Clairemont, San Diego

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Not to be confused with Claremont, California, the incorporated city in eastern Los Angeles County.
Clairemont, San Diego
Community of San Diego
Clairemont, San Diego is located in Northwestern San Diego
Clairemont, San Diego
Clairemont, San Diego
Location within Northwestern San Diego
Coordinates: 32°49′14″N 117°11′24″W / 32.820461°N 117.190133°W / 32.820461; -117.190133
Country  United States of America
State  California
County San Diego
City San Diego

Clairemont Mesa is a neighborhood of San Diego which has a population of 80,000. Clairemont Mesa can be subdivided into the neighborhoods of North Clairemont, South Clairemont, Clairemont Mesa East and Clairemont Mesa West. It is bordered by State Route 52 in the north, Interstate 805 in the east, Interstate 5 in the west, and the neighborhood of Linda Vista on the south.

The neighborhood was first developed in the post-war building boom of the 1950s.[1]


Developers Lou Burgener and Carlos Tavares called their community Clairemont after Tavares' wife, Claire.[2]


Clairemont Development in the 1950s (Courtesy of San Diego Historical Society)

In 1950, Carlos Tavares and Lou Burgener developed what became San Diego's largest post-war subdivision. Originally dubbed, "The Village Within a City",[3] people started living in Clairemont in May, 1951.[4]

Clairemont's design represented a new concept in community living because it did not incorporate the traditional grid system of uniform blocks and streets. Instead, winding streets and scenic view lots took advantage of the canyons and bluffs overlooking Mission Bay. The first homes, built by Burgener and Tavares Construction Company, had highly customized floor plans.

The developers assembled the necessary acreage to develop Clairemont from three primary land holdings: the Peavey Cattle Ranch, Mission Bay Heights (owned by the Hazard Family), & Tecolote Heights (owned by Jack & Dan Danciger).[3]

Before any homes were built in the new development, Tavares & Burgener invested $125,000 in off-street improvements including sewers, water, and access roads; this was necessary because the proposed development was not adjacent to any developed areas.[3] The original Subdivision map that used the name “Clairemont” for the first time was approved and recorded by the County of San Diego on October 16, 1950. The map was named “Clairemont Unit #1, Map #2725”. This is the area in Clairemont that includes Deerpark Dr., Burgener Blvd., and Grandview St. from Field St. to Jellett St. According to Burgener, "Between 1952 & 1954, seven homes were constructed a day".[3] It is also noted that Clairemont was the largest development of its kind in the country.[3]

Within a few years, several thousand houses had been constructed, including single family homes, duplexes and apartments. Since Clairemont was somewhat removed from the city proper, commercial business and retail shopping, schools, libraries and other city amenities were designed into the overall plan. Although the concept of suburban living is commonplace today, this approach was considered novel and Tavares' vision for Clairemont had far-reaching implications for San Diego as it stretched the city limits outward and began the now familiar pattern of migration from city to suburb.[5]

San Clemente and Tecolote Canyons were designated parks in the 1970s.[3]

Milton Street was the only access from Old Highway 101 (Morena Boulevard) up to the new subdivisions.[citation needed] The 1950s and early 1960s added many new shopping centers and access roads to crisscross the area. Many of the original shopping centers have been redeveloped.[citation needed]


Tecolote Canyon Golf Course[6] is in the bottom of the southern canyon area. There are streams and trails that extend into finger canyons in the area. Wildlife is seen throughout the canyons. This includes coyotes, wild green parrots and the owls which Tecolote Canyon is named after. Trails extend through the bottom of the canyons for hiking or mountain biking.[7]

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ San Diego Source > Locales
  2. ^ Kramer, Ken. "About San Diego". KPBS-TV. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Brown, Christine (November 2, 1977). "Lou Burgener's Story: Clairemont's future hung on a coin flip". The Sentinel.  Third article in a series.
  4. ^ Stone, Joe (December 8, 1969). "Climate, View Bless Clairemont". San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  5. ^ Journal of San Diego History
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ Health Sciences High and Middle College School
  10. ^ Lindbergh/Schweitzer Elementary School
  11. ^ [4]
  12. ^ The Child's Primary School K-8
  13. ^ Maria Montessori School K-8
  14. ^ [5]
  15. ^ Innovation Middle School

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°49′13.66″N 117°11′24.48″W / 32.8204611°N 117.1901333°W / 32.8204611; -117.1901333