On the northern edge of the city of San Diego, Carmel Valley lies just east of Del Mar and Interstate 5. To the south of the community are the large employment centers of Sorrento Valley and La Jolla?s Golden Triangle, and many residents are employed by such nearby companies as Cisco and Oracle. Until the mid-1970s, the area was agricultural and dotted with horse farms and nurseries. A master plan was developed in the mid-1970s and developers came up with the name ?North City West.? Residential development began in earnest in 1983 and residents changed the community?s name to its former name, Carmel Valley, in the early 1990s. It was named for its location ? in a wide valley north of Carmel Mountain, which was in turn named for the Carmelite nuns, who built a monastery, hospital, and dairy in the area in 1905. A dozen years later, the hospital would house wounded WWI soldiers.
Carmel Valley is characterized by large, newer, upscale homes plus condos and townhomes in a variety of communities. Some homes on the hillside boast spectacular views. Home prices remain relatively stable, and one reason for that is the community?s central county location and easy access to Interstate 5. Residents? accessibility to other locations in the county improved even more when the east-west 56 freeway was completed, connecting the community to eastern suburbs such as Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, and others. Schools in the area are in top-notch school districts. Even in the current housing slump, Carmel Valley remains very popular with homebuyers - in fact, more than 200 people were reportedly on the waiting list for a chance to buy one builder's eight new homes. The population of Carmel Valley has grown almost 61 percent since 2000.