Why did the City enter into litigation with the County over this property?
In mid-2002, the City became aware that not all of the properties that should have been transferred from the County upon the City’s incorporation had actually been transferred. While there was agreement as to many of the property interests, the City and County differed in their views as to who should have ownership of 502 acres of Chiquita Ridge that had originally been dedicated to the County – prior to the City’s incorporation – for open space, recreation and transportation purposes.

When the parties were not able to resolve their differences the City filed a lawsuit in 2005, claiming ownership to the entire 502 parcel. While the lawsuit was moving forward, the County, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Santa Margarita Water District and Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC (“RMV”) entered into an Implementation Agreement regarding the Southern Subregion HCP Habitat Reserve. The effect of this was to designate specific natural habitat that would be protected in perpetuity and there would be certainty as to the Habitat Reserve.

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1. When is the Chiquita Ridge Open Space Area going to be developed?
2. Why did the City enter into litigation with the County over this property?
3. What benefit to the City and the community will be realized as a result of the resolution of the lawsuit?
4. Who can I contact if I know of or work at a company that would like to be involved in the development of the potential sports park?