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The community of Olivenhain is primarily single family custom homes with relatively large lots. Minimum lot sizes range from 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) to 5 acres (20,000 m2). The topography tends to be rolling, and most streets are small and winding through the hills.
The town is located on the Rancho Las Encinitas Mexican land grant, and was settled by a German colony in the 1890s. The name Olivenhain is from the German and means "olive grove". The German settlers built the meeting hall which still stands. It is used today for community functions such as the annual Oktoberfest, Haunted House, summer movie series, craft fairs and a variety of civic group meetings. Residents of Olivenhain may schedule the Meeting Hall and grounds for private functions; it is a popular wedding site.
Olivenhain students attend the Encinitas Union School District and the San Dieguito Union High School District. Elementary students attend Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary, then Diegueno Junior High School. Public High School students attend La Costa Canyon High School or San Dieguito Academy. There also are several private schools nearby.