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    Mission Viejo’s plans to revamp shopping, trails and more around Oso Creek
    • July 12, 2023

    Efforts to revamp and expand Mission Viejo‘s Oso Creek area — from a new shopping and entertainment plaza to trails along the creek — are continuing to develop.

    Since 2017, the city has been working at Oso Creek to expand the area to include a one-of-a-kind shopping, entertainment and event plaza called the Los Osos Core Area. Located at the Village Center off of Marguerite Parkway and La Paz Road, the 22,736 square-foot plan has been taking over the older shopping center and connects to the greater project on Oso Creek.

    The next phase of the project includes connecting the North Paseo area, which includes the shopping center, to the north bridge that expands over Oso Creek. This will be the central point for the portion of the Oso Creek Trail that runs on the eastern side of Oso Creek back to the shopping center, assistant city manager Keith Rattay shared in a presentation given to the Mission Viejo Planning and Transportation Commission on Monday, July 10.

    The city of Mission Viejo is planning to expand the Los Osos Core Area around Oso Creek. Trails, shopping centers, and entertainment areas will be added to add flare to the community. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Vibrant colors can be seen along the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Julie Henderson, an avid walker, exercises along the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. The city has plans to develop around the trail and Henderson’s two concerns are that construction will hinder her walk, and that the city doesn’t have enough money to fund it. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A running creek and green hills provide for a tranquil walk on Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo Tuesday, July 11, 2023. The city has plans to develop around the trail. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    In March 2017, the City Council approved the Core Area Vision Plan. This plan includes new retail areas, adaptations to Oso Creek Trail, and new entertainment and event areas. (Courtesy of City of Mission Viejo)



    The trail will expand from Marguerite Parkway to La Paz Road and will connect to the existing trailhead located on Marguerite. Additionally, a new viewing platform along Marguerite will be included in this expansion, showcasing views of Saddleback Mountain.

    The plan also outlines the creation of the “Urban Alley” located along the rear of the buildings of North Paseo. The plan for this is a central community gathering place that will include enhanced landscape, lighting, paving, seating areas and a sculpture with views of Oso Creek and the trail.

    This area will also house new retail spaces to further energize the area and create more opportunities for expanded retail and community gatherings, according to the presentation.

    After this phase of the project, the city will move toward creating various entertainment plazas across the creek as well as a special events barn that the city and residents will be able to rent.

    The area has been extending and adjusting since the initial proposal in 2017, which included the purchase of the Oso Creek Golf Club, previously called Casta del Sol Golf Course, in 2019 as well as the installation of the North Paseo area in 2022.

    North Paseo, located in the middle of the Village Center, has already provided the community with a “safe zone” that allows residents to walk or ride a bike without disruption of vehicles as well as a new place to socialize.

    North Paseo, additionally, serves as the space for all of the monthly markets.

    The next steps in the process include presenting updated information to the Community Services Commission on Aug. 16 and presenting the final input, cost and recommendations for the first phase of construction of the bridges and Urban Alley to the Mission Viejo City Council for approval, slated to take place sometime this fall.

    ​ Orange County Register