East Elliott is a portion of former Camp Elliott, purchased by the U.S. government in 1941 for use as a Marine Corps training camp. In 1961, approximately half of Camp Elliott, including present-day East Elliott, Tierrasanta and a portion of Mission Trails Regional Park, was declared surplus and sold. The 1962 Elliott Community Plan applicable to this area was updated in 1971, and in 1982 a separate community plan for Tierrasanta was adopted.
The Multiple Species Conservation Program and East Elliott Community Plan identify the majority of East Elliott as Multiple Habitat Planning Area (MHPA), where preservation of the natural habitat would be pursued. Areas outside of the MHPA include the Sycamore Landfill and areas designated for office use.
East Elliott remains undeveloped, with the only uses being the Sycamore Landfill and a few telecommunication antennas. It is dominated by native vegetation, including sage scrub, chaparral, native grassland, and oak and sycamore woodland. It constitutes one of the largest and biologically most important remaining open space areas in San Diego with a number of endangered and threatened wildlife species.