Ladera Ranch

A scenic, view-oriented, environmentally responsible community that strikes a careful balance between preserving natural resources and providing much-needed housing, Ladera Ranch, which was begun in 1998 and substantially completed in 2006, is a 4,000-acre (1,619 ha) master-planned community carved out of southern California’s vast Rancho Mission Viejo. More than 1,600 acres (648 ha) of sensitive habitat are being preserved as open space under a perpetual land trust, leaving about 2,400 acres (971 ha) to be developed with 8,100 homes and 1 million square feet (92,900 m2) of commercial space in six villages and three multiuse districts, with a relatively high average density—for production housing on a greenfield site—of 7.1 units per acre (17.5/ha). A central biofiltration system collects and naturally treats low-flow stormwater runoff, while a centralized computer system tightly controls irrigation, reducing water use. The community’s final two villages, Terramor and Covenant Hills, have incorporated a wide range of pioneering green building techniques, making Ladera Ranch one of the largest concentrations of green -designed and -constructed homes in the United States and the nation’s largest solar community.

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