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Chula Vista, California
City
City of Chula Vista
Images from top, left to right: Chula Vista Bayfront, Mattress Train Amphitheatre, HMS Surprise, Third Avenue in Downtown
Images from top, left to right: Chula Vista Bayfront, Mattress Train Amphitheatre, HMS Surprise, Third Avenue in Downtown
Flag of Chula Vista, California
Flag
Official seal of Chula Vista, California
Seal
Nickname(s): Lemon Capital of the World
Chula-juana
Location of Chula Vista within San Diego County, California
Location of Chula Vista within San Diego County, California
Country  United States
State  California
County San Diego
Incorporated November 28, 1911
Area
 • City 52.094 sq mi (134.925 km2)
 • Land 49.631 sq mi (128.545 km2)
 • Water 2.463 sq mi (6.380 km2)  4.73%
Elevation 66 ft (20 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 243,916
 • Estimate (2014) 260,988
 • Rank 2nd in San Diego County
14th in California
75th in the United States
 • Density 4,682.23/sq mi (1,807.790/km2)
 • Metro San Diego–Tijuana: 5,105,768
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91909–91915, 91921
Area code(s) 619
FIPS code 06-13392
GNIS feature IDs 1660481, 2409461
Website www.chulavistaca.gov

Chula Vista (/ˌlə ˈvɪstə/; Spanish: beautiful view ) is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California, and the 76th-largest city in the United States. The population was 243,916 as of the 2010 census.

Located just 7.5 miles (12.1 km) from downtown San Diego and 7.5 miles (12.1 km) from the Mexican border in the South Bay region of the metropolitan area, the city is at the center of one of the richest economic and culturally diverse zones in the United States. Chula Vista is so named because of its scenic location between the San Diego Bay and coastal mountain foothills.

Founded in the early 19th century, fast population growth has recently been observed in the city. Located in the city is one of America's few year-round United States Olympic Training centers and popular tourist destinations include Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, the Chula Vista marina, and the Living Coast Discovery Center.

History

Early history

In the year 3000 BCE, people speaking the Yuman (Quechan) language began movement into the region from the Lower Colorado River Valley and southwestern Arizona portions of the Sonoran desert. Later the Kumeyaay tribe came to populate the land, on which the city sits today, who lived in the area for hundreds of years.

In the year 1542 CE, a fleet of three Spanish Empire ships commanded by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, sailed into San Diego Harbor. Early explorations by Spanish conquistadors, such as these, led to Spanish claims of the land. The historic land on which Chula Vista sits became part of the 1795 land grant known as Rancho del Rey or The King's Ranch. The land eventually was renamed Rancho de la Nación.

During the Mexican-American War, California was claimed by the United States, regardless of the California independence movement that had briefly swept the state. Though California was now under the jurisdiction of the United States, land grants were allowed to continue in the form of private property.

The San Diego Land and Town Company developed lands of the Rancho de la Nación for new settlement. The town began as a five thousand acre development, with the first house being erected in 1887; by 1889, ten houses had been completed. Around this time, the lemon was introduced to the city, by a retired professor from the University of Wisconsin. Chula Vista can be roughly translated from Spanish as "beautiful view."

The 1888 completion of the Sweetwater Dam allowed for irrigation of Chula Vista farming lands. Chula Vista eventually became the largest lemon-growing center in the world for a period of time.

20th century

The citizens of Chula Vista voted to incorporate on October 17, 1911. The State approved in November.

In January 1916, Chula Vista was impacted by the Hatfield Flood, which was named after Charles Hatfield, when the Lower Otay Dam collapsed flooding the valley surrounding the Otay River; up to fifty people died in the flood. Later in 1916, the Hercules Powder Company opened a 30-acre bayfront site, now known as Gunpowder point, which produced substances used to make cordite, a gun propellant used extensively by the British Armed Forces during World War I. Although the Great Depression affected Chula Vista significantly, agriculture still provided considerable income for the residents. In 1931, the lemon orchards produced $1 million in revenue and the celery fields contributed $600,000.

The relocation of Rohr Aircraft Corporation to Chula Vista in early 1941, just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, changed Chula Vista. The land never returned to being orchard groves again. The population of post-World War II Chula Vista tripled from 5,000 residents in 1940 to more than 16,000 in 1950. After the war, many of the factory workers and thousands of servicemen stayed in the area resulting in the huge growth in population. The last of the citrus groves and produce fields disappeared as Chula Vista became one of the largest communities in San Diego County. From 1960 to 2013, the South Bay Power Plant, a 700 megawatt four boiler plant, occupied 115 acres (47 ha) of the Chula Vista waterfront.

In 1944, the state of California attempted to seize land in Chula Vista owned by Kajiro Oyama, a legal Japanese resident who was then interned in Utah. Oyama was correctly charged with putting the property in his son Fred's name with the intent to evade the Alien Land Law because Fred was a native-born citizen. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court as Oyama v. California where the court found that Kajiro's equal protection rights had been violated.

United States Training Center Chula Vista
Olympic Training Center, Lower Otay Reservoir in the background

In January 1986, Chula Vista annexed the unincorporated community of Montgomery, which had previously rejected annexation in 1979 and 1982. At the time of the annexation the community was virtually surrounded by its larger neighbor. Over the next few decades, Chula Vista continued to expand eastward. Plans called for a variety of housing developments such as Eastlake, Rancho del Rey and Otay Ranch neighborhoods. In 1995, the United States Olympic Committee opened an Olympic Training Center in Eastlake on donated land; it is the USOC's first master-planned facility and is adjacent to Lower Otay Reservoir. In the last decade of the century, a desalinization plant opened to process water from wells along the Sweetwater River; it was expanded less than two decades later, which included a pumping station built in Bonita.

Camp Otay/Weber

140RegtCOA
Coat of Arms for the 140th Infantry Regiment

During World War I and II The army maintained a base on what is now the corner of Main Street and Albany Avenue. It initially served as a border post during World War I, and was reestablished in December 1942. It was home to the 140th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division. The regiment conducted war games against the Camp Lockett based 10th Cavalry, and were defeated. The base was closed in February 1944, and the division went on to see combat in the European theater. All traces of the post have since been removed.

21st century

In 2003, Chula Vista had 200,000 residents and was the second largest city in San Diego County. That year, Chula Vista was the seventh fastest growing city in the nation, growing at a rate of 5.5%, due the communities of Eastlake and Otay Ranch.

Chula Vista is growing at a fast pace, with major developments taking place in the Otay Valley near the U.S. Olympic Training Center and Otay Lake Reservoir. Thousands of new homes have been built in the Otay Ranch, Lomas Verdes, Rancho Del Rey, Eastlake and Otay Mesa Areas. The South Bay Expressway, a toll-road extension of state route 125, opened November 19, 2007, connecting freeways 805 and 905 with State Route 54.

On May 30, 2006 officials from Chula Vista and the San Diego Chargers met to potentially discuss building a new stadium that would serve as the home for the team. Yet, in June 2009 the Chargers removed Chula Vista as a possible location for a new stadium. In 2009, Chula Vista - along with nine other second tier metropolitan area cities such as Hialeah and Southern California's Santa Ana - was ranked as one of the most boring cities in America by Forbes magazine; citing the large population but rare mentions of the city in national media.

In 2013, Forbes called Chula Vista the second fastest growing city in the nation, having recovered from the slow down during the Great Recession, which saw the city lead the nation in having the highest mortgage default rate. In 2014, a survey conducted at the request of the city found that the majority of San Diegans surveyed had a negative perception of the city.

A current development plan in Chula Vista is to develop the bayfront.

Geography

Proctorvalleylake
Proctor Valley in Chula Vista

Owning up to its Spanish name origins - beautiful view - Chula Vista is located in the South Bay region of San Diego County, between the foothills of the Jamul and San Ysidro Mountains (including Lower Otay Reservoir) and San Diego Bay on its east and west extremes, and the Sweetwater River and Otay River at its north and south extremes. In South Bay, Chula Vista has a large footprint and, aside from South San Diego, it is the largest geographic entity in the region.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city covers an area of 52.1 square miles (135 km2), 49.6 square miles (128 km2) of it land, and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) or 4.73% of it water.

Ecological preserves

Chula Vista has within its city limits the Sweetwater Marsh unit of the San Diego Bay NWR. It also maintains several city maintained open space areas.

Neighborhoods

West Chula Vista

The original Chula Vista encompasses the area west of Hilltop Drive and north of L Street. The community of Montgomery was annexed by the city, after several failed attempts, in 1986. The community consist of most of the area south of L Street, west of Hilltop Drive and north of San Diego's city limit.

East Chula Vista

Beginning in the late 1980s the planned communities of Eastlake, Otay Ranch, and Rancho del Rey began to develop in the annexed areas east of Interstate 805. These communities expanded upon the eastern annexations of the 1970s, including the area around Southwestern College.

Climate

Like the rest of lowland San Diego County, Chula Vista has a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh/BSk), with Mediterranean characteristics, though the winter rainfall is too low and erratic to qualify as an actual Mediterranean climate.

Climate data for Chula Vista, California (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 68.5
(20.28)
68.1
(20.06)
68.1
(20.06)
69.4
(20.78)
70.1
(21.17)
72.0
(22.22)
75.9
(24.39)
77.8
(25.44)
78.0
(25.56)
75.7
(24.28)
71.8
(22.11)
67.4
(19.67)
71.9
(22.17)
Average low °F (°C) 45.8
(7.67)
47.5
(8.61)
50.3
(10.17)
53.0
(11.67)
57.5
(14.17)
60.6
(15.89)
64.5
(18.06)
65.6
(18.67)
63.2
(17.33)
57.9
(14.39)
50.2
(10.11)
45.3
(7.39)
55.1
(12.83)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.87
(47.5)
2.30
(58.4)
1.70
(43.2)
0.66
(16.8)
0.09
(2.3)
0.06
(1.5)
0.03
(0.8)
0.01
(0.3)
0.14
(3.6)
0.49
(12.4)
0.98
(24.9)
1.31
(33.3)
9.64
(244.9)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 5.0 6.6 5.6 3.1 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.6 1.9 3.3 4.5 32.4
Source: NOAA

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,718
1930 3,869 125.2%
1940 5,138 32.8%
1950 15,927 210.0%
1960 42,034 163.9%
1970 67,901 61.5%
1980 83,927 23.6%
1990 135,163 61.0%
2000 173,556 28.4%
2010 243,916 40.5%
Est. 2015 265,757 9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
Chula Vista population
Year Population
(pop.)
Change
in pop. (raw)
Change
in pop. (%)
2010 243,916 +70,360 +40.5%
2000 173,556 +38,393 +28.4%
1990 135,163 +51,236 +61.0%
1980 83,927 +16,026 +23.6%
1970 67,901 +25,867 +61.5%
1960 42,034 +26,107 +163.9%
1950 15,927 +10,789 +209.9%
1940 5,138 +1, 269 +32.7%
1930 3,869 +2,151 +125.2%
1920 1,718 +1,068 +164.3%
1910 650 - -

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Chula Vista had a population of 243,916. The population density was 4,682.2 people per square mile (1,807.8/km²). The racial makeup of Chula Vista was 130,991 (53.7%) White, 11,219 (4.6%) African American, 1,880 (0.8%) Native American, 35,042 (14.4%) Asian, 1,351 (0.6%) Pacific Islander, 49,171 (20.2%) from other races, and 14,262 (5.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 142,066 persons (58.2%).

The Census reported that 242,180 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 656 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,080 (0.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 75,515 households, out of which 36,064 (47.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 42,153 (55.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 12,562 (16.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 4,693 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,720 (4.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 502 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 12,581 households (16.7%) were made up of individuals and 4,997 (6.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.21. There were 59,408 families (78.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.60.

The population was spread out with 68,126 people (27.9%) under the age of 18, 24,681 people (10.1%) aged 18 to 24, 70,401 people (28.9%) aged 25 to 44, 56,269 people (23.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 24,439 people (10.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.7 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

There were 79,416 housing units at an average density of 1,524.5 per square mile (588.6/km²), of which 43,855 (58.1%) were owner-occupied, and 31,660 (41.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.5%. 143,330 people (58.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 98,850 people (40.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Late 20th century

In 2000, the city's population was 173,556. The racial make up of the city during the 2000 census was 55.1% White, 22.1% Other, 11% Asian, 5.8% of two or more races, 4.6% African American, 0.8% Native American, and 0.6% Pacific Islander. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49.6%. Of these individuals, 28.7% were under the age of 18.

In 1990, the city's population was 135,163. The racial make up of the city during the 1990 census was 67.7% White, 18.1% Other, 8.2% Asian, 4.5% African American, 0.6% Pacific Islander, and 0.6% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.2%. Of these individuals, 26% were under the age of 18.

In 1980, the city's population was 83,927. The racial make up of the city during the 1980 census was 83.1% White, 7.9% "Race, n.e.c.", 6.1% Asian and Pacific Islander, 2.1% African American, and 0.7% Native American. Persons of "Spanish Origin" made up 46.6% of the population.

Culture

Chula Vista is home to OnStage Playhouse the only live theater in South Bay, San Diego.

Obama Little League
Barack Obama with the Chula Vista team that won the 2009 Little League World Series

Other points of interest and events include the Chula Vista Nature Center, the J Street Harbor, and the Third Avenue Village. Downtown Chula Vista hosts a number of cultural events, including the famous Lemon Festival, Starlight Parade, and Chula Vista Rose Festival.

Mattress Firm Amphitheatre is a performing arts theatre that was the areas first major concert music facility. OnStage theater stages high quality productions; serving as a large contributor to the cultural arts setting in Chula Vista.

Sports

Chula Vista is the site of the Olympic Training Center. The U.S. national rugby team practices at the OTC. Chula Vista is also home to Chula Vista FC which gained national attention with its 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run.

In 2009 Parkview Little League won the 2009 Little League World Series, earning the nickname "The Blue Bombers".

In 2013 Eastlake Little League won the American Championship at the 2013 Little League World Series.

Transportation

See also: Transportation in San Diego County

Major freeways and highways

Chula Vista is served by multiple Interstates and California State Routes. Interstate 5 begins to the south of the city and runs through its western edge. Interstate 5 connects Chula Vista to North County and beyond to Greater Los Angeles and Northern California. Interstate 805 serves as a bypass to Interstate 5, linking to the latter interstate in Sorrento Valley. Interstate 905 runs from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and is one of three auxiliary three-digit Interstate to meet an international border. State Route 54 and State Route 125 serve as highways to East County cities via north and northeastern corridors.

Sister cities

Chula Vista has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International.

City Country
Cebu City Philippines Philippines
Irapuato Mexico Mexico
Odawara Japan Japan

Images for kids


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