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 Mesa
Clairemont Mesa Map.jpg
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
ZIP Code 92117, 92110, 92111
Area code(s) 858

Clairemont (or Clairemont Mesa) is a community within the city of San Diego which has a population of about 81,600 residence and an area of roughly 13.3 square miles. Clairemont Mesa is bordered by Interstate 805 in the east, Interstate 5 to the west, State Route 52 to the north, and the community of Linda Vista to the south. The community of Clairemont Mesa can be subdivided into the neighborhoods of North Clairemont, Bay Ho, Clairemont Mesa East, Clairemont Mesa West, and Bay Park. [1] [2]

The neighborhood was first developed in the post-war building boom of the 1950s.[3]


Developers Lou Burgener and Carlos Tavares called their community Clairemont after Tavares' wife, Claire.[4]


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",[5] people started living in Clairemont in May, 1951.[6]

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).[5]

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.[5] 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".[5] It is also noted that Clairemont was the largest development of its kind in the country.[5]

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.[7]

San Clemente and Tecolote Canyons were designated parks in the 1970s.[5]

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[8] 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.[9]

Attractions and Activities[edit]

There are many public entrances into the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. This image shows entrance off of Genesee Ave.

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park - Tecolote Canyon runs through the community of Clairemont Mesa and was dedicated by the City of San Diego as Tecolote Canyon Natural Park in 1977. This park is about 903 acres and is approximately six miles long. There are multiple entrances to park throughout the community, some of these entrances provide public parking and bathroom facilities. [10]

Marian Bear Memorial Park - Also known as San Clemente Canyon, was officially renamed to Marian Bear Memorial Park by the City of San Diego in 1960. Marian Park is roughly 467 acres and runs parallel to the south side of the 52 freeway. The main entrances to the park are off of Regents Road and Genesee Avenue. Both of these entrances provide public parking, restrooms and picnic benches. [11] [12]

Tecolote Golf Course - This 18 hole 3,161-yard golf course located within Tecolote Canyon. The golf course has a natural creek-bed that runs through it. Tecolote Canyon Golf Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Sam Snead. [13]

Krause Family Skate/Bike Park - This park is affiliated with the Mission Valley YMCA but is located in the San Diego community of Clairemont Mesa at 3401 Clairemont Drive. Skateboarding, in-line skating, scooters and bikes are allowed in this park. The facility includes: beginner course, intermediate course, advanced BMX course, Concrete pool, Mini-ramp, and X-Games Vert Ramp. Park is only open to public with paid daily or monthly passes. [14]

Notable residents[edit]


Public educational facilities in Clairemont consist of twelve elementary schools, two middle schools, two senior high schools and a community college. Five schools with specialized educational programs are also located in Clairemont. [16] San Diego Unified School District operates public schools in the Clairemont neighborhood.

Elementary and Middle Schools

  • Alcott Elementary[citation needed]
  • Bay Park Elementary [17]
  • Cadman Elementary [18]
  • The Child's Primary School[19]
  • CPMA Middle School (Creative Performing Media Arts)[20]
  • Field Elementary [21]
  • Hawthorne Elementary [22]
  • Holmes Elementary [23]
  • Innovation Middle School[24]
  • Lindbergh/Schweitzer Elementary School[25]
  • LaFayette Elementary [26]
  • Marston Jr. High[citation needed]
  • Maria Montessori Schools[27]
  • Sequoia Elementary [28]
  • Ross Elementary [29]
  • Toler [30]
  • Whitman Elementary[31]

Special Education

  • Longfellow Magnet [32]
  • Muir Alternative
  • Riley Alternative School [33]
  • Schweitzer
  • Wiggen

Senior High Schools



External links[edit]

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