 acres and 8,100 dwelling units. Ladera Ranch now has a population of approximately 27,000 and was named the Urban Land Institute's 2006 "Excellence in Design - The Americas."
The process to develop on Rancho Mission Viejo is managed by "The Ranch Plan," an innovative land use process which was unanimously approved by the County of Orange Board of Supervisors in November 2004. Encompassing nearly 23,000 acres, Rancho Mission Viejo (The Ranch) includes approximately 17,000 acres of permanent open space managed as The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo and multiple villages which could consist of up to 14,000 homes and a vast array of amenities and community services.
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