After winning a long, bitter and expensive fight with environmentalists, the Santa Margarita Co. moved ahead with the Las Flores planned community this week and sold development rights to four builders.
A company spokesman said construction will start on the first phase of the 1,005-acre project within a few months and the first homes should be erected by next summer.
The Santa Margarita Co. expects to build 2,500 homes by 1998 in Las Flores. Architecture and planning will mirror in some ways the early California styles of the company's larger planned community, neighboring Rancho Santa Margarita.
"While the architecture of Las Flores will help reflect the heritage of land, as it does in Rancho Santa Margarita, the overall feel of Las Flores will be different," said spokeswoman Diane Gaynor.