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Commission denies zoning change for proposed Gardens development


The Planning and Transportation Commission on Monday voted unanimously to deny ValueRock Realty’s zone change request for the Gardens property at the corner of La Paz and Marguerite.

Commissioners essentially said the proposed change to the City’s zoning code does not fit the overall character of this City.

“We are all here to keep Mission Viejo great,” said Chairman Joe Blum.

Vice Chairman Andrew Quinio echoed those sentiments.

“We are and should be recognizably Mission Viejo,” he said

The Planning and Transportation Commission’s denial came after the City Council in March voted to speed up the zoning aspect of the proposed development through the public hearing process.  

The City Council will now formally consider the Planning and Transportation Commission’s recommendations during its May 10 meeting. That meeting will begin at 6 pm in the Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center. City Council meetings are streamed live on the City’s website and air on Cox Channel 30 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the City’s eNewsletter and follow the City’s official social media sites for the most accurate, up-to-date information. 


Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Tue, 04/12/2022 - 11:39 am


My concern is how or if this zoning change denial for a high-density mixed-use zoning request is somewhat depended upon or tied to the passage of a Specific Plan.

Consequently, the public needs to remain vigilant to ensure that the zoning at this ValueRock property remains office professional and office professional only.

The good news is that this is an election year, so undoubtedly, the Council will support the Planning and Transportation's recommendation to maintain the property zoning as Office Professional.

But be aware that the City will be moving ahead with its 2015 agenda to create a Specific Plan for the Civic Core Vision Area which reaches between Oso and La Paz and beyond.

What is a Specific Plan? Here is a link from the Governor's Office - The Planner's Guide to Specific Plans:

It is important for the public to remain engaged and to demand transparency.

If the public does not remain engaged, instead of a BIG MONSTER apartment complex on the corner of La Paz and Marguerite, there could be a LITTLE MONSTER apartment complex, but a MONSTER all the same, if not here at this corner but somewhere else.

Submitted by Private on Wed, 04/13/2022 - 8:44 pm


What about all the new high density places being put in off El Toro by Saddleback Church? Or the ones off Los Alisos & toll roads? Tons of places are being built with no plans for the increased traffic?? Shopping plazas in area are already jammed packed. Hope MV doesn’t keep changing in this direction.

Submitted by Angela A Satterlee on Thu, 04/14/2022 - 8:05 pm


I'm so glad the commission did not approve the change for the Garden Center. That is one of the busiest intersections in the city. La Paz often has cars backed up from the freeway entrance to over the hill. I live in the Deane Homes and sometimes have to wait through three light rotations before La Paz is clear enough to pull onto it. Nobody wants four-story buildings in Mission Viejo. All of the green spaces and low rises keep our community beautiful and uncrowded.

Submitted by Kevin Messenger on Fri, 04/15/2022 - 8:22 pm


This is a terrible decision by the board. The marguerite intersection can easily handle more traffic and needs to. If we want to create more liveable city we need to build as much stores and apartments as soon as possible to keep rent prices down for the working poor. I’ve lived here my whole life and I want very inexpensive rent here, not in Santa Ana, so please approve that companies wonderful idea!

Submitted by John Rapp on Tue, 04/19/2022 - 11:59 am


Outstanding decision by the Planning and Transportation Commission. Our family specifically chose Mission Viejo to relocate to 20+ years ago due to raise our sons in a great, family, safe community that does not possess six story high rise residential structures. I was raised in Northern Cal and just spent this past week there, witnessing the travesty and greed of developers just stacking people on top of people, with tremendous, additional congestion on the roadways and no where for people to park. It is so absolutely refreshing for us to return to Our Home in Mission Viejo. PS we do not need more retail, as we have plenty of grocery retail along Marguerite, at La Paz (Ralphs) and Oso (Pavilions), while Value Rock owns the property a mile away at La Paz and Interstate 5, a former Albertsons, that failed (now a Floor and Decor). Thank You P & T Commission for representing the interests of the majority of Mission Viejo residents.

Submitted by Jan DiPasquale on Wed, 04/20/2022 - 1:37 pm


Very excited about the decision. Update the buildings on that corner & make it more attractive so residence will shop in that area but to add more traffic would not have been a positive point in our city. Thank you for not moving forward on what could of been a disaster.

Submitted by Ruth Quinnan on Fri, 04/22/2022 - 2:52 pm


Very pleased with and appreciative of the committee's decision. I hope the City Council respects it and acts in accord with the recommendations.

Submitted by Rolland Graham on Sun, 04/24/2022 - 8:28 am


The Planning and Transportation Commission's rejection of the proposed zoning change which would allow high density multi-story development to proceed at Marguerite/La Paz recognizes, correctly, that this type of development is does not reflect the "character" of the city. Currently there are no similar high-rise buildings on either La Paz nor Marguerite north of Crown Valley.
Of serious concern is the impact on traffic flow by a high-density housing/shopping complex at the Marguerite/La Paz intersection. La Paz between Marguerite and I-5 is already seriously congested. Access to the proposed Gardens complex from eastbound La Paz would require a left turn across the westbound lanes. Egress from the Gardens complex for those traveling north on Marguerite, also would require a left turn across the southbound lanes on Marguerite. Adding signals to protect the left turns would back up traffic into the Marguerite/La Paz intersection.

The land owner's right to develop his property must, of necessity, be subordinate to the needs of the community at large. The Gardens proposal, as initially presented, MUST be rejected.

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