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Ladera Ranch

Ladera Ranch is a master-planned development in unincorporated south Orange County, with a current population of some 26,000 people. Orange County is unlike most other California counties in that it has allowed new cities to be formed as part of the development process. Since the county's bankruptcy in 1994, three new cities incorporated - all in the rapidly growing southern part of the county: Laguna Woods (incorporated 1999, now pop. 17,000), Rancho Santa Margarita (incorporated 2000, now pop. 47,000), and Aliso Viejo (incorporated 2001, now pop. 47,000). After construction began in 1999, Ladera Ranch appeared to be next on the list. By now, it is a well-established community with an active civic fabric. Yet it remains unincorporated.

May contain: neighborhood, suburb, architecture, building, housing, outdoors, house, and roof
Fly over southern Orange County and you can see fully-developed canyon after fully-developed canyon. Though alike in so many ways, only some of  those developed areas have self-government.  Ladera Ranch - shown here - is an unincorporated community that hopes to gain local control someday.

The Ladera Ranch Civic Council was formed as a private non-profit organization in 2009 as an result of a land use controversy. The Council now advises the county Board of Supervisors as to matters of governance, planning and land use, public safety, public works and other aspects of community concern. Ladera Ranch also has a Chamber of Commerce, an areawide property owners association and an organization equivalent to a city community services department. So it is something of a city-that-isn't-a-city (yet).

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