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Pandemic concerns prompt change of Garden Plaza proposed Project Public Scoping Meeting to virtual


Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and concerns raised by several residents interested in the project, the proposed Garden Plaza project Public Scoping Meeting on Monday, January 24 will now take place virtually via Zoom

The City is encouraging residents to participate in the environmental scoping meeting hosted by private property owner ValueRock Realty regarding its proposed project on the northwest side of Marguerite Parkway and La Paz.   

No decisions will be made at this meeting, and no public hearings have been scheduled yet for the project. The property owner has a right to submit an application and receive a fair hearing. City staff expects to schedule such hearings in the coming months and will notify the public with abundant time to participate.

As the City reported, during the January 24 meeting, the developer will present the proposed project, describe the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process, and receive public comments regarding the scope of the EIR. To watch, listen and comment, click here. Public input is essential to the process. 

In addition, in contrast to misinformation circulating via social media, be aware that any potential change of zoning associated with the developer’s proposal would apply only to this site and would not be applicable to other sites in the City.

To receive updates about this project, sign up for the City’s eNewsletter and select The Gardens Mixed-use Project Application Newsletter. 

For more information about the proposed project, review process, environmental documentation, or environmental scoping meeting, contact the Community Development Department at 949-470-3053. Email comments to cd@cityofmissionviejo.org


Submitted by CJ Rapp on Thu, 01/20/2022 - 7:06 pm


You should postpone this meeting until it can be held publicly. We have a right to attend and participate in person. Online meetings do not allow citizens the right to participate in public discourse. Many people do not know how to connect or have difficulty with web access. I strongly suggest you reschedule this meeting.

Submitted by Shirley Parmeter on Fri, 01/21/2022 - 9:55 am


You can say it however you choose but this proposed zoning change is a foot in the door for other projects in the city by serving as a precedent .

Submitted by Yin Lu on Sat, 01/22/2022 - 6:58 pm


How come we cannot see all the comments, only the last two?

Please let the people see what they said about this.



Submitted by Kathleen Metchikoff on Sun, 01/23/2022 - 2:12 pm


Where was the open meeting for Steinmart? Is this a trend that the City Council is starting? We need in-person representation for our voices to be heard. Too many changes are being made without residents given an fair opportunity to comment. They need to remember, changes are also made at election time. With La Paz traffic already bad, they want to increase it. More signals will be added. Not only the eyesore of a high-density behemoth that does not fit in our City. Find another location.

Submitted by Peggy Chamberlain on Sun, 01/23/2022 - 7:52 pm


Any one who is afraid of Covid can stay home... for the rest of us we must be allowed to attend these meetings. This project will impact so many of us, we would like to be heard. Mission Viejo is a beautifully planned community let's not ruin that plan.

Submitted by Merit on Sun, 01/23/2022 - 9:55 pm


A master plan is put in place for good reasons. One is to assure there’s protection for residents when a shortsighted council and city management team are in place that want to make changes to further their own agendas rather than carry out the vision originally sought. Looking forward to assuring the original vision for our city remains in place.

Submitted by Heidi Tully on Sun, 01/23/2022 - 10:07 pm


This proposed project should be opposed by the city for many reasons:

1. It goes against the city’s master plan, violating the building height laws in place.
2. It will open the door for other buildings like it around the city, should the city allow the re-zoning to happen.
3. It will cause even more traffic on already congested La Paz. It already takes 30 minutes during peak times to go one mile with three schools, commuters, and business traffic.
4. It will make it dangerous for students going to and from school, as they will be crossing a major thoroughfare.
5. It will make the heart of our city unrecognizable and lose the small-town feel that has brought many families to this city.
6. It will continue to increase the crime rate. Remember when Mission Viejo was in the top 10 safest cities?
7. It ignores the voice of many Mission Viejo residents (so many that you decided to make this meeting virtual to avoid hearing their voices).
8. It continues to line the pockets of politicians who have their hands in construction and development, rather than do what is best for the community.

I urgently ask you to step up and support our community by opposing this monstrosity.

Submitted by City Staff on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 10:16 am


Thank you for your comments. To provide additional info for several of the questions, this proposed Garden Plaza project Public Scoping Meeting is not a City Council Meeting. As noted in the article, no decisions will be made at this meeting, and no public hearings have yet been scheduled for the project. City staff expects to schedule such hearings in the coming months and will notify the public with abundant time to participate.

All of the comments received to this article are displayed, however more people have recently placed such comments on other News articles about this subject and so they are viewable on those articles.

The purchase of the former-Stein Mart property was approved at a public City Council Meeting in September, and you may watch the video of the discussion through the following link:


Public participation in this process is essential, so we appreciate your participation in this and upcoming meetings.

Submitted by Marylin Treece on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 3:43 pm


I do not want any development at this corner which is particularly busy.. I travel this daily and feel it is a huge inconvenience and a threat to our community. We to stop this now !!!!! Consider the long term residents who moved her because of the safety of our family oriented environment……

Submitted by Joy on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 6:06 pm


I strongly oppose adding the Garden Plaza proposed project by Value Rock Realty.

1. It will greatly increase traffic at an already very busy intersection
2. Added congestion will bring stress and frustration to residents in the area
3. A large, tall apartment complex will ruin the "downtown" area of Mission Viejo and our small town feel
4. A large apartment complex will affect the demographics of Mission Viejo
5. Lots of low income housing negatively affects the education that our children receive
6. This will destroy the small businesses that are currently in this complex

Why not just give a face lift to the current buildings and add some cute shops and restaurants? NO ONE WANTS A BIG APARTMENT COMPLEX THERE!

Submitted by Gregg Hooper on Tue, 01/25/2022 - 2:05 pm


I've been a resident of Mission Viejo since 1967. I've watched and experienced the worsening traffic on La Paz, between Marguerite and I-5 as others have stated. The traffic at the corner of La Paz and Marguerite is already unbearable at commute hours of the day, and nearly as bad during school drop off and pick up hours. The idea of trying to make a right turn onto La Paz from Mosquero during commute hours is a joke because the west bound cars on La Paz block the intersection. Adding additional cars to this intersection and put more cars on La Paz Road from a high density apartment complex in the Garden Plaza is the last thing our city needs. The thought of adding additional lanes to La Paz Rd, between Marguerite and the freeway would be extremely expensive, not to mention difficult to execute. I think our city council needs to put residents quality of life ahead of property tax revenue and vote NO on this project.

Submitted by Mitra Ahrar on Wed, 02/02/2022 - 11:39 am


I strongly oppose the Garden Plaza proposed project by Value Rock Realty.
1) This intersection is already busy & in recent years us local residents have already noticed an increased emergency vehicle traffic through this intersection as it is.
2) increased car & population traffic will bring safety concerns for the residents especially in case of any emergencies
3) the increase in constant traffic by a combination of high density housing with grocery & retail will be very disruptive to the city's quality quaint culture.
4) we want to maintain and protect the look & feel of the Mission Viejo that attracted us to living here & don't need any more traffic for our commutes!
5) Don't want to see a massive building in middle of Mission Viejo along the already busy path of 4 schools.

We welcome renovation of the Plaza & more local businesses & eateries but not High density housing in this corner.

Submitted by Norah Collins Letona on Thu, 02/03/2022 - 12:45 pm


This is completely inappropriate to utilize this space for high density housing. It will cause our property values to decrease and create massive traffic issues. People live here for the high quality of life we experience in Mission Viejo. As homeowners, we pay a lot for our housing, taxes and services. There is nothing for homeowners to gain from this project. I strongly oppose this project.

Submitted by Jeanne Bean on Fri, 02/04/2022 - 6:44 am


We strongly oppose the Garden Plaza project! This project will cause too much congestion and high density living in our city. The location is too close to 4 schools and will cause gridlock on La Paz and Marguerite Pkwy. It will also dramatically change the look and feel of Mission Viejo and the reason most homeowners purchased homes here to begin with!

Submitted by Gidon ApothekerI on Fri, 02/04/2022 - 9:16 pm


I strongly oppose the Project
Using this space for high-density housing will create massive traffic. As homeowners, we pay a lot for our housing, taxes and services. There is nothing for homeowners to gain from this project. I strongly oppose this project.

Submitted by Calle Ana Maria on Sat, 02/05/2022 - 9:14 am


I don’t want any development in that area
You should pospone the meeting until this surge is over
This is not something that you should do by ZOOM

Submitted by David Evergettis on Sat, 02/05/2022 - 4:56 pm


I strongly oppose this project. Added vehicle congestion will be disastrous and it is too close to local schools. As a twenty plus year resident of Mission Viejo I believe this project will negatively affect my (and others’) property values and change the look and feel of our beautiful community for the worse. Do not let this happen!!!

Submitted by Dorothy Missett on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 2:32 pm


I strongly oppose the construction at laPaz as a retail - Garden Plaza.
We need more stores and shops like we needed the increase of our gas bills. I know you, the committee , want more and more tax revenue, but frankly, I’m not happy with the Orange County Planning committee members. Could we not find a better prospect for that property? Let’s try.

Submitted by Kirstin Stemen on Fri, 02/11/2022 - 2:57 pm


Can’t say NO enough! This proposal is BAD for Mission Viejo, period!! The ONLY ones who will benefit from this proposal is Value Rock Realty-NOT the residents of this city. VOTE NO!!

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