Kearny Mesa, San Diego, California
Kearny MesaÂ is a community in the eastern part ofÂ San Diego, California. It is located in the area of the city that is bounded byÂ State Route 52Â to the north,Â Interstate 805Â to the west, Aero Drive to the South, andÂ Interstate 15Â to the east. Adjacent communities includeÂ Serra Mesa,ClairemontÂ andÂ Tierrasanta.
Kearny Mesa has a population of 2,837.
Defense worker housing under construction at Kearny Mesa in 1941. Photo byÂ Russell Lee.
Kearny Mesa is named for the formerÂ Camp Kearny, a U.S. military base which operated in the area from 1917 to 1946 and eventually becameÂ Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Camp Kearny in turn was named for Brigadier GeneralStephen W. Kearny, a leader in theÂ Mexican-American WarÂ who also served as aÂ military governor of California.Â ”Kearny” is pronounced Car-nee” not “Cur-nee.”
The urbanization of Kearny Mesa began in 1937 with Gibbs Airfield, now the small airfieldÂ Montgomery Field. In 1948, the City of San Diego acquired the airfield and 1,400Â acres (6Â km2) of surrounding property, intending it as a possible replacement site forÂ San Diego International Airport. However, airspace conflicts withÂ MCAS MiramarÂ (at that time NAS Miramar) made the proposed airport infeasible. Montgomery Field was restricted to small aircraft, and the surplus land was converted to an industrial park.
Beginning in 1955 withÂ General Dynamics, numerous aerospace, electronic, and other industrial and office firms located in the area. There was also commercial development, particularly west ofÂ State Route 163.
As implied by the name “mesa”, the area is mostly flat. This makes it ideal for airfields. The community is adjacent to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and includes Montgomery Field within its boundaries.
The area is predominantly industrial and commercial, but there are three residential developments in the community: Stonecrest, Kearny Lodge, and Royal Highlands. The former General Dynamics site is now a mixed-use development known as Spectrum. Several city and county facilities are located in or adjacent to the area, including the Miramar Landfill.
San Diego Mesa College, the largest community college in the San Diego Community College District, is located there.
The area is part of City Council District 6 and is represented by CouncilwomanÂ Donna Frye.
The original 1977 Serra Mesa Community Plan included Kearny Mesa. It was replaced by the 1992 Kearny Mesa Community Plan which applies just to Kearny Mesa. The Montgomery Field Master Plan also contains land use policies for areas adjacent to the airport.
The Kearny Mesa Planning Group advises the city on land use and other issues.