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. In 1950, Carlos Tavares and Lou Burgener developed what became San Diego’s largest post-war subdivision. Originally dubbed, “The Village Within a City”, people started living in Clairemont in May, 1951.
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).
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.