The Otay Mesa-Nestor community planning area is located in the southern region of the City, and is bounded on the north by Chula Vista, on the east by the community of Otay Mesa, on the south by the Tijuana River Valley and the San Ysidro community, and on the west by Imperial Beach.
The Otay Mesa-Nestor community's planning history as part of the City of San Diego began in 1957 when the area was annexed to the City from the County of San Diego. In 1957 there were less than 1,000 housing units in the area, but by the late 1960s, residential development had accelerated dramatically. The first Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Plan was adopted in 1979, and then updated in 1997. Otay Mesa-Nestor is an urbanized community, with over 57% of the planning area (excluding the Salt Ponds) covered with residential land uses (approximately 17,000 units). Commercial land uses comprise five percent and industrial uses comprise three percent of the plan area. Twenty percent of the planning area consists of schools, parks, transit and other public facilities, while vacant, undeveloped, agricultural, and mineral extraction and processing uses comprise the remaining 15 percent.
The Otay and Tijuana River valleys define the northern and southern boundaries of the planning area and are characterized by wetlands and riparian habitats influenced by seasonal rains and stream flow. The Otay Valley Regional Park (a joint planning effort by the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego and the county) will link San Diego Bay to the Otay Lakes while providing recreational and educational opportunities for community and regional visitors. The Tijuana River Reserve (a partnership between national, state and local agencies) encompasses 2,500 acres of beach, dune, mudflat, salt marsh, riparian, coastal sage and upland habitats surrounded by the cities of Tijuana, Imperial Beach and San Diego.