University City, San Diego

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University City, San Diego
University City
University City
University City
"U.C.", "UTC"
University City, San Diego is located in Northwestern San Diego
University City, San Diego
University City, San Diego
Location within Northwestern San Diego
Coordinates: 32°52′N 117°13′W / 32.87°N 117.21°W / 32.87; -117.21Coordinates: 32°52′N 117°13′W / 32.87°N 117.21°W / 32.87; -117.21
Country United States of America
State California
County San Diego
City San Diego
Area code(s)858

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. University City is bordered by La Jolla and interstate 5 to the west, Miramar and interstate 805 to the east, and North Clairemont and highway 52 to the south, giving the community a triangular shaped boundary. University City is a part of District 1 which is represented by Councilmember Barbara Bry on the San Diego City Council.


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.

The natural border that divides north and south UC.

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.[1][2][3] 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 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:

Fauna and flora[edit]

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.[4] 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). [5]


University City's economy is anchored by the University of California, San Diego campus which forms the north part of the community. University City has also become a major corporate center in the San Diego region with many real estate, legal, accounting, consulting and other professional services firms relocating from offices in downtown to be closer to clients in the northern parts of the city. Thousands of workers commute from across San Diego County to University City daily. It is one of the region's most significant economic centers.

Besides containing three local shopping centers, there is also a large regional shopping mall referred to as Westfield UTC. This shopping mall is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Genesee Avenue and La Jolla Village Drive. It is anchored Nordstrom and Macy's and has recently welcomed Queenstown Bistro home of San Diego's best burgers, happy hour and brunch. The north-eastern mesas of University City started to be developed for industrial and corporate use in late 1980s-early 1990s, and are home to several biotech, technology, and professional services firms among other businesses. The northern part of University City also contains two major hospitals, Scripps Memorial and UCSD's Jacobs Medical Center, with surrounding medical office buildings. Development and re-development of this area continues today. University City was the site of a 2003 fire bombing of a condominium complex, causing 50 million dollars in damage to the La Jolla Crossroads apartments [6] The ostensible reason for the bombing concerned the overdevelopment of northern University City.

University City also has multiple parks, three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and a police and fire station.

The University Square shopping center at Governor Drive and Genesee Avenue is anchored by a Vons grocery store and a Rite Aid pharmacy. Another shopping center to the west at Governor Drive and Regents Road is anchored by a Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store. A third shopping center is located in the "La Jolla Colony" area in north University City, and it is also anchored by a Vons grocery store.


The Rail Authority has mentioned University City as a possible location for a California High-Speed Rail station.[7] However, the location has been removed from current consideration.

Currently, the only major public transit infrastructure in this area is the SuperLoop bus rapid transit which circulates through the area, and local bus service provided by San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District. The Mid-Coast Trolley extension will provide San Diego Trolley service to this community by 2021. Also, the University City Tunnel has been proposed for existing Pacific Surfliner and Coaster service. However, with an estimate cost of over $450 million, it is not considered a high priority.[8]

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[9] This plan has been strongly opposed by a local group calling itself Friends of Rose Canyon.[10] The argument has been going on for years.[11]

Regents Road bridge[edit]

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.[12]

Other residents want to cancel the construction of the bridge due to the disruption to wildlife and the community. The proposed bridge would be across Rose Canyon.[13][14]


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.[15] She was the wife of Will C. Rogers III, the captain of the USS Vincennes (CG-49) 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.[16] At this time, the bombing is still unsolved.

The San Diego California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was completed in 1993. It is the 45th operating temple of the LDS Church in the world.

On August 1, 2003, arson, alleged to be eco-terrorism, destroyed a housing complex under construction at the east side of UTC.[17] Many residents awoke to find popcorn-shaped ashes littering their backyards and streets.

Intuit's consumer tax group was located here until August 2007, when they relocated elsewhere in the city of San Diego.[18]

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 four civilians killed on the ground by the impact and fire that followed.[19][20][21][22]


There are five public schools in University City:



Several golf courses are recognized as children-friendly, unique in the area:[citation needed]

  • 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[31]
  • Doyle Recreation Center and Park[32] includes an off-leash dog park with two fenced areas to keep large and small dogs separated.
  • La Jolla Colony Park[33]
  • Rose Canyon Open Space Park[34]


  1. ^ Insight Guide San Diego (Insight Pocket Guides) by John Wilcock (2004)
  2. ^ Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking & Camping by Tom Leech and Jack Farnan (2004)
  3. ^ Metropolitan San Diego: How Geography And Lifestyle Shape A New Urban Environment (Metropolitan Portraits) by Larry R. Ford (2004)
  4. ^ KTU+A and Merkel and Associates 2005 Rose Creek Watershed Opportunities Assessment: Existing Conditions Report
  5. ^ City of San Diego Water Dept 2001 Constructed Wetlands in the Rose Creek Watershed. August 2001.
  6. ^ Soto, Onell 2005 "Silence sends two to jail in fire probe: Grand jury looks at ELF activist group" San Diego Union Tribune.
  7. ^ CA High-Speed Rail Authority. "Route Map". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  8. ^ Blue_Line_(San_Diego_Trolley)#Mid-Coast_Trolley_extension_project
  9. ^ San Diego City Council minutes
  10. ^
  11. ^ San Diego Union Tribune, Dec. 15, 2004
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Reinhold, Robert (March 11, 1989). "Blast Wrecks Van of Skipper Who Downed Iran Jet". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "Rogers Bombing Not Terrorists?". Associated Press. October 2, 1989. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
  17. ^ Soto, Onell R. (23 February 2006). "Feds arrest environment radical over S.D. speech". San Diego Union-Tribune. Copley Press. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  18. ^ Intuit Locations
  19. ^ F/A-18 military jet slams into San Diego neighborhood
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Maria Curie Elementary School
  24. ^ John D Spreckels Elementary School
  25. ^ Doyle Elementary School
  26. ^ Standley Middle School
  27. ^ University City High School
  28. ^ University Community Branch Library
  29. ^ North University Community Library
  30. ^ University Community Library
  31. ^ "Standley Recreation Center". The City of San Diego.
  32. ^ "Doyle Recreation Center". The City of San Diego. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  33. ^ "La Jolla Colony Park". Wikimapia. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  34. ^ "Rose Canyon Open Space Park". The City of San Diego. Archived from the original on November 6, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.

External links[edit]