San Diego approves new 1,800-home neighborhood in western Mira Mesa

An artist's rendering of the new 3 Roots neighborhood coming to western Mira Mesa
An artist’s rendering of the Roots Collective in the new 3 Roots neighborhood coming to western Mira Mesa

The 3 Roots project was called model for including multiple types of housing, on-site community amenities, and parks


A large new neighborhood with 1,800 homes, a 23-acre public park and a central shopping area will be built on the 413-acre site of a former quarry in western Mira Mesa near Sorrento Valley.

Called 3 Roots, the long-awaited project has been hailed as a model for modern suburban development because it is transit-friendly, features on-site community amenities and includes a mixture of mid-rise housing and single-family homes.

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the project, praising it for helping solve the city’s shortage of affordable housing and for locating new housing near primary jobs centers in Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley.

“Today is indeed a great day for Mira Mesa and the entire city,” said Councilman Chris Cate, whose district includes the 3 Roots site.

Council members also praised the developer for making several adjustments to the proposed community over the years in response to resident feedback and concerns about traffic congestion.

The Mira Mesa Community Planning Group voted unanimously in favor of the project last summer, a rarity for a dense development project in San Diego.

“It’s not every day that we get to see something that has been unanimously approved by a community planning group,” Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe said.

Councilwoman Barbara Bry said future developments should follow the same game plan.

“3 Roots is clearly an example of a development done the right way,” she said. “It’s a great collaboration between a developer and the community that will provide much-needed housing near a major employment center.”

3 Roots neighborhood

Councilman Scott Sherman said that residents in Mira Mesa, similar to Grantville, have enthusiastically agreed to do their part to help solve the city’s housing crisis.

“Projects like this create housing for future generations of San Diegans, and hopefully that will eventually bring down the cost of housing in our city,” Sherman said.

The city’s most recent housing inventory report, released this summer, says the number of units built each year will need to triple for San Diego to meet a state-mandated goal of 108,000 new housing units by 2029.

Meeting the state-mandated target will require an average production of 13,500 units per year, which is much more than the 4,100 average units built in the city per year since 2010.

The 1,800 units in the 3 Roots project will put a dent in those numbers, and 10 percent of those units will have rent restrictions for low-income residents.

The community also will feature five separate neighborhoods with varying densities of housing, allowing people of all incomes to live in 3 Roots.

The development team, a partnership of Lennar Homes, Shea Homes and California West Communities, also has agreed to restore Carroll Canyon Creek and include 256 acres of parks, trails and open space.

There also will be 160,160 square feet of retail and commercial development in a mixed-use central area called the “Roots Collective.”

The project’s “mobility hub” will have ride-share parking spaces, meeting spots for private shuttles and on-demand transportation, as well as bike repair, lockers and connections to the planned bus rapid transit system on Carroll Canyon Road.

Mira Mesa residents hailed the proposal during Tuesday’s council meeting.

“I love the potential of having parks nearby so we can take our little son to play and frequent local restaurants and coffee shops,” said Gabriel Ozel, who said he hopes to live in 3 Roots when it opens to residents.

Matt Hoss said the project is an ideal use of the former Hanson quarry, where mining operations ceased in 2016.

“3 Roots turns an empty pit into a vibrant, sustainable community,” Hoss said. “The proposed increase in parks space, new retail, entertainment opportunities and enhanced pedestrian connections complements the existing community fabric of Mira Mesa, while elevating and re-imagining how the neighborhood looks and feels.”

The project site, located between Interstates 805 and 15, is bounded by Camino Santa Fe to the west, Rattlesnake Canyon and a single-family neighborhood to the north, and an industrial park to the south. The east side is Carroll Canyon Road, the Carroll Canyon Business Park, and an active rock quarry.