Developers of Rancho Mission Viejo announced this week that they cannot support any of the Transportation Corridor Agency’s current visions for extending the 241 Toll Road to I-5.
The ranch issued a statement Wednesday, May 17 in response to a mobility study that the TCA is undertaking to analyze 18 ideas for improving transportation in south Orange County.
Among those ideas are I-5 widenings, more railway capacity, new or expanded arterial roads and four potential routes for extending the 241 Toll Road from its present terminus at Oso Parkway to connect with the freeway.
Two of the toll routes envisioned would cut through San Clemente, one through San Juan Capistrano and one would cut between Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo to merge with I-5 and the 73 Toll Road near Mission Viejo’s border with San Juan.
“Regrettably, there appears to be no viable option which doesn’t impact Rancho Mission Viejo residents or our South County neighbors,” the ranch’s statement said. “Therefore, we are not in support of the alternatives as currently proposed.”
The ranch is developing 14,000 homes on nearly 23,000 acres – 17,000 of those acres to be preserved as open space – east of San Juan Capistrano. As the TCA’s study moves forward, the ranch said it hopes “viable solutions to address increased South County mobility can be generated that do not have an impact on existing communities.”
Jeff Corless, a spokesman for the TCA’s mobility initiative, said in response that “the TCA is pleased to have many stakeholders, including Rancho Mission Viejo, supportive of and participating in the current process to identify meaningful solutions to our region’s worsening traffic problems.”
He said “the TCA has approached pursuing traffic solutions in a very different way by involving the public at the very beginning of the process, and throughout the entire process, to ensure that it is transparent, fair and inclusive. The TCA welcomes the broad participation and diverse opinions in feedback it is receiving, which best enables it to work toward the most optimal solutions that will address South Orange County’s traffic problems.”
The lines on the TCA’s mobility map have generated strident opposition through two online petitions that include comments. Residents of San Clemente are circulating one petition, residents of Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo another.
San Clemente’s City Council has declared fervent opposition to any TCA route through San Clemente, proclaiming that either suggested route would destroy the town. San Juan Capistrano council members recently voiced opposition to any route through San Juan but could not agree on wording for a letter of opposition.
The San Clemente City Council had considered spending $27,000 to hire a firm to draw up visual simulations of how a toll road would carve through San Clemente. The council, after discussion at its meeting Tuesday, May 16 decided it was premature and chose…