The Otay River Valley has a rich history of human occupation and resource use. Over 9000 years ago, prehistoric Native Americans were early inhabitants, taking advantage of the River Valley's abundant natural resources. In the 1800s, vast Spanish ranchos covered the area and cattle grazed on the gentle mesa surrounding the river while vineyards and farming occurred in the valley.
The Otay Valley Regional Park represents one of the major open space areas within the southern area of San Diego County, linking south San Diego Bay with Otay, San Miguel and the Jamul Mountains. It will provide South Bay residents and visitors recreational opportunities ranging from playing fields and picnic areas to hiking, biking, and horse trails. At the same time, the park will protect open space, wildlife, historic, agricultural, and archaeological resources. Currently there are a few active and passive recreational areas in the park. These include the County-owned and operated Otay Lakes County Park, the Ranger Station and staging area on Beyer Blvd. and the Finney Overlook and outdoor classroom. There are currently two additional staging areas where you can park to use the trails ( Rios Avenue and Beyer Way ) with five more under construction. Plans for multi-use (active recreation) areas and an extensive trail system within the park's boundaries are being completed with over 10 miles of trails available for your use between Interstate 5 and the 805 Freeway.
The planning area for Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP) is located in the southern portion of San Diego County , four miles north of the United States/Mexico International Border. The regional park will extend about 13 miles inland from the southeastern edge of the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge at the mouth of the river, through the Otay River Valley, to the land surrounding both Lower and Upper Otay Lakes. The Concept Plan forms the basis for creation of the OVRP. You can view a copy of this Concept Plan in PDF format here.
Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP) is a multi-jurisdictional planning effort by the County of San Diego and the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista . In 1990, the jurisdictions entered into a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement (JEPA) for coordinated planning, acquisition, and design for OVRP. The agreement established a three-member Policy Committee (PC) of elected officials and a 30-member Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
The JEPA established the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to advise the policy committee on matters relating to the planning, acquisition, and design of OVRP. The CAC also advises the policy committee on land use matters within the Focused Planning Area that could impact the Regional Park . CAC membership traditionally represents community organizations, property owners, developers, businesses, residents, and recreation and environmental interest groups.
Staff from each jurisdiction work together on the regional park planning effort. Joint Staff members provides technical park planning support and administrative assistance to the policy committee as well as to the CAC. The County of San Diego has the lead for administrative responsibilities and maintains the official records for the JEPA.