University City, San Diego
|Community of San Diego|
|Nickname(s): UC, UTC|
|County||County of San Diego|
|City||City of San Diego|
University City (UC) is a community in San Diego, California, located in the northwestern portion of the city next to the University of California, San Diego. It is often referred to as UTC, short for University Towne Center, which is a shopping mall in the community.
The campus of the University of California, San Diego, from which the area derives its name, is to the west of the center of the neighborhood. Many of the professors teaching at UCSD live in the UC neighborhood.
There are two distinct parts of University City divided by Rose Canyon, featuring the Rose Canyon Open Space preserve, and railroad tracks passing through it. South of Rose Canyon lies the older part of University City, built in the 1960s and historically referred to as University Square, centered on Governor Drive. It is a mostly residential neighborhood along Governor Drive with many single family homes. Just southwest of the Governor Drive exit from I-805 is a commercially zoned area containing office parks with low-rise buildings. South UC was developed primarily in the 1960s and 70s.
The newer part of University City lies north of Rose Canyon; it is usually referred to as University Towne Centre (UTC). The entire area has also been nicknamed the "Golden Triangle" by commercial developers.
The topography of University City includes mesas and canyons such as Rose Canyon, San Clemente Canyon, and finger canyons that provide much of the open space. The canyons provide wildlife habitats with about 100 bird species migrating through the area plus natural views and opportunities for hiking, biking, and birding. The canyons are fire-managed and thus present small wildfire risks. In addition, motorists drive around the canyons, with I-5, Genessee Ave, and the I-805 being about 1 mile apart from each other.
University City's Neighbors Include:
- to the south: Clairemont
- to the west: La Jolla
- to the east: Miramar and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
- to the north: Sorrento Valley and Mira Mesa
Fauna and Flora
The wildlife in Rose Canyon has over 99 species of birds including the California Gnatcatcher and California Least Tern which are considered endangered and listed federally as threatened species. The flora of the Rose Canyon is known for its vernal pools. The pools are located on the East end of the canyon adjacent to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar). Endemic endangered species have included the Orcutt's brodiaea (Brodiaea orcuttii), San Diego button celery (Eryngium aristulatum parishii), San Diego golden star (Muilla clevelandii), spreading navarretia (Navarretia fossalis), prostrate navarretia (Navarretia prostrata), California adder's tongue fern (Ophioglossum californicum), California Orcutt grass (Orcuttia californica), and San Diego Mesa Mint (Pogogyne abramsii). 
University City's economy is anchored by the University of California San Diego campus which forms the north part of the community. Southern areas of University City are composed of a mix of single family homes, a retirement community, and a few condominiums. The north-central area, known as the "UTC" area is composed of a dense mix of condominiums and apartment complexes.
Besides containing three local shopping centers, there is also a large regional shopping mall referred to as UTC. This University Towne Center shopping mall is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Genesee Avenue and La Jolla Village Drive in University City. It is anchored by Sears, Nordstrom and Macy's. The north-eastern mesas of University City started to be developed for industrial and corporate use in 1991, and are home to several biotech, computer and financial companies. The northern part of University City also contains two major hospitals, Scripps Memorial and UCSD's Thornton Hospital, with surrounding medical office buildings. North UC was developed primarily in the 1980s and 90s, and rapid growth and development continue. The UTC region was the site of a 2003 fire bombing of a condominium complex, causing 50 million dollars in damage to the La Jolla Crossroads apartments  The ostensible reason for the bombing concerned the overdevelopment of the UTC area.
Housing prices average in the 500,000s, ranging from about 300,000 to 1+ million  Univ. City also has some parks, three elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 high school, a police and a fire station.
The shopping center at Governor and Genesee is anchored by a Vons grocery store and a Rite Aid pharmacy. Another shopping center anchored by Sprouts Marketplace is to the west at Governor and Regents. The third shopping center is located in the "La Jolla Colony" area in north UC, and it is also anchored by a Vons grocery store.
There is also a demographic divide between UTC (North) and South UC. Residents of South UC tend to be homeowners with a large population of retired persons, partly due to a retirement community (Town Park Villas) east and south of Genesee. UTC which consists primarily of condominiums and townhouses, tends to be younger - young professionals, college graduates and university students. Also, more of the population of North UC rent rather than own their homes. There are several UCSD-owned off-campus housing projects for graduate students.
The only connection between UTC and South UC (not including the bordering 8-lane freeways Interstate 5 and Interstate 805) is the four-lane Genesee Avenue. The City of San Diego also wants to extend Regents Road by building a bridge over Rose Canyon This plan has been strongly opposed by a local group calling itself Friends of Rose Canyon. The argument has been going on for years.
Regents Road bridge
During the original planning of University City, Regents Road was planned to be connected by a bridge running through Rose Canyon. With so much construction going on at the same time, Regents road was put on hold and was not connected from Governor Dr to Nobel Dr. 40 years later, the canyon is now surrounded by residential neighborhoods.
Some residents want the bridge constructed due to the time it takes for emergency vehicles to be transported between southern and northern University City. The fire department claimed that: "A bridge or the widening of Genesee Avenue would shorten response time for emergency vehicles in the neighborhood. It has one of the slowest response times in the city." Along with emergency centers nearby, Rose canyon provides the perfect environment for wildfires in UC. An emergency such as that would require evacuation, which for the citizens of UC would only leave one escape route, Genesee, already one of the busiest streets in the city.
On March 10, 1989, a pipe bomb attached to the minivan of a woman exploded while she was driving near the University Towne Center mall. She was the wife of Will C. Rogers III, the captain of the USS Vincennes who gave the order to shoot down Iran Air Flight 655. She escaped the blast. Initially, it was suspected to be a terrorist retaliation for the downing of the airliner, but the investigation shifted away from this hypothesis. At this time, the bombing is still unsolved.
On August 1, 2003, arson, alleged to be eco-terrorism, destroyed a housing complex under construction at the east side of UTC. Many residents awoke to find popcorn-shaped ashes littering their backyards and streets.
On December 8, 2008 at approximately 11 AM (PST) a military F/A-18 bound for the nearby military base crashed into several homes destroying them on the southeast corner of Cather Avenue and Huggins Street. The pilot ejected and was not injured. There were at least four civilians killed on the ground by the impact and fire that followed.
There are five public schools in University City:
- Marie Curie Elementary School
- John D. Spreckels Elementary School
- Doyle Elementary School 
- Standley Middle school 
- University City High School (San Diego)
- San Diego Public Library
- North University Community Library
- University Community Library
- The University City Golf Course has 9 holes, with a par 27. Most holes are about 100 yards (91 m) long or less, except the 6th, which is 140 yards (130 m).
Some parks and recreation centers are also available:
- Standley Recreation Center and Park
- Doyle Recreation Center and Park includes an off-leash dog park with two fenced areas to keep large and small dogs separated.
- La Jolla Colony Park
- Rose Canyon Open Space Park
- Insight Guide San Diego (Insight Pocket Guides) by John Wilcock (2004)
- Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking & Camping by Tom Leech and Jack Farnan (2004)
- Metropolitan San Diego: How Geography And Lifestyle Shape A New Urban Environment (Metropolitan Portraits) by Larry R. Ford (2004)
- KTU+A and Merkel and Associates 2005 Rose Creek Watershed Opportunities Assessment: Existing Conditions Report
- City of San Diego Water Dept 2001 Constructed Wetlands in the Rose Creek Watershed. August 2001.
- Soto, Onell 2005 "Silence sends two to jail in fire probe: Grand jury looks at ELF activist group" San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050713/news_6m13elf.html
- "Town Park Villas". Retrieved 2009-010-10.
- CA High-Speed Rail Authority. "Route Map". Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- San Diego City Council minutes
- San Diego Union Tribune, Dec. 15, 2004
- Reinhold, Robert (March 11, 1989). "Blast Wrecks Van of Skipper Who Downed Iran Jet". The New York Times.
- "Rogers Bombing Not Terrorists?". Associated Press. October 2, 1989. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
- Soto, Onell R. (23 February 2006). "Feds arrest environment radical over S.D. speech". San Diego Union-Tribune (Copley Press). Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Intuit Locations
- F/A-18 military jet slams into San Diego neighborhood
- Angelica Martinez and Debbi Baker; Steve Liewer (8 December 2008). "Three dead as military jet crashes into University City neighborhood". San Diego Union-Tribune (Copley Press). Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Tony Manolatos, Steve Liewer and Rick Rogers (11 December 2008). "Hundreds mourn family killed in Marine jet crash". San Diego Union-Tribune (Copley Press). Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Maria Curie Elementary School
- John D Spreckels Elementary School
- Doyle Elementary School
- Standley Middle School
- University City High School
- University Community Branch Library
- North University Community Library
- University Community Library
- "Standley Recreation Center". The City of San Diego.
- "Doyle Recreation Center". The City of San Diego. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- "La Jolla Colony Park". Wikimapia. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- "Rose Canyon Open Space Park". The City of San Diego. Retrieved September 15, 2009.