Carmel Mountain Ranch

Carmel Mountain Ranch, a community of 12,000 residents, is bordered by Rancho Bernardo on the north, the city of Poway on the east, Sabre Springs on the south and I-15 on the west. Easy access to State Highway 56, the Ted Williams Parkway and “fast-lane” exits on I-15 make this community of 12,000 very popular with commuters. Carmel Mountain Ranch is one of the newer communities in San Diego, with 97 percent of the housing stock constructed since 1980.

Like other communities of the Diamond Gateway, Carmel Mountain Ranch has a well-educated, ethnically diverse population. Among the adult population, more than half work in management or professional fields, and 65 percent hold college degrees.

Carmel Mountain Ranch has its own Community Council/Planning Group, which works closely with the City of San Diego Planning Department to ensure orderly growth. A Community Service Center enables residents to obtain information and conduct city-related business without traveling far from home.

Other facilities for residents include a branch of the San Diego Library and a public Recreation Center, which is shared with the community of Sabre Springs.


Sabre Springs

Sabre Springs — a community of 8,000 — is nestled in the foothills between Carmel Mountain Ranch and Scripps Ranch. This inviting area is known for its rolling landscape, quiet neighborhoods and business parks. Residents enjoy the luxury of having endless recreational opportunities at their doorsteps — with Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve on the community’s western edge and lovely Miramar Lake to the south.

Homes in this community are among the newest in the Diamond Gateway, with 99 percent of the housing stock built since 1980. Like neighboring Carmel Mountain Ranch, Sabre Springs enjoys an ethnically diverse population that adds to the rich quality of life. More than half of Sabre Springs’ residents (62 percent) work in professional fields or management, and 67 percent have college degrees.

Sabre Springs has its own Planning Group, which works in conjunction with San Diego city planners to ensure orderly yet vibrant development. Sabre Springs shares a Recreation Center with Carmel Mountain Ranch, and has its own branch of the San Diego Library.


Rancho Penasquitos

Rancho Penasquitos is a quiet, well-maintained community that covers nearly 10,000 acres of mesas and rolling hills west of I-15. Home to more than 50,000 people, this planned community is primarily residential, though many new mini-malls are scattered throughout the community. A few acres still remain for development.

The community’s full name, Rancho de los Penasquitos — Spanish for “land of the little hills (or cliffs)” — refers to the rugged palisades that line the rim of Los Penasquitos Canyon, a 3,700-acre open-space preserve that offers hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The hilly terrain makes each neighborhood distinct from the next, giving residents a sense of privacy and peace.

Many young families are drawn here by the community’s reputation as one of the best places in San Diego to raise children. Students attend the Poway Unified School District, which boasts some of the highest test scores in San Diego County.

Activities for children abound in Rancho Penasquitos. The Little League organization here is one of the largest in the U.S., and there are numerous parks and YMCA programs. Family-friendly events are scheduled throughout the year, from cultural offerings sponsored by the Rancho Penasquitos library to ethnic festivals and golf tournaments. Plans call for development of a skate park and a “banner district” to highlight community celebrations and events.

Rancho Penasquito’s history dates to 1823 when the commandante of the San Diego Presidio built an adobe here. In 1862, the home was enlarged to accommodate its new residents, celebrated riverboat captain Francisco Maria Ruiz and his wife. The restored building is now part of the National Historic and Archaeological District in Los Penasquitos Canyon.


Scripps Ranch

Scripps Ranch was established in the 1890s when newspaper magnate Edward W. Scripps bought more than 2,000 acres of ranchland. Mr. Scripps had 25 eucalyptus trees planted, and then built a lavish home based on a design he’d seen in Italy. The estate, called Scripps Miramar Ranch, featured 47 rooms and 13 baths. From this base, Mr. Scripps controlled his publishing empire. Though the home was demolished in later years, the eucalyptus trees and legacy remain.

Today, Scripps Ranch is one of the most scenic communities in San Diego, boasting abundant hiking trails, lush parks, lovingly landscaped homes and business areas and gracious community facilities. The population of Scripps Ranch is about 28,000.

The community is bordered by I-15 on the west, the city of Poway on the east, Miramar MCAS on the south, and the Scripps Poway Freeway on the north. Many professionals live and operate their businesses in Scripps Ranch, where home values range from about $330,000 to over $1 million.

Scripps Ranch families are served by the San Diego Unified School District, which operates three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. A new elementary school and a new middle school are under construction. Scripps Ranch is also the home of Chabad Hebrew Academy and Alliant International University.

Scripps Ranch’s library, a branch of the San Diego Library, sits across from lovely Miramar Lake. The community also has four private clubs, a large recreation center and numerous parks and playgrounds. Family-friendly events, from symphony concerts to parades, are scheduled year-round.

Residents of Scripps Ranch are known for their community involvement. Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee and the Scripps Ranch Planning Group meet monthly. The efforts of these organizations, and those of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, make Scripps Ranch the wonderful community its residents treasure.


Mira Mesa

Mira Mesa has grown from a handful of suburban tract homes in the early 1970s to a thriving family community of well over 72,000 residents. The median housing value in Mira Mesa is about $396,000, with 96 percent of its housing stock constructed since 1970.

Mira Mesa stretches from Penasquitos Canyon to the north to Miramar Road and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to the south and from I-15 on the east to I-805 on the west. In all, Mira Mesa covers roughly 10,500 acres.

While Mira Mesa lies within the San Diego city limits, it also offers residents access to the unparalleled natural beauty of California’s coastal area. The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve boasts two large coastal canyons filled with rare flora and fauna. This riparian habitat is currently being restored. When complete, the park will cover 4,000 acres.

More traditional parks in Mira Mesa provide opportunities for athletics, recreation and picnicking. Parks in this community include Hourglass Field, Mira Mesa Community Park, Lopez Ridge, Mesa Verde, Mesa Viking, Sandburg and Westview.

Sports, fitness and various classes are offered at the Mira Mesa Community Center, also known as the Gil Johnson Recreation Center. The center is the site of a variety of programs and family-related events throughout the year.

Like other communities in the I-15 Diamond Gateway, Mira Mesa is a happily multi-ethnic community, with a substantial population of Filipinos, Vietnamese and other Asians (about 40 percent of its residents are of Asian descent), Caucasians, Hispanics, and African-Americans. About half the adult residents have college degrees, and 44 percent work in management or professional fields.

Over the last ten years, four local Mira Mesa schools have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools, and Mira Mesa High School received the highest award possible when it became a National Blue Ribbon School.

Mira Mesa has its own Community Planning Group and Town Council, which works in concert with city officials on local planning issues and other concerns. The Scripps Ranch Community Service Center also serves Mira Mesa, providing access to city services and information. Mira Mesa has its own library — a branch of the San Diego Public Library.

For more information about the

Mira Mesa community and current events, visit the Mira Mesa Town Council web site at



Miramar, a community of 6,500, is the southernmost of the I-15 Diamond Gateway communities. It is bordered by Miramar Road on the north and I-15 on the east.

The primary employer within Miramar is Marine Corps Air Station, also known as MCAS Miramar. The MCAS is the home of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. More than 11,000 Marines are stationed here, along with various air-control and support squadrons. MCAS Miramar is one of the largest employers in the I-15 Diamond Gateway (roughly 80 percent of Miramar residents are members of the armed forces).  Miramar also has a thriving business district along Miramar Road.

About 13 percent of Miramar residents are college educated, and about one-third of the community’s civilian workforce work in management or professional fields


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