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Bonita at a Glance
  • Population: 13,055
  • Median price single-family home: $515,000
  • Median price single-family luxury home:
  • Land area in square miles: 4.9
  • Residents per square mile: 2,667
  • Distance from San Diego: 11.3 miles
  • Solds: 93 (2008)

  • Points of Interest

    Bonita Golf Club

    Sweetwater Regional Park

    Bonita Museum & Cultural Center
    It Lives Up to its Translation: Pretty!
    This spacious, equestrian-oriented gem of a community is situated in San Diego County's South Bay area. It is an unincorporated area bounded by the incorporated cities of Chula Vista, San Diego, and National City and is closely associated with the geography of the Lower Sweetwater Valley. Bonita occupies about a five-mile stretch of the Sweetwater River, its valley, and surrounding hills on either side, bounded upstream (east) by the Sweetwater Reservoir (see "Points of Interest"), and downstream (west) effectively by Interstate 805. The community crosses west of I-805 — an area less than 160 acres — reaching as far south and west as East H Street and Hilltop Drive. Its northern boundary is State Route 54 and its southern extent reaches approximately one mile south of the river.

    Large portions of modern Bonita consist of housing tracts built throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The community is served by the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the Sweetwater Union High School District.

    In 1888, the Sweetwater Dam was built, creating the Sweetwater Reservoir and forever changing the geography of the region. Soon after, in 1906, the dam broke as a result of extensive rains that overfilled the reservoir, and the Lower Sweetwater Valley was completely flooded.

    Bonita has experienced minor flooding throughout history, generally as a result of high seasonal rains attributed to >El Niño. The floods most affect the Central Avenue river crossing, because no bridge has ever been built, unlike the Bonita Road and Willow Road crossings, which are bridges, the former rebuilt in the late 1990s.

    In the 1990s and 2000s, the development of State Route 125 (The South Bay Expressway) became a major issue to Bonita residents, much as Interstate 805 and State Route 54 did during their development. Opponents argued that Bonita's rural nature would be compromised without benefit while proponents argued that the highway would reduce the significant increase in surface-street car traffic the community had seen since the 1980s when the eastern Chula Vista communities surrounding the Eastlake area developed. The tollway opened in November 2007.

    Recreation and Events
    Bonita is considered a rural and equestrian enclave in the middle of suburbia. To visitors and residents alike, one of the most visible features of Bonita recreational life is the walking trail that loops the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course in central Bonita. Hundreds of residents walk, run, and ride this trail every day for pleasure and fitness, and the trail has become a vital component of Bonita life for many residents.

    In the late 1990s the Sweetwater Regional Park was expanded and significantly improved, extending the walking and equestrian trails to an even greater number, and introducing a camping area at Summit Meadow Road. Now, virtually the entire valley from the reservoir to I-805 formally serves recreational purposes as either park or golf course. Sweetwater County Park, at the intersection of Briarwood Road and Sweetwater Road, is a wildlife preserve with a small pond that supports some fishing.

    Equestrianism has long been a part of the Bonita community, and many trails exist throughout the Lower Sweetwater Valley. There are a number of connections to trails external to Bonita as well. In fact, many residents still keep their own horses and can be seen riding the trails regularly. The Bonita Valley Trails organization monitors and supports the network of trails throughout the valley.

    Bonitafest is an annual community event, held in early autumn, usually highlighted by a parade and street fair (along Bonita Road), which offers crafts, music, entertainment, and food. The Kiwanis Club hosts a Bonitafest Golf Tournament in conjunction with this event.

    House Prices
    The median price of a single-family home was $515,000 in 2008. The median price for a single-family luxury home is currently $1,500,000. Please note that our "House Price Points" are based on the luxury
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    Print Date: 10/24/2020
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