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The Navajo community, encompassing approximately 14 square miles, lies roughly north of Interstate 8, northwest of the city of La Mesa, west of the cities of El Cajon and Santee, and southeast of the San Diego River. The community includes the neighborhoods of Grantville, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro , and San Carlos.
The planning history of the Navajo community began in 1887, when the Junipero Land and Water Company developed plans for a town with a post office registration called Orchard. The area, located along present-day Mission Gorge Road north of Interstate 8, became known as Grantville in honor of President U.S. Grant. Between 1948 and 1954, a number of tracts were annexed to the City of San Diego totaling more than 6,600 acres. The San Carlos and Del Cerro communities were ultimately developed within these annexation areas. Today, the community enjoys its situation among some prominent and attractive geographic features, including the San Diego River and Lake Murray, Cowles Mountain, and Mission Gorge areas of Mission Trails Regional Park.
A wide variety of land uses are represented in the western portion of the Navajo community, including detached and attached residential in Allied Gardens, and some significant commercial and light industrial centers in Grantville, situated along both sides of Mission Gorge Road. The central and eastern portions of Navajo are primarily residential in character in the Del Cerro and San Carlos neighborhoods. Pockets of neighborhood- and community-serving commercial are situated at the intersections of major transportation corridors, such as Navajo Road at the intersections of Jackson Drive and Lake Murray Boulevard.
Transit service to the Navajo community is currently being upgraded with the construction of the Mission Valley East (MVE) trolley extension, anticipated to begin service in 2004. This line will link the existing Orange and Blue Lines, as well as provide trolley service to San Diego State University. Navajo will be served by a station located at Mission Gorge Road and Alvarado Canyon Road as part of this extension.