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Council denies developer’s zoning request for proposed Gardens project

council chamber

The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to deny ValueRock Realty’s zone change request for the Gardens property on the northwest side of Marguerite Parkway and La Paz.  

With the Council’s action, Mayor Wendy Bucknum said the project is “dead on arrival and not permitted to move forward.”

“We know what a great place Mission Viejo is to live, work, and raise our kids, and it is our job to ensure to the best of our ability that it stays that way,” Mayor Bucknum said.

Council Members agreed with the recommendations of the Planning and Transportation Commission, which considered the zone change request last month after the City Council in March voted to speed up the zoning aspect of the proposed mixed-use development through the public hearing process.  

The City Council regularly meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.  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 Janet Hague on Thu, 05/12/2022 - 6:13 pm


Thank goodness you denied the zoning change. That was going to be a traffic mess. Keep Mission Viejo nice and in keeping with what we enjoy.

Submitted by Edith Schmitt on Thu, 05/12/2022 - 8:09 pm


Thank you so much for caring about our beautiful community. This project would have been so opposite what Mission Viejo represents. We ha been residents since 1974 and love everything the city stands for.

Submitted by Jean S. Dineen on Fri, 05/13/2022 - 12:29 am


Thank you for denying the zone change request. This would have been a terrible blow to the quality of our city.

Submitted by Gloria Casabona on Fri, 05/13/2022 - 1:20 pm


Thank You Thank you for denying what would have been a horrific mess to this beautiful
community. We thank you for listening to us the residents and tax paying voters keep up the good work!

Submitted by Kristin Anetsberger on Fri, 05/13/2022 - 2:59 pm


Thank goodness this city has more sense than our neighboring cities; Laguna Niguel is a perfect example. The Laguna Niguel apartments at Cabot, Crown Valley and I-5 are awful and a traffic nightmare. The city of Laguna Niguel clearly has no regard to their residents or neighboring cities - it's shameful and utterly disrespectful to those of us who live in south Mission Viejo.

Submitted by Hugh Armstrong on Fri, 05/13/2022 - 6:07 pm


Great decision. This project is definitely not needed and would have vastly increased traffic at an already very busy corner.

Submitted by Mark Calkins on Sat, 05/14/2022 - 8:56 am


Great job, thank you.
On the comment left about the lake, it’s beautiful and would be great if you could improve the water quality. It’s very sad that the fishing is gone and a bit concerning. The fact we can swim in the lake but it can’t support fish to survive seems wrong. Don’t allow our lake to become like Lake Forest. Keep our city safe and clean.
Thank you for you work
Mark Calkins

Submitted by Robert and Pat… on Sat, 05/14/2022 - 9:38 am


Mayor Bucknum:

Thank you and the council for voting against the zone changes that would allow the monstrosity that ValueRock was proposing!

We have lived in Mission Viejo for 53 years. It is a wonderful City with a small town atmosphere. It would be a crime to change the zoning to allow "Monsters" big or small.

Thank you again for putting the welfare of the City and it's people first!!

Submitted by Lance Michaelson on Sun, 05/15/2022 - 11:19 am


Thank You for protecting our way of life in Mission Viejo. La Paz and Marguerite don’t need more traffic volume for sure and we don’t need more homes.

Submitted by Lou Aranda on Mon, 05/16/2022 - 1:53 pm


Thank you to the MV City Council for protecting the Mission Viejo way of life as it was originally intended.

Submitted by Ms. K on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 6:38 am


I have been to the same exact type of building downtown Los Angeles many times with a Whole Foods beneath housing. I have also seen news that a homeless man unprovoked beat a senior man in front of the WF and the WF security stopped the beating on a Saturday over 6 years ago. The senior died in the hospital 2 days later. If you really want to know what this zoning is like, go talk to the security guards downtown and they will tell you.

Submitted by Meredith McCann on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 2:25 pm


When I drive down Marguerite, I am disgusted by all the vacant buildings and the wasted potential of the area. Okay, so there won’t be a “monster in the Mission.” Is there EVER going to be progress on fixing the blighted areas along Marguerite? Whatever happened to the Core Area Vision Plan that was going to create a “walkable village” where the Steinmart used to be? Why can’t we have a nice little downtown instead of a bunch of empty and under-used buildings?

All of these other comments mention the “beauty” of Mission Viejo. Where is the beauty and character in a decaying 70s strip mall, whose surface is mostly parking lot? There sure is plenty of charm

Submitted by Meredith McCann on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 8:26 pm


Oops, I posted my last comment before I was done editing it.

In short, it is a shame that Mission Viejo has no real downtown and that all efforts to refurbish the shopping centers on Marguerite seem to get shot down.

I support the Core Area Vision Plan, and I hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as the Garden Plaza Project. Mission Viejo deserves better.

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