Scripps Ranch Developments of the 1980s

SCRIPPS RANCH CHRONOLOGY OF THE 1980S

Scripps Ranch Old Pros, 1984

1980

  • The Scripps Ranch Old Pros incorporate and membership grows quickly to 35. The group is instrumental in supporting many worthwhile community events, including Symphony at the Park and the annual Fourth of July festivities.

Spring 1980

  • The City Council adopts the Miramar Ranch North Community Plan on March 4, 1980, which allows for 4,100 homes to be constructed in Miramar Ranch North, including development on the hills above Lake Miramar. The Planning Area includes two light-industrial parks, two commercial areas, two elementary schools, and two neighborhood parks. The plan also provides for the development of, and shared use of, secondary school facilities, a community park, a library, and a fire station.

    A group of Scripps Ranch citizens under chairs David Prewitt and Karen McElliott, including Lynn Parke, Marc Sorensen, Claudia Unhold, Dennis Downs, Wes Danskin, and others, help prepare the Community Plan for Miramar Ranch North. The group incorporates many of the lessons learned from the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan, such as preserving 25 percent of the land as open space and a need for adequate parks, schools, and other infrastructure.

June 1980

  • The Dixie Stewart tap dance troupe does their famous chorus line number in their one and only costume. The Dixie Stewart Dancers would also walk in the annual Fourth of July parade in their costumes.

The Dixie Stewart tap dance troupe, 1980

Autumn 1980

  • Corky McMillin Realty offers five different models at Glenwood Springs, at Alderbrook Drive at Scripps Lake Drive, priced from $90,400.

Winter 1980

  • The City Fire Department establishes a temporary fire station in a double-wide trailer on Scripps Lake Drive, which is fully operational with two men and an 800-gallon pumper in service. The station is a double-wide mobile home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

    Scripps Ranch fire station, temporarily in a trailer, 1980The SRCA helped orchestrate the location and establishment of the temporary two-man station at the Water Treatment Plant premises. 
  • The City Council adopts a redistricting plan in order to break the council districts into more nearly equal population segments. As a result, Scripps Ranch is moved from the First District to a new District 5.
  • Homes in the Park Series, one of the original two Scripps Ranch developments, which originally sold for $33,000 to $39,000, are now selling for $130,000. 
  • The City Engineers design a split four-lane road to replace the existing two-lane road for the first mile between the new I-15 interchange and Scripps Ranch Blvd. The SRCA and the Planning Committee conduct a survey of community residents regarding whether they are in favor of the proposed improvements or not.

    The results of the survey show 122 residents against the plan and 83 for the plan proposed by the City, in part because the proposed modifications fail to address the more significant safety issues further down Pomerado Road.

    By this time, Pomerado Road has become a major traffic-carving road with 60 to 70 percent of the traffic coming from Poway. It needs improvement as it is a winding, dangerous road which has motorist and motorcyclist deaths occurring regularly. One tree has claimed no less than three accidents and deaths.

    The Community Plan calls for improvement. The City decides to improve the road into a four-lane divided highway stretching from I-15 to Scripps Ranch Boulevard, but not beyond. Bob Dingeman and others argue with City road engineers, including George Richardson, that the entire road needs to be made into a safe two-lane road.  

    Bob Dingeman helps the City’s team of road engineers to design a safe road that includes Scripps Ranch community funds as well as City funds. Many eucalyptus trees have to be cut, and the timber is sold for firewood.

    An agreement is reached to close the road to Poway traffic until completion of a connecting road. So the road is barricaded. This works for two years. Poway takes the City to court. The City loses and has to reopen the road before Poway has completed their share of the Pomerado Road extension. Poway and the developers eventually complete the work on the extension seven years later.

Spring 1981

  • The grand opening and dedication of the new Scripps Ranch Fire Station, Scripps Ranch Quick Attack, Station 37, is held on March 14, 1981.

    After realizing the community is being shortchanged, with only two personnel on the engine when every other engine in the city has a minimum of four professional firefighters, Bob Dingeman calls for action.

    Shortly thereafter in 1982, Station 37 grows in size by adding two additional firefighters and one additional trailer with two bedrooms and one bathroom for crews’ quarters.

    Scripps Ranch fire station, 1982Ultimately, the second trailer falls apart with wood rot. The squirrels take all of the insulation for their nests, and the walls inside are wet when it rains.

  • The Scripps Ranch Old Pros announce the Fifth Annual Summer Softball League in May 1981. This is the first time the “Old Pros” are mentioned in the newsletter by that name.
  • Mrs. Nackey Scripps Meanley, age 82, last surviving daughter of E.W. Scripps, passes away on May 31, 1981. She and her husband, Thomas Meanley, were the oldest residents in Scripps Ranch.
  • The Scripps Ranch Soccer Club is formed, enabling Scripps Ranch children to play soccer under a Scripps Ranch banner for the first time starting in Autumn 1981.

Summer 1981

  • The Hazard Family makes their old-fashioned steam calliope, which has been restored from the old circus days, available for the Scripps Ranch Fourth of July parade for the third year in a row.

  • Homes in Whispering Woods Estates off of Semillon go on sale for $236,000 to $282,000. The homes are single level and split-level homes with three and four bedrooms, with 2,493 to 3,476 square feet.

  • The Scripps Ranch Planning Group continues working with the City on alternative ways to improve Pomerado Road without making a four-lane freeway bisect the Ranch. The goal of the Planning Group and the SRCA is to make the entire road from the I-15 to Semillon safe by proposing the removal of the most dangerous blind curves and hills.

Winter 1981

  • Becky McDonald founds the Welcome Wagon Club, a service organization that introduces new families to the area.

  • Boy Scout Troop 1216 forms in January 1982.

Summer 1982

  • Scripps Ranch residents protest the total destruction of the mature trees on the land on which Vons was planning to build its new facility. Many residents are saddened by the loss of the last of the trees planted by E.W. Scripps, when the last two large trees are felled to make way for the future Vons parking lot.

  • On June 22, 1982, the City Council unanimously votes to provide for a two-lane road the entire length of Pomerado Road.
  • The first annual 10k Fun Run on the streets of Scripps Ranch takes place on July 4, 1982.

    Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10k, late 1980s

November 1982

  • The old Baptist Church’s portable buildings are removed from the site across from the shopping center. The owner of the land allows the community to hold its annual craft fair on the property but has plans to develop the land in the future.

  • The Scripps Miramar Community Planning Group, which was instrumental in preparing the Scripps Miramar Community Plan, is honored by the American Institute of Architects with an Orchid Award for Urban Planning and Community Service.

    The Planning Group helped preserve the natural beauty and park-like setting of the Ranch while working together with members of the Community and developers to achieve this. The Scripps Miramar Community Plan becomes the standard for others in the city.

Early 1983

  • The City presents the final plan for the improvements to Pomerado Road and the Planning Commission voted to improve Pomerado Road by widening the two-lane road up to Semillon Blvd. to 40 feet (12-foot lanes, with 8-foot shoulders).

    No major realignment of the roadbed will occur and the destruction of trees will be minimized. The curve in the road near the entrance to Scripps Ranch will be straightened and raised to resolve annual flooding.

  • McMillin Development, Inc. reports on their new recreation facilities club to be built directly north of the Jerabek Fields.

Spring 1983 

  • Currie/Samuelson Development Group opens the $2 million Eucalyptus Square, a three-building complex designed to provide Scripps Ranch Business Park with long-needed banking, retail shops, restaurants, and office space.

October 14, 1983  

  • A groundbreaking ceremony is held in connection with Phase I of the improvements to Pomerado Road. The improvements will include a standard two-lane road with eight-foot shoulders, a bike lane and a pedestrian walkway on the north side.

December 9, 1983 

  • The Community holds the first Christmas tree lighting ceremony with a native tree purchased for that purpose and planted outside the Home Federal Savings building in the Vons shopping center. School children, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Welcome Wagon Club contribute money for the tree. Councilman Ed Struiksma emcees the event. 

    Dingeman at Scripps Ranch tree lighting ceremony, 1985This event is the start of a long-lived annual tradition. A few days later, the Grinch steals the Christmas tree lights and destroys and scatters the tree ornaments on the ground.

1984

  • The number of young ladies participating in SRLL continues to grow from the late 70s to early 80s. In 1983 to 1984, Mary Ann Martini and others organize the Girls Softball Division of the league, which begins with nine teams in 1984. By 1984, SRLL has just under 500 participants and 37 teams.

  • Construction begins on the last subdivided lot at Phase II of the Scripps Ranch Business Park, at the northeast corner of Old Grove Road and Business Park Avenue.

August 1984

  • The Women’s Athletic Club of Scripps Ranch is founded.

September 1984

  • The new Mini Mart on Scripps Trail opens.
  • Pomerado Road is closed to Poway in connection with Phase I of the second section of improvements to Pomerado Road, in which improvements are made on the section of the road from Scripps Ranch Blvd. to Avenida Magnifica.

October 1984

  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held for the opening of the Pomerado Terrace Navy Housing, with guest speaker Congressman Bill Lowe, on October 19, 1984. This housing is located on the site of the former US Navy Firefighters School.

    While the Pomerado Terrace homes are being built, the foundation of the dam erected by E. W. Scripps along Carroll Creek is uncovered and has to be removed to clear the channel again.

    When the Navy takes back the property on which the old Navy Firefighting School is located from USIU, the SRCA is very interested in having a quality development built by the Navy to house their families, “not a run-of-the-mill affair,” according to Bob Dingeman. John Stevens and Bob Dingeman volunteered to work with the Navy architects in the design of the development to include many quality features and things like play areas and covered garbage racks.

    These and other desirable enhancements would work to retain a quality development. Bob Dingeman claims to have recommended the name “Pomerado Terrace,” which was adopted as appropriate for Navy housing at the entrance to the Ranch.

  • Currie/Samuelson leads a cooperative effort of businesses to alleviate a traffic and safety problem; the intersection of Carroll Canyon Rd and Business Park Ave. is a severe bottleneck during rush hour.

    Upon approaching the City about the installation of a traffic light, Currie/Samuelson officials are told that city priorities prevent any action until 1988. As a result, Currie/Samuelson contacts the six largest employers at Scripps Ranch Business Park in an effort to raise the $88,000 necessary to install traffic lights through private resources.

    The City cooperates by expediting permitting and processing, and construction is scheduled to be completed in late summer 1985.

January 1985

  • The first edition of the Star News, Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch edition is published. This local paper replaces the Mirror newspaper.

Spring 1985 

  • Scripps Ranch Little League wins its first District All-Star Championship.

Summer 1985

  • The first homes built in Scripps Ranch by Leadership Housing that went for $32,500 in October 1970 are now selling for $180,000.

  • Following the Normal Heights Fire, fifteen years before the Cedar Fire, the San Diego Fire Department’s post-fire Fire Inspector says that Scripps Ranch is the perfect scenario for the same type of disaster with its brush and eucalyptus trees. His exact words are, “someday there’ll be a fire there a mile wide and no one will be able to stop it.” Ultimately, the Fire Inspector was wrong. The path of the Cedar Fire would be three miles wide.
  • For the first time, the Fourth of July parade contains a marching band, the Mira Mesa High School Marching Band, and the “Smizer Mule Team” wagon sponsored by Vons. The old favorite entries include the Bruce Hazard Steam Calliope, the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard, the Scripps Ranch Clowns and the Society for the Prevention of the Extinction of the Middle Class.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the Scripps Ranch annual Fourth of July parade is “one of the Ten Favorite Parades for an All-American Fourth of July.”

  • Pomerado Road is reopened to Poway traffic after the completion of the improvements to Pomerado Road on July 11, 1985.
  • The parish of St. Gregory the Great is founded in August 1985. The first Mass is celebrated on September 3, 1985, at Miramar Ranch Elementary School. For the next couple of years, the faith community holds services at a variety of locations, including in the living room and backyard of the founding Pastor, Father Jim Poulson.

    St. Gregory the Great, first Mass, 1985 Scripps Ranch

October 25, 1985

  • A formal dedication ceremony is held for the Scripps Ranch Community signs, located on Carroll Canyon near the IMED building and on the south side of Pomerado. The business owners in the Scripps Ranch Business Park, who had gotten together to help pay for a traffic light at Carroll Canyon, wanted to install a special Scripps Ranch sign on Carroll Canyon.

    The community designed one with “Country Living” carved out of redwood that followed the pattern of the original For Sale signs used by the first developer. The community had sufficient funds to make two signs and installs the other sign on Pomerado Road.

    Dedication ceremony for Scripps Ranch Country Living signs, 1985

December 1985

  • The Meanley estate is sold to the Currie/Samuelson Development Group for $11 million with the provision that Tom Meanley remains in his home until his death. He had stipulated that the Meanley House was never to be used for public use.

    Currie/Samuelson begins developing Phase III of the Scripps Ranch Business Park on the property.

  • Thomas M. Meanley, Scripps Ranch’s oldest continuing resident, dies at 97. He lived on his ranch in Scripps Ranch for 71 years.

1986

  • The Meanley estate is declared a historical site in the Scripps Ranch Community Plan. The Friends of the Library, led by Karen Kissane, are permitted to remove items of historical significance and usable materials appropriate for furnishing the permanent community library scheduled to be completed by 1991 on the site of the Meanley House.

May 1986

  • Bob Dingeman tours the old Meanley mansion with Ron Currie of Currie/Samuelson Development Group, the developer of the business park on the former Meanley property. Dingeman assumes that the building has considerable historical significance as one of the oldest buildings in San Diego.

    Dingeman discovers that the building does not lend itself to conversion into a community-type building. For example, the water for toilets comes from Adams Pond and the drinking water system comes from rainwater collected into a large cistern under the floor of the house.

    The house is not of the same type as E.W. Scripps’ Miramar Ranch. There are no adobe walls or Mexican tile floors. Discussions are had about the area alongside the Meanley’s pool being an ideal location for a community building and park. Mr. Currie suggests a donation of part of the site for the construction of a permanent community library.

    After Mr. Meanley’s death, Currie/Samuelson ultimately agrees to donate $750,000 toward the construction of the library, as well as eight acres of the property itself. They also agree to make site improvements and maintain the property for five years after deeding it over to the City.

  • Hundreds of hopeful prospective homeowners camp out in line on May 24, 1986, for the chance to purchase a home in the newly-planned Sunset Ridge Development being developed by the Corky McMillin Company in Scripps Ranch. Corky McMillin responds by hiking the prices by $15,000 to $20,000 per home on the day the sales office opens.

    The news media captures images of the tents and people in line. Ed Salvador, the first person in line, waited for 35 days. Homes are offered starting from $175,000.

  • Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Planning Group approves the “County Island” amendment proposal on May 29, 1986, which aims to annex the “Meanley Property” to the City of San Diego within the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan to allow development of the property. 

Summer 1986

  • For the first time, the annual Fourth of July festivities include a fun bike ride sponsored by the Scripps Ranch Old Pros in conjunction with their 10K Run. The ride is set at distances of 12 and 45 miles. In addition, “library spirit overtook the Ranch! The Fourth of July saw children dressed as their favorite storybook characters marching in the parade under a library banner.”

    Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10k Fun Run, late 1980s

  • Homes in the Wine Country development are listed for sale at around $179,900 and homes in the Timbers development are listed for sale at around $141,900.

  • The City Council meets on September 16, 1986, to discuss three interrelated planning actions which impact directly on Scripps Ranch; i) the realignment of Route 125, ii) the annexation of the “County Island” and iii) amendments to the Scripps Ranch and Miramar Ranch North Community Plans.

    One of the issues related to these actions involves the funneling of additional traffic generated in Poway and Bieler Canyon onto Pomerado Road. Scripps Ranch community members push for the building of Alternative 8 in Scripps Ranch North, but this route is estimated to cost $29 million and no funding is available.

    Another concern involves the annexation of county land by the City which would likely require the City to improve the connector portion of Pomerado Road that leads into Poway for safety and liability reasons, as that portion of the road is not up to safety standards.

    The community wants to make sure that it is involved in “controlling its destiny” as the area is developed. At the council meeting, it is determined that Scripps Ranch community members can meet with developers to further discuss ways to come up with a practical solution.

October 1986

  • The “Scripps Ranch Song” is composed by Holly Hogan and Scripps Partners. It is an adaptation of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy.”

November 1986

  • The City Council adopts an amendment to the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan that approves changing the land use designation for a 101-acre parcel (previously referred to in the Plan as Neighborhood Area B) from residential to industrial park use.

December 9, 1986

  • The city of San Diego declares it Bob Dingeman Day.

May 21, 1987

  • The City Council amends the Miramar Ranch North Community Plan in a number of ways: 1) the number of permitted residential units increases as well as the amount of industrial and commercial uses; 2) a phasing plan is established to assure the provision of the expanded public facilities concurrent with or prior to actual need; 3) usable park acreage is significantly expanded, partly to offset the lack of an adequate community park site within the twin communities of Scripps Miramar Ranch and Miramar Ranch North and 4) the planning area is modified with a net area reduction of 115 acres as a result of the boundary adjustments.

    On the north, the planning area is enlarged to include lands located between the present boundaries of the Sabre Springs and Miramar Ranch North Community Plans. The planning area is reduced to exclude lands covered by the concurrent Scripps Miramar Ranch community plan amendment. The southern boundary of the planning area reflects a land trade that occurred between the City of San Diego and DAON. The new boundary follows the alignment of a drainage interceptor swale that protects the Miramar Reservoir from surface runoff originating in the planning area.

June 12, 1987

  • The county of San Diego Board of Supervisors and the City of San Diego each declare it Bob E. Dingeman Day.

June 29, 1987

  • The Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan is amended to incorporate into the community boundaries a 365-acre area located to the northeast of the original plan boundaries. When the city of Poway was formed, this area was originally part of a 425-acre county “island,” which was initially intended to be amended into the Miramar Ranch North Community Plan area.

    However, circumstances associated with the timing of future development in the area resulted in the incorporation of the major portion of the county island (386 acres) into this Community Plan. The amendment to the Plan also designates a seven-acre site as a church site.

July 1987 

  • The Promontory at Scripps Ranch captures a prestigious Gold Nugget Grand Award honoring the new development as the best medium density residential community in the west. The annual “Best in the West” design competition is held each year as part of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

August 1987

  • Construction commences on single-family homes on Timberlake Drive. Residents had been surveyed regarding the desirability of a church on that site, but it was determined that the site was too small for that purpose.

September 22, 1987

  • A Show and Tell meeting for the Scripps Ranch community is organized by both planning groups, at which developers and builders present preliminary sketches, plans, and models of their proposed future projects in Scripps Ranch. Citizens see what is planned for Scripps Ranch and are able to talk with developers directly.

    Bob Dingeman states, “We have found, as a community, that we can and should actively participate in a constructive manner from the onset of projects. In this way, we can insert our views prior to the plans becoming so fixed that we have to comment, usually in opposition rather than constructively, to improve the same.”

December 1987

  • A new program is initiated to remove the trees in the community that are identified as infested with the longhorn borer.

  • The parish of St. Gregory the Great leases office space in an office complex on Treena Street (the GEICO building) for their parish center, which they use for the next 12 years. During this time, the parish grows from 200 families to over 1,300. 
  • The Blue Angels fly Boeing WA-18 Hornets for the first time at the MCAS Miramar Air Show.

February 1988

  • US Navy expands its testing of engines at NAS Miramar and installs new test stands, space-age “Hush Houses” to dampen out the sound of the essential run-up procedures.

April 1988

  • A new four-way stop sign is installed at the intersection of Scripps Ranch Blvd. and Scripps Lake Drive, after a number of head-on car crashes.

January 1989

  • The population of Scripps Ranch is 16,090.

September 14, 1989

  • The Scripps Miramar Ranch Maintenance Assessment District assumes control of more open space on Mira Lago (near Ashlar Place and Ancona) from McMillin.

November 1989

  • Scripps Ranch has 5,523 homes per the tax assessment rolls.