With negotiations underway for a long-term agreement securing management of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, the San Juan Capistrano City Council is looking at a short-term lease extension.
The extension is one of the items on the agenda for the next City Council meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 21. The current agreement expires March 31 and this temporary extension, if approved, allows current operators The Ridland Group to continue through June 30.
The City of San Juan Capistrano and Ridland are negotiating a longer-lasting agreement to ensure married couple Robert and Hilary Ridland, notable equestrians and businesspeople, continue overseeing the popular horse-riding and country music concert space.
The city purchased the park from Rancho Mission Viejo in 2010.
“At the time of purchase and continuously since then, the Riding Park has been operated by Blenheim Facility Management (BFM) under various agreements with the City,” the city said in a staff report. “The Riding Park hosts equestrian competitions, soccer tournaments, concerts, festivals and other sporting and community events.”
The proposed extension calls for “escalating monthly payments of $40,000 on April 1, 2023, $60,000 on May 1, 2023, and $80,000 on June 1,” according to the report. Those funds will go towards maintaining and operating the town’s Eastern Open Space, which includes the riding park and Reata Park.
City officials are looking to lock in permanent park management so the area is used by the public more, and also to facilitate water quality improvements required under a consent decree reached years ago, following a lawsuit by Orange County Coastkeeper over alleged poor water quality.
Similar short-term extensions have been previously approved by the City Council.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda are appointments to the city’s various governing boards, including the Planning Commission and Cultural Heritage Commission. Numerous current board members have reapplied and are expected to continue serving if the City Council approves a subcommittee recommendation for such.
One new name who might join the Planning Commission is Ted Rosenfeldt, who also currently serves on the Parks, Equestrian, and Community Services Commission. Rosenfeldt is a familiar face in San Juan, often attending the community coffee chat discussions and other local events.
In his application letter, Rosenfeldt said he has leadership experience in local nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley and San Juan Capistrano Historical Society.
“We are entering a defining period in our City,” Rosenfeldt said. “I believe I have the experience and analytical skill set to recommend to the City Council sound development that meets resident and business needs, as well as aesthetic cohesiveness.”
The City Council meeting will be held in the Nydegger Building at 31421 La Matanza Street and is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Residents can either attend in person or watch the live-streamed video online at sanjuancapistrano.org.