In 1957, when San Diego annexed the Otay Mesa area, there were less than a 1,000 residents who were probably outnumbered by the area's rabbit population. The name means "wide and level place" or "brushy place." a fitting description in the early days. By the 1960's residential development had increased dramatically. Otay Mesa was established as a community in 1985 with the creation of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. The Otay Mesa/Nestor Community Plan was adopted in 1979 and updated in 1997.
Over 57 percent of the planning area is covered with residential land uses--17,000 units approximately. Twenty percent of the area is reserved for schools, parks, transit and other public facilities. Commercial and industrial uses comprise about seven percent of the land uses. Agricultural and vacant land make up the final 15 percent.
Otay Mesa established in 1985 is located in the Southeast corner of the City of San Diego. The area is a mix of residential and industrial development. Otay's proximity to the international border with Mexico makes it a thriving and rapidly growing business area. The area has gone from land covered with brush and jack rabbits with less than a 1,000 residents in 1957 to the largest commercial crossing on the California/Mexico border. The Otay Mesa Port of Entry handles the second highest volume of trucks and the third highest dollar value in trade among all U.S./Mexico land border crossings. Over 1.4 million trucks use the Port of Entry each year carrying over $19.2 billion in products.
Over 2,000 loaded trucks and 1,000 empty trucks use this busy area. There are two major freeways under development to serve the bustling port--State Route-125 scheduled for completion in 2007 and State Route-905 set to open in early 2006. State Route-11, which will link to a third border crossing point, is in the planning stages and is fast-tracked for completion in seven years. Otay Mesa has 11,000 homes under development and houses more than 1,200 companies with 17,000 employees.