An Interview with Master Planner Richard Reese


StartFragmentIn 1970, after canceling his plans to spend the next year in the Greek Islands, Richard Reese would indefinitely delay his trip to design the "Urban Village" of Rancho Santa Margarita. Previously having attended the University of Southern California to obtain his Architecture and City Planning Degree, Reese had an actual vision while in college that came to him in a dream to build a "Lifestyle Village" community that would be self-sufficient to sustain and nurture all residents businesses and visitors. Filling him with purpose and direction he was one day asked by his USC Planning Professor what he wanted to do with his education. Reese confidently replied, "I'm going to design a city of 50,000 people in a cattle pasture in a canyon out in the middle of nowhere." Reese's vision and goal would be realized almost 25 years later when he was introduced to the land known as the Plano Trabuco Valley by the landowners, the Moiso family. This provided the perfect opportunity for Richard's vision of an "Urban Village in a Permanent Open Space Setting" to become a reality. Reese's design plans included the City of Rancho Santa Margarita west of Plano Trabuco; the residential neighborhoods and Community Property of SAMLARC, the business and industrial parks know as SAMCORP, and the commercial/retail shopping centers including Mercado del Lago and the Town Center.