Scripps Ranch Developments of the 1970s

Scripps Ranch Chronology of the 1970s

The 1970s were a time of major growth and development in Scripps Ranch. With the first residents moving into the community on the very last day of 1969, it is safe to say that they witnessed the entire Scripps Ranch community develop around them.

Adobe sign for Scripps Miramar Ranch, located further east on Pomerado Rd. past the gravel access road to the model homes, circa early 1970s
Adobe sign for Scripps Miramar Ranch, located further east on Pomerado Rd. past the gravel access road to the model homes, circa early 1970s. Deer were known to eat breakfast early in the morning on the hill behind the sign.

February 1970

  • The closest grocery store is the Big Apple in Kearny Mesa.

March 26, 1970

  • The first Scripps Ranch baby, Nicole Klein, is born to parents Barbara and Hart Klein, the fourth family to move into Scripps Ranch. Scripps Ranch is considered so far out that no diaper service will deliver. Disposable diapers have not been invented.
The first Scripps Ranch baby, March 26 1970
The first Scripps Ranch baby, March 26, 1970.
  • At this time only a few paved roads exist and the only other buildings nearby are the old Scripps mansion and a trailer located at Hendrix Pond with renderings of the model homes to come.

Summer 1970

  • The City Council adopts the Scripps Miramar Ranch Master Plan.
  • People lose interest in the Scripps Mansion and the tours are canceled. However, the mansion remains available for meetings of the Cub Scouts, the SRCA, and for private meetings. Melisa Moriarty organizes a gathering for the Democratic Caucus that hosts presidential candidate George McGovern.
  • After tours of Miramar are canceled, Scripps heirs remove valuable furniture, most furnishings, and artwork from the mansion.

Fall 1970

  • First annual Scripps Ranch Fall Clean-up Day takes place.
  • Scripps Ranch Campfire Girls start to hold meetings.
  • Board of Directors of Scripps-Miramar Homeowners Association sponsor Cub Scout Pack No. 616.

Early 1971

  • After only a year of developments, there are approximately 200 houses in Scripps Ranch and it is common for all residents to attend community meetings. These meetings are more like “town councils,” often taking place in the old Scripps mansion before a roaring fire.
  • The opening of the Little Bear Country Store, the first market in Scripps Ranch, simplifies life for Scripps Ranch residents. It is located at Red Rock Drive and Scripps Ranch Boulevard. Little Bear opens around the same time that the infamous Scripps Ranch streetlights are put in.
  • Single-family residential construction nearby will start next month; one area contains 77 lots and the other 47 lots. 300 multi-family units are scheduled to start moving into the area at the intersection of Scripps Ranch Blvd. and Appaloosa Rd. in about seven months. Units will range from 950 to 1,180 square feet and be located on only one side of the street.

Spring 1971

  • Residents sign a petition in May of 1971 informing Macco Corp. of their displeasure to the rezoning of what they thought was going to be a residential area to be a “wide open commercial zone.”Residents pass out flyers outlining their grievances to potential buyers in the parking lot of the model homes and distribute the below letter to all Scripps Miramar Ranch residents. Negotiations between homeowners and Macco resolve the matter, avoiding a lawsuit.
Petition to Macco Scripps Ranch 1971
Petition to Macco Corp, 1971.
  • Other resident concerns of 1971 are noise from Miramar Naval Air Station, “wholesale destruction of trees on the ranch,” dues at Scripps Miramar Club, conditions of the parks on the ranch, and school issues.

Summer 1971

  • The first annual Fourth of July parade and Scripps Ranch Picnic is held on the old Scripps Mansion grounds. According to the Scripps Ranch newsletter, “after the beer and soft drinks started to run out, we all adjourned to the pool for some more contests.” 

The first annual Fourth of July parade and Scripps Ranch Picnic

The first annual Fourth of July parade and Scripps Ranch Picnic festivities

  • Leadership acquires approximately 154 acres of additional land in the heart of Scripps Ranch on August 23, 1971, which is zoned for single family, multi-family and commercial usage. This is part of the original development plan approved by the City in Spring 1969. Leadership announces its plans to develop the property in accordance with the approved development plans. This acquisition ensures orderly development and prevents other builders and developers from introducing product lines and development concepts inconsistent with the established plan.

Autumn 1971

  • A new tradition of “newcomers luncheons ” is instituted in Scripps Ranch. New residents are invited to attend monthly lunches, which consist of 10 people; five old residents and five new ones.
  • Aviary Drive south of Scripps Ranch Blvd and down to the southerly boundary of the new recreation property is in the process of being graded and improved.

Winter 1971

  • Leadership files a lawsuit against the City of San Diego petitioning the court to set aside a City Council decision disapproving a subdivision map for a 129-lot subdivision that Leadership proposes to construct in Scripps Ranch. Leadership argues that “if it is prevented from continuing its development at Scripps, it will be forced to discontinue its active role in providing schools.” A copy of a press release issued by Leadership announcing the lawsuit is provided to current Scripps Ranch residents. 
  • On December 6, 1971, the County Grand Jury returns “indictments charging grand theft and stock manipulation in connection with the use of substandard lumber in the construction of about 195 homes at the Scripps Miramar Ranch development.”The framer’s employees were instructed to remove “utility grade” markings from the lumber and apply higher-grade markings with a counterfeit stamp. The affected homes are not deemed unsafe, and civil remedies are available to the residents. The defective lumber is replaced, and the houses continue to be enjoyed. 
  • Ten homeowners file a class action lawsuit against the developers and their financial backers for allegedly entering into a scheme with the intent of defrauding the homeowner. The homeowners claim that many of the promises made by the developer regarding the facilities have not been fulfilled.

Summer 1972

  • Burglars systematically loot antique decorations, chandeliers, carved wood panels, tiles, marble fireplace mantels and doorknobs from the Scripps mansion. Police estimate that $50,000 worth of antique figures were stolen.
  • On July 6, 1972, the City Council, in part, based on objections raised by the SRHA, sends back for redesign a plan that would have widened Pomerado Road to four side-by-side lanes without regard for tree location. Work on the redesign is suspended until approximately 1977 when the State Highway Department is expected to widen the bridge over I-15 to four lanes.
  • The Navy Firefighting School located south of Pomerado Road (where Navy housing is currently) is rumored to be closing soon. The Navy discontinues its use at some point, and by July 1977 it is leased to USIU as a maintenance station.

Summer 1973

  • From April until July, the San Diego County Water Authority installs an 84-foot water line through the community, starting at Hoyt Park East.
  • The developer declares the Scripps mansion unsafe, citing the recent vandalism and the condition of the foundation. Community agencies are offered the chance to preserve the mansion but decline due to lack of funds.Within one week, the developer razed an estate that took eight years to build, “to protect the safety and welfare of the more than 500 families living in Scripps Ranch.”Some of the building supplies were left at the end of the property for residents to take. For example, Paul and Sheila Donigan bordered their front garden with bricks from the mansion. Other items from the mansion were offered for sale. Muriel Bossert bought hand-painted tiles, storing them for 25 years until she remodeled her home. After the demolition, only the stables and aviary were left.
  • Leadership Housing presents its Master Plan, called Scripps Ranch II, to the City Planning Department for the approximately 740 acres northeast of the then-current Scripps Ranch. The plan includes a golf course, related recreational facilities, and three types of residential development ranging from single-family detached to condominiums.
  • A study of sites for a proposed San Diego International Airport is completed. Four locations are singled out: Carmel Valley, Miramar, Lindbergh and Brown Field/Tijuana. The front-runner is Carmel Valley.
  • Troop 3012, the first Girl Scout troop formed in Scripps Ranch and sponsored by Leadership Housing, is held on September 20, 1973.
  • Unified Leasing acquires the commercial land around the Little Bear Market in November 1973. The developer plans to start building the full center in a year or two.
  • The current Scripps Ranch population is about 4,000 residents and is projected to be 13,300 in 1978.

Early 1974

  • Leadership Housing announces the beginning of construction for The Village Woods, a 154-unit condominium development to be located south of Willow Creek. Homes would be in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.
  • Explorer Post 2616, an adventure group for boys and girls that are 14 and a half or older, is formed in February 1974.

Spring 1974

  • Unified Leasing accelerates its plans for the shopping center and breaks ground for smaller shops on the end of the center in Spring 1974. Little Bear will be replaced by a larger market, Lavicio’s Deli Mart, which will expand its offerings once it moves to the larger space to include “a complete line of fresh meats, a delicatessen, and possibly spirits.”
  • Cub Scout Pack 616 splits into two packs, Pack 616 and Pack 1216, due to size constraints on May 29, 1974.

Boy Scouts in Scripps Ranch Fourth of July parade, 1973

  • Dixie Stewart presents the Scripps Ranch Dixie Stewart Dancers in a dance review at the Puppet Theater in Balboa Park in June 1974. During this time period, there are very few local extracurricular activities for children, particularly girls. 

Scripps Ranch Dixie Stewart Dancers, 1974

Autumn 1974

  • On October 3, 1974, the City Council votes to create an international airport and proposes to relocate Lindbergh Field to NAS Miramar. An Ad Hoc Committee is formed to meet with the Department of the Navy regarding the possible joint military/civilian use of Miramar.
  • In connection with the expansion of the Scripps Ranch Recreation Club, architects go to great lengths to save many of the more established trees of Scripps Ranch in November 1974. However, certain plants and trees are targeted for removal.Anne Humphrey, with a large number of additional concerned citizens and city staff personnel, work together to see if they can move plants designated for destruction to other specified areas within Scripps Ranch.
  • Chauncy Jerabek returns to Scripps Ranch to join Scouts and residents in trying to save plants that had been planted in the 1890s. They transplant the shrubs to preserve that link with the past. The highlight of the day is Jerabek’s replanting of a tree in Jerabek Park.
  • The idea for Scripps Ranch Little League (SRLL) begins when the Mira Mesa Little League tells Pete Vogt, a Navy enlisted man, that he is too late to sign up his kids for the 1975 season.The Mira Mesa Little League de-annexes Scripps Ranch from its territory and within two months, the SRLL is up and running with the help of other residents. This includes Bob Blatchley, the first President, Joe Gerszytn, the first Treasurer and President in year two, and Arnold Gass, the Safety Officer of years one through five.

Early 1975

  • Leadership Housing announces that it will not be building a golf course in the area designated as Scripps II, which is along a dirt road called Red Cedar Drive. Leadership sells its rights to the Scripps Miramar Ranch development to the Corky McMillin Company of Chula Vista.
  • Opening Day for Scripps Ranch Little League and all games are played on an open lot that is the present site of Jerabek School. There is no grass, only some topsoil that was brought in to smooth out the infields; that topsoil alone distinguishes the infield from the outfield. There are two fields built to support the four Major and four Minor teams. A total of 96 players participate the first year and the SRLL operates on a budget of $14,000.

Autumn 1975

  • The SRCA is notified by San Diego County of its intention to develop and operate a 500-acre sanitary landfill site, approximately two miles east of Scripps Ranch in a canyon adjacent to Carroll Canyon, with the planned primary access route being Pomerado Road. The SRCA and the Planning Group file an appeal in September 1975, primarily objecting the use of Pomerado as the access route.
  • NAS Miramar puts “hush houses” into operation to mitigate jet engine noise on October 15, 1975. Originally, Scripps Ranch residents were commonly woken up several times each night by the deafening roar of jet engines being tested at NAS Miramar. The noise was so powerful that it made the houses vibrate.Tom Johnson, a Scripps Ranch resident, leads the charge to mitigate the noise. When his initial contacts with NAS Miramar are unsuccessful, Tom contacts the local congressman, Claire Burgener, for help. While NAS Miramar had requested a “hush house” testing facility in 1973, funding was denied in an attempt to reduce the Federal budget.Mr. Johnson and Ms. Burgener vigorously pursue funding and ultimately are successful in having a hush house installed on the air base. As of July 1977, approximately 50 hours of jet engine testing per week will be done at night and the community will rarely notice it anymore. A second hush house will be installed in late 1977.
  • The Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch Pop Warner Association is formed in November 1975, with a number of teams created with a combination of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch boys.
  • The first Annual Scripps Ranch Community Cleanup is held on November 22, 1975.

Spring 1976

  • McMillin-Scripps starts grading for construction in the area east of Avenida Magnifica along Pomerado Road. 310 single-family homes are to be built, and will range from 1,900 to 2,400 square feet, one and two stones, four bedrooms, and average a price of $69,900.
  • Currie/Samuelson Development Group has begun developing its master plan for the 80-acre first phase of the Scripps Ranch Business Park and is in the process of selling and leasing sites to firms in research and development, light manufacturing and office use. Some of the companies soon to settle there are Martin-Wolfe, Imed, Motorola, and Simmons Construction.
  • Immanuel Baptist Church, the first church to be located in Scripps Ranch, purchases the parcel on which the temporary site I school had been located. Local residents meet with Pastor Jorn Swearingen and receive assurances that the trees on the property will remain and that the existing building will be used as-is without additional construction on site.

Summer 1976

  • SRCA representatives request that i) the City’s Transportation and Land Use Committee make a further study of alternative routes to the Northeast Landfill to be located near Scripps Ranch before considering whether or not to impose a weight limitation on Pomerado Road and ii) the conditional use permit granted by the City to the County to operate the Northeast Landfill be revoked and be made contingent on the opening of the Southeast Landfill near Tierrasanta.

Winter 1976

  • The City and Navy agree that a western portion of NAS Miramar could be used for landfill and that the Northeast Landfill (near Scripps Ranch) and the Southeast Landfill (near Tierrasanta) can be “land banked,” i.e., saved for future use.

Spring 1977

  • The San Diego Police Department installs a citizens band radio in SDPD Unit #131 (Channel 9) on March 2, 1977, that covers Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa. CB operators on the Ranch use this capability to either call for assistance or to report an emergency.
  • The Scripps-Miramar Ranch Planning Committee holds its initial meeting on March 23, 1977. At the meeting, the City Planning Department reviews the role and responsibility of planning committees. The group adopts a resolution seeking official recognition from the City Council and votes to accept planning services from Rick Engineering. This company is ultimately instrumental in helping develop the Scripps Ranch Community Plan. Al Tarvyd is elected as chairperson and Paula Oquita as vice-chairperson. Members of the planning group include Nada Borsa, Ivor Lemaire, George Coleman, Jr., and Bob Petering.

Summer 1977

  • The City Council formally recognizes the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan committee as the official planning committee for Scripps Ranch on June 1, 1977. Work commences on the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan.

Scripps Ranch street map, 1977

  • The Scripps Ranch Men’s Slow-Pitch Softball League, the predecessor to the Scripps Ranch Old Pros, sprouts over the summer and blossoms over the fall because a “mixed bag of nonathletes, fading superstars and self-proclaimed jocks yearned for recreation with a bat and ball… It was going to be a men’s & women’s league,” explained Anne Gass, “then the women broke off (rebelled?) to form their own league. What could we do?”

Spring 1978

  • Currie/Samuelson Development Group (CSDG) announces the development of the 53-acre Phase II of the Scripps Ranch Business Park.Plans for the business park’s second unit place an emphasis on attracting “clean industries” in San Diego County. The $10 million phase will be on the south side of Willow Creek Rd. and will extend from the Frontage Road and I-15 on the West to the property’s easterly boundary at Appaloosa Rd.
  • At this point in time, there is only one way in and out of Scripps Ranch – Pomerado Road. CalTrans closed Frontage Road the prior year in connection with construction on the 163. In December 1977, the back exit off Red Cedar was closed. Community members are urged to contact their councilman to petition for more access to Scripps Ranch.

Summer 1978

  • One hundred thirty-eight runners compete in the first annual Fourth of July Ranch mini-marathon, which held quarter and half marathon races. The races started at the corner of Corridor and Ironwood Roads and lapped the lake. The organization of this marathon had much help from Carol Brown (and her husband, a realtor) and became the predecessor to the “Old Pros 10k Run.”

First annual Fourth of July marathon, Scripps Ranch 1978

  • The City Council adopts the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan on July 18, 1978. This Community Plan becomes the Scripps Ranch portion of the City General Plan and serves as a guideline for future development within the planning area. At this time, it is planned that i) Scripps Ranch will consist of 75 percent single-family homes and 25 percent attached units, and ii) 25 percent of developed land is committed as open space and dedicated to the City of San Diego.The Community Plan covers the area south and east of Miramar Reservoir, north of the then-current present community and south of Pomerado Road. Miramar North doesn’t exist yet.

Fall 1979

  • “One Sunday evening, Bob Stillwell and Ray Calhoun were soaking their aching knees in Ray’s hot tub while soaking their insides with a little more beer to top off the weekend. They were talking about their second love, softball, and how it could be made better with fewer hassles over umpiring (imagine that). They also wanted to have some voice with the local recreation department so Scripps Ranch could get a few decent fields. Bob also wanted to have a vehicle to raise money for local kids to become Olympic stars. Hence the concept of a men’s athletic club was formed. Ray called the first organizational meeting and invited 12 guys to a breakfast at Maxwell’s. Everyone looked around and right away noticed the total lack of beer and that was the first and last breakfast meeting the club ever had. The next few meetings were held at Mark Neumann’s house (he sprang for the beer) and the Scripps Ranch Old Pros was off and running, with a club charter of “To promote sports and have a good time.”
  • Lago Dorado, the 1,067-acre piece of land on the north side of Miramar Reservoir, is sold again in November 1979, for the second time in as many weeks, with the price more than doubled.Newport Beach-based Daon Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of the same-named Canadian developer, purchases the property for about $20.3 million. At the beginning of November, the seller, Markborough Properties, Ltd., another Canadian firm, buys the land from a San Diego partnership for about $8 million. This particular parcel is being used to form the core of a larger development called Miramar Ranch North and is expected to have about 2,715 homes on it.
  • By its fifth year, Scripps Ranch Little League has expanded to almost 300 players. Previously, the school district had informed the league that construction on Jerabek School would be starting and the league would have to abandon its two fields.Jack Ahrens and other community leaders received approval to construct a field at the foot of Scripps Lake Drive and after much hard work, the Scripps Ranch Little League moved to the new “Ahrens” field in 1979 or 1980. The Pee Wee division plays at Miramar Ranch Elementary.