Since the mid-1970s, thousands of acres of formerly undeveloped land in the East Planning Area of the City (east of Interstate I-805) have been transformed into six master planned communities consisting of housing; office parks; local and regional commercial centers; schools; and churches. Chula Vista's Master Planned Communities include
- Rancho del Rey
- Rolling Hills Ranch
- San Miguel Ranch
- Otay Ranch
Each of the master planned communities has an adopted General Development Plan (GDP) that establishes general development parameters, including the distribution of land uses; vehicular circulation pattern; development densities; and an overall urban structure. The GDP is implemented by the adoption of Sectional Planning Area (SPA) Plans, which provide zoning regulations and design standards. Both the SPA and GDP must be adopted by City Council prior to the start of development. The Otay Ranch Master Planned Community is the only one of the six master planned communities that is still in the process of creating SPA Plans for future development. The remaining master planned areas are either built out or near complete construction. Otay Ranch is the largest master planned community in Eastern Chula Vista, and one of the largest in the State.
Otay Ranch General Development Plan
Otay Ranch is planned to be a balanced community with housing, shops, workplaces, schools, parks, civic facilities and open spaces. It is intended to cluster the majority of development in villages, with conveniently located features and well-defined edges such as the Chula Vista Greenbelt, open spaces and wildlife corridors. In all, this cooperative planning effort results in a comprehensive plan which promotes a new livable community, and supports the need for smart growth living.
Consisting of 22,899 acres, Otay Ranch is east of I-805 and south of Telegraph Canyon Road. The plan consists of 11 urban villages, containing approximately 27,000 dwelling units and support commercial and community facilities. The entire ranch will ultimately add a total population to Chula Vista of approximately 62,373.
Development in these villages are clustered around a "core" area within the village reflecting varying design character and densities. The plan creates tree-lined streets, and pedestrian plazas and buildings to complement human, rather than automotive activity. The plan provides a range of transportation alternatives to the automobile, most notably transit and pedestrian-oriented activities. Many of these villages will be connected by the future extension of the San Diego Trolley LRT. The village cores also provide amenities such as commercial, parks, and schools within a short walking distance from the residences. In addition, the Eastern Urban Center, now known as the Millenia development, will contain a variety of office, commercial, high-density residential uses. This urban area provides a unique functional and symbolic center for Otay Ranch.
The plan also protects the important natural resources that are evident in the area. An 11,000-acre open space preserve unequaled in San Diego County has been created to protect most of the Otay Ranch area. It recognizes the importance of environmental and landform preservation, and the need to design environmentally sensitive communities. A large regional trail system linked to "paseos" and public parks provides hikers with a variety of recreational options.