Connecting the Vision

Connecting the Vision

Los Osos Bear Logo in color

Mission Viejo has launched to keep the community informed and up to date on plans to improve connectivity for the residents to the many facilities owned by the City of Mission Viejo.

Mission Viejo is a master-planned community with many recreational and community-based facilities located throughout the City. The City of Mission Viejo incorporated in 1988 and has carefully updated each of these facilities with programs and infrastructure enhancements in order to support a more connected community. In 1997, the City embarked on the initial phase of developing the Oso Creek Trail system. This trail system serves as the backbone of the community and creates the framework to build upon and support a more connected community.

As a master-planned community, Mission Viejo has deep roots in embracing the idea of connecting families and visitors to our many assets residing along the Oso Creek. The initial master plan included Lake Mission Viejo, located in the northern part of Mission Viejo. Over time and during incorporation, additional amenities have been added along the Oso Creek Trail including the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, Potocki Center for the Arts, Oso Creek Golf Course, Marguerite Aquatics Complex, Marguerite Tennis Pavilion, YMCA, Mission Viejo Library, Mission Viejo Civic Center and the Paseo in the Civic Core Area of Mission Viejo.

In 2014, the City launched a year-long Civic Core Area visioning process that included numerous public input meetings.  In March 2017, the community selected the final development of three concepts – “Embracing the Creek” – for the visioning of The Village Center located at Marguerite Parkway and La Paz Road as the preferred concept to implement. Shortly thereafter, the City Council approved the Core Area Vision Plan prepared by SWA.

Group standing around table planning on a map

This “Embracing the Oso Creek” concept was the most conservative of the redevelopment proposals and highlighted the Oso Creek while rotating the focal point of the shopping center to allow patrons to enjoy views of the creek and to gain access to the Oso Creek Trail system. 

In 2019, the City adopted a Comprehensive Bikeway and Transportation Connectivity Master Plan that links community facilities to our City trail system and, ultimately, the larger regional trail system outside our City limits. The adopted bike trail highlights the Oso Creek Trail system as the central spine of Mission Viejo. The plan proposes the trail runs through the Oso Creek Golf Course linking to the Oso Creek Lake Loop north through Marty Russo Park and continuing north to the Aliso Creek Trail at El Toro Road. The Master Plan also identified the potential for a trail connection from the Northern Open Space along the Oso Creek to the Oso Creek Golf Course south, and on to the Core Area Vision Plan area in the Civic Core of the City. Another potential link the plan identifies is south along Olympiad Road through Cordova Park, crossing under Crown Valley Parkway and into the Arroyo Trabuco, ultimately connecting to Avery Parkway and south to San Juan Capistrano.

Family riding bikes across bridge on creek trail

In 2019, the City purchased the Oso Creek Golf Course and open space. This important landscape, nestled in the central part of Mission Viejo, links Lake Mission Viejo and the northern part of Mission Viejo with the Oso Creek Trail and establishes a North Recreational Core along the Oso Creek. This recreational core includes Lake Mission Viejo, Oso Creek Golf Course, YMCA, Marguerite Aquatics Complex and Tennis Pavilion and links these to the Central Recreational Core which includes the Village Green, World Cup Soccer Facility, Potocki Center for the Arts, Noman P. Murray Community and Senior Center and the City Hall and Mission Viejo Library.

The golf course and Northern Open Space were purchased for $13 million in cash. The total purchase included 110 acres (68 acres of golf course and 42 acres of open space running from Casta Del Sol Road to Jeronimo Road).

In October of 2019, Steinmart Corporation shut its doors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the City was approached by the Kinsler Family Trust with an offer to purchase the former Steinmart building. This facility is located within the Civic Core area and is in the heart of the North Paseo in the Village Center.

In September 2021, the City Council approved the purchase of the Steinmart building and  begin working on the details of the Core Area Vision Plan.

The purchase and sales agreement were processed and finalized in December 2021. The City paid $11.9 million to the Kinsler Family Trust. The purchase included the entire Steinmart parcel, including the building, parking lot and landscape areas behind the building. The current owner retained the building that houses the four inline stores to the north of the former Steinmart building

Construction site of water district adjacent to the creek

In October of 2021, the Santa Margarita Water District began the demolition of the original Oso Water Treatment and Reclamation Plant.  This reconstructed facility is an integral part and will create additional space for the Core Vision.

In Spring of 2022 the City presented the site analysis and field reconnaissance to the commission and City Council. The final direction was as follows

  1. Close off circulation in front of the MART building so the Paseo was more pedestrian oriented
  2. Allow the Pedestrian zone thru the MART building to align with the southern portion of the building
  3. Allow vehicular circulation to continue to flow behind the buildings in the Urban Alley

March 14, 2023 the City Council approved the cost sharing agreement with Santa Margarita Water District and the City of Mission Viejo. The collaborative effort is a $58 million-dollar project to rebuild the Oso Creek Water Reclamation Plant at the current site located next to Bravo Burger on La Paz Road. The former treatment plant is one of the original reclamation plants in Orange County. Increased efficiency and increased capacity were the 2 key factors in the Santa Margarita Water District moving forward with this project.

Previously the City of Mission Viejo had shared the space and used it for the City Corp Yard. This location is the hub of the logistical services provided to the residence of Mission Viejo. The central location and ample space were critical components to redesigning the space. The City staff and the Water District Staff worked for over 18 months on a collaborative plan and cost sharing agreement. The City will share the cost of the storage/office building ($4 million cash) and the site infrastructure to support the building( $8 million in bond sales) for a total City cost of $12 million dollars.

The City will gain access rights to a recreational corridor along the eastern bank of the Oso Creek for future recreational amenities to include an expanded Oso Creek Trail, 40 Parking Stalls and space for a future glass event barn located at the end of the North Paseo Bridge across for the Los Osos Civic Core project.

In Spring of 2023 Mission Viejo presents LOS OSOS the conceptual development of the Core Area Vision Plan.  The Los Osos Plan includes the following areas:

 North Paseo

  • The North Paseo is the recreational corridor that runs east /west thru the Core Area and is a Class 1 bike way and connecting pedestrian link to the Oso Creek trail

Entertainment Plaza

  • The entertainment plaza is 17,470 square feet of retail and curated food uses surrounding the plaza and includes multi- level dining and retail options to take advantage of the views

Urban Alley

  • The Urban Alley is the North/South Link that creates a unique functioning alley with vehicle/pedestrian use, places for weekend “MARKETS”, food kiosks, community event space, outdoor recreational games, climbing sculpture and a viewing terrace

Lower Creekside Plaza

  • This Creekside restaurant venue is a one of a kind experience in Orange County with Creekside dinning with firepits and a greenhouse structure on the banks of the creek

Lower Creekside Entertainment Plaza

  • This kid friendly zone includes a climbing wall, access to the climbing sculpture and fun and a unique space for families to enjoy the views of the Oso Creek Valley

North Paseo Bridge

  • The North Paseo bridge spans over the Oso Creek and connects the Special Event Barn and Event Plaza. The Bridge is a Class 1 trail link and a viewing park suspended over the creek to enjoy the views of the Oso Creek Valley

The Special Event Barn

  • The Special Event space is a glass barn located on the east side of the creek. The facility is used for special events supported by Los Osos. The facility is a joint use facility with the Santa Margarita Water District and can be used for educational and cultural exhibits.

Marguerite Parkway Overlook

  • This overlook, is located along Marguerite Parkway across from St Kilian Church and will be a great viewing and resting spot for patrons who walk the trail.

Visit the GO FORWARD Plan for phase 1 construction.