Building on the success of Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, in 1999 the development arm of Rancho Mission Viejo started construction on a new project. After years of research, and design, the Ladera Ranch development was begun. The plan was to create nine ‘villages’, and at least 10 neighborhoods in each. 4,000 acres were devoted to this master planned community nestled between Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Juan Capistrano.
The focus of this development was to integrate technology, environmental sensitivity, home town design, and ample opportunities for community interation. As a result there are numerous clubhouses, a water park and skate park, 18 neighborhood parks, and multiple pools, green belts, and pocket parks. There is also a central shopping area with numerous restaurants and retail stores. Walking trails wind throughout the community, and the house designs are focused on outdoor living and socialization.
The community has a central communications system with many regular events scheduled. It is governed by a council and derives its services from the County of Orange. It has not been incorporated, although it is considered to be under the sphere of influence for Mission Viejo.. The community schools attain high test scores, and there are a full range of organized sports.