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December 2018
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In this Issue:

City Manager's Message
New Year's Eve "Celebrating Family & Friends"
Chanukah Celebration
ZeroTrash RSM
Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic
Crime Prevention 
Senior Activities
Recreation Highlights
Economic Development
Donations for Homebound Seniors Sought

Military Support Opportunities

RSM Chamber of Commerce
RSM Cares Food Pantry

City Manager's Message

As the year comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers, organizations, businesses, and individuals that work together to make our community a wonderful place to live, work, shop, and play. During this holiday season, I hope you will take time to enjoy family and friends, and I invite you to join us for our 18th annual Celebrating Family & Friends New Year’s Eve event. This beloved community tradition takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. and is a treat for all ages. 


Jennifer Cervantez

Celebrating Family and Friends Logo

New Year's Eve Celebrating Family & Friends

Monday, December 31st
5 - 9:00 p.m.
Rancho Santa Margarita Civic Plaza
22232 El Paseo

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita is proud to present our 18th annual New Year’s Eve Celebrating Family and Friends event! This festive evening of celebration provides a safe and fun opportunity for the community to gather in celebration of the New Year in an alcohol-free setting. The children's art contest, generously sponsored by Applied Medical, is the centerpiece of the evening and has become a beloved community tradition. Art contest entries are displayed throughout the halls of the Bell Tower Regional Community Center as part of the celebration.

We hope to see you there! For more information, call Community Services at (949) 216-9700.

ZeroTrash volunteers

ZeroTrash RSM

Saturday, December 1st

ZeroTrash Rancho Santa Margarita is a volunteer group that meets on the "Zero T First Saturday" of each month to rally together to rid the community of litter. All are welcome; parents, children, students, friends, neighbors  – anyone interested in keeping RSM clean! 

Volunteers meet in front of Cinepolis/ Panera at 10:00 a.m. and fan out from there. ZeroTrash provides the pickers and bags; volunteers are asked to closely supervise young children at all times, stay on trails and to keep a look out for snakes!  Return pickers and trash at noon behind the Bell Tower Community Center and obtain sign-offs for certification of community service hours or badge requirements.

Follow ZeroTrash RSM on Facebook for more information.


11th Annual Community Chanukah Celebration

Monday, December 3rd
6:00 pm
Mercado Del Lago Plaza

The Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Margarita invites the community to attend a celebration on the second night of Chanukah at the Plaza Mercado Del Lago, 31541 S. Margarita Pkwy.(Courtyard overlooking lake at shopping center on corner of Antonio and Santa Margarita Parkway) This community event is open to the public and all faiths and ages are welcome!

Enjoy live music by Jazz Musicians Kenny & Co., children’s activities, hot latkes, meet city dignitaries and observe the public Menorah Lighting Ceremony. 

For more information on this event or the December 7th Community Shabbat-Chanukah dinner, visit www.jewishrsm.com, call (949) 264-6930 or email info@jewishrsm.com. 

Chanukah Celebration flyer
Dog and cat wearing Santa hats

Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic

Wednesday, December 5th
Bell Tower Regional Community Center
22232 El Paseo

6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Cats only)
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (Dogs & Cats)

INFO: (714) 993-9193


On the first Wednesday of each month, Healthcare & Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) provides vaccinations, de-worming, microchipping, flea and tick control and, if time allows, nail trims for dogs and cats at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center. Please visit their website or click here to view a detailed flyer for more information. Cash or credit card ($3 additional processing fee per pet) only; checks are not accepted. Those who have a cat or have pre-paid for vaccines do not need to wait in line and may proceed directly to the cashier table. All others will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis (with the exception of those who are physically unable to stand in line).

Vaccines for dogs include:
Rabies - $7.00
DHP/DHPP - $20.00
Bordetella - $15.00
Lyme - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet
Vaccines for cats include:
Rabies - (killed virus) Purevax - $20.00 (1 yr) $48.00 (3 yr)
FVRCP "3-in-1" - $20.00
FELV - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet

Important Rabies Information
Please bring a prior Rabies Certificate and other vaccination records with you. A 3-year Rabies Certificate can only be issued if you provide a prior Rabies Certificate. Otherwise, you will receive a 1-year Rabies Certificate.

"HEART" (aka "SCVVC") is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving lives and improving pet and wild animal health, safety, and welfare.
Prices are subject to change; clinic will cancel in the event of rain.


Crime Prevention

Holiday Season Safety

Holiday Tips from Rancho Santa Margarita police services:

* Lock your vehicle(s) & remove ALL valuables

* Lock your residence & update your alarm contact information

* Do not post/check-in on social media sharing you are not home

* Suspend mail/package deliveries

Follow Rancho Santa Margarita Police Services on social media for the latest in crime prevention and safety news. Register with AlertOC to receive emergency notifications and alerts.

Twitter - @OCSDRanchoSM

Facebook - @OCSDRanchoSM

Instagram - ocsdranchosm


Orange County Sheriff’s Department Non-Emergency (949) 770-6011
Emergency 911

Age Well Senior Services banner

Senior Activities at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center

The mission of Age Well Senior Services is to promote and improve the quality of life and independence of the senior community.


Visit the Senior Activities webpage for more information, follow Age Well RSM on Facebook or call (949) 709-7592.

December Special Events

  Christmas Lunch                  Poinsettia Lunch               Hanukkah Lunch

December snowman graphic

December Recreation Highlights

Gymnastics/Tiny Twisters
$90/ 6 classes
$75/ 5 classes
Shake-tumble in roll with upbeat music and friends. Tumblers will learn to roll the “big cheese”, balance on beams, crawl through tunnels, jump on trampolines and learn gymnastic positions. Ages 1-2 yrs. What to bring: $5 cash & materials fee.

Instructor: Tumble-N-kids     410248-01         W      Jan 16 - Feb 20     10 - 10:45 am

Tunes & Tales
$55/ 5 Classes
Let’s wiggle!  Sing-a-longs and finger play start off this fun-filled class, followed by musical activities using bean bags, rhythm sticks and instruments. Tunes & Tales is a music and movement class for ages 2-4 yrs. Parent participation required.

Instructor:  Vivian Stapleton   410913-01       W        Jan 9 - Feb 6        9:45 - 10:40 am     

American Doll Fashions
$148/ 4 classes
Design and create your very own doll fashions. Students will learn to follow a pattern while mastering basic sewing skills and will work on and complete an outfit for an 18” doll (includes American Girl Dolls) Girls are encouraged to bring their own dolls to class for fittings. No experience necessary.  Sewing machines notions, fabric will be provided. Ages 7.5-14 yrs.$35 cash materials fee due the first day of class.

Instructor:  Linda Rush     420506-01      Th        Jan 10 -  Jan 31        3:30 - 6:00 pm

Click here to access the City's online registration system.

Shop and dine local

Economic Development

More Great Reasons to Shop and Dine in RSM!

Driving around town, you may notice that some shopping centers have more vacancies than others, but the retail centers also boast many tenants which have been thriving in their current locations for many years.  According to Costar, a leading national real estate analytics firm, the City has approximately 1.6 million square feet of retail space.  RSM has historically enjoyed low retail vacancy rates of less than 5% since 2016. Currently, approximately 55,800 square feet, or 3.6%, of retail spaces are vacant.  Individual center vacancy rates range from 0 to 12%.   If you ever want to review available retail space in the City, our website offers a free tool to research available properties. We provide this feature at no cost  to assist businesses in locating available space within the City.
It is also interesting to note that over 50% of the retail vacancies throughout the City are in suites less than 2000 square feet.  Larger vacant spaces, such as the former Aaron Brothers location, come along every few years and allow us to attract new larger retailers to fill any gaps we are currently experiencing.  In comparison to other areas, the City has been fortunate to retain its big box retailers and to not experience long term vacancies in the larger spaces.  As always, residents can support local businesses and help vacancy rates by shopping and dining locally.  Shopping and dining at small local businesses and chain stores alike provides for local economic growth.

For more information, contact the Development Services Department at (949) 635-1800.

Be a Santa to a Senior graphic

Help Brighten the Holidays for a Homebound Senior

The holiday season can be difficult for the homebound seniors in our community.  Age Well Senior Services' "Be a Santa to a Senior" has some ideas for you to help brighten the day of a Meals on Wheels client. Suggested donations include non-slip socks and slippers, throws/blankets, puzzles and word search books, one-size fits all robes, gift cards, flameless candles, ground coffee, tea bags, toiletries, and towel sets. Donations may be dropped off at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center through December 12th and will be delivered by Meals on Wheels Volunteers just in time for Christmas!

Visit the Bell Tower Regional Community Center or call (949) 709-7592 for more information. 

Senior Donation ornament
Age Well Christmas Tree
Senior donation ornament
Military Family support

Military Support

The Rotary Club of Rancho Santa Margarita/Coto de Caza supports numerous projects in and around the City, greatly enhancing the quality of life in and around RSM - including a recent donation of $5,000 to support the City's  Adopted 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. This donation will be used to offset costs for Marines who might otherwise be unable to attend the upcoming annual Marine Corps Ball.

It is through generous donations like these that we as a community demonstrate our patriotism and generosity. For those interested, the Rotary Club is seeking donations for the Families Left Behind U.S. Marines Relief Fundraiser which will assist the Rotarians to provide fully cooked hams and commissary gift certificates for Camp Pendleton based Marines. Donations may be sent to the Rotary Foundation of Coto de Caza/Rancho Santa Margarita del Sol at P.O. Box 81072 RSM, CA 92688 or online at CotoRSMRotary.org.


Team 2/5 Donation Tree

Donate to Team 2/5 

We're collecting donations for the City's adopted Marine Battalion this holiday season. They've just returned from deployment and could use some extra cheer! 

Team 2/5 Donation Cards

Please join the City of Rancho Santa Margarita in assisting the City’s adopted 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and their families this holiday season.  Gift cards for our Marines and Sailors to use for gas, grocery purchases, clothing, and household items are most appreciated and assist in brightening the holidays – and allows families to shop for themselves and find the perfect gift.

Visit the Bell Tower Regional Community Center Team 2/5 Christmas Tree. Choose a soldier, Tape the soldier to the gift card, drop off the gift to friendly Bell Tower Front Desk staff, and please request a donation receipt. Donations can be dropped off at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center through Friday, December 21, 2018.

For more information contact Wendi Redington at (949) 216-9700 or email  wredington@cityofrsm.org.

Santa with soldier and child
RSM Chamber logo

RSM Chamber of Commerce

Holiday Party and Membership Promotion

The RSM Chamber invites the community to their second annual Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 4th. Join or renew your membership for only $99 now through December 31st - the fee will increase to $135 on January 1st. The Holiday Party is a perfect time to join, connect, and grow!

RSM Cares logo

RSM Food Pantry

Tuesday, December 4th
Thursday, December 20th

The RSM Food Pantry is every first Tuesday and third Thursday of the month from 2 to 5:00 p.m. There are no minimum or financial qualifications required. Come by and get a box for your family, or for a neighbor in need. 

The RSM Food Pantry is located in the parking lot behind The Bridge Church at 30162 Tomas, in Rancho Santa Margarita. Contact RSM Cares for information on volunteer and donation opportunities. The pantry is registered with 211OC.

RSM New Year's Eve poster

Rancho Santa Margarita

City Council

Michael Vaughn, Mayor

Jerry Holloway, Mayor Pro Tempore
L. Anthony Beall, Council Member
Carol Gamble, Council Member

Brad McGirr, Council Member

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