The Closing Of The Orange County Frontier

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved on Nov. 8 the Rancho Mission Viejo project, paving the way for at least 14,000 new homes and hundreds of acres of commercial development in South County between Mission Viejo, Camp Pendleton and the Cleveland National Forest. The Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Friends of the Foothills, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are protesting, in part because the project violates the State of California Natural Community Conservation Plan, which the county and the Rancho Mission Viejo Co. and other developers signed in 1993. “We've been working on this since 1993, so you can understand how disappointed we are,” said Dan Silver, executive director of the Santa Monica-based Endangered Habitats League. “This is a complete breach of faith. The county has absolutely failed to deliver on its promises. We had plenty of time to find a good solution here. But at the end of the day, the opportunity was missed, and the end result will be tragic for Orange County.”

Photo by Tenaya Hills

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