In 1948 a group of professors and local professionals met to discuss the possibility of providing home sites for those who loved the outdoors, with a particular emphasis on horseback riding. With the aid of a local developer, the site, west of then San Diego State College, was decided upon. It was a rather wild area that had never been used before, the only existing infrastructure being a private airport and one house.
A surveyor was hired to map the area and suggest lot lines for home sites to the north of the airport. By 1952, the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions were recorded on the land and lots were ready for sale. The initial group met in the cafeteria at San Diego State and organized themselves, holding a drawing out of a hat of numbers for the order of selection of the lots. The lots all sold initially for less than $5,000 each, but resales quickly reached $5,000 and construction on lots began one by one.
In 1965, a second set of lots was surveyed, annexed to the Association and the new members joined. By this time, the airport had been shut down and its runways had been turned into home sites.
Alvarado Terrace, an area to the southeast on the same plateau, was built out but was not annexed to the Association until the year 1999, when the Association won approval from the City of San Diego to construct a gate at the entrance of the Estates, turning the public streets into controlled-access streets. The change to a gated community was the result of the decision of San Diego State University to build Cox Arena, a site to be used for sporting events and popular concerts, which threatened the Community with parking and traffic issues.
Homes on Yerba Anita Drive, to the east of Alvarado Estates, were annexed in 2001 as a result of concern about fire hazards on the eastern edge of the Estates. A plan to make that street access-controlled and gate it to protect the eastern edge did not succeed and some of the Yerba Anita Drive owners were allowed to withdraw from the Association.
Today, the Association territory includes 129 lots, in addition to the common area owned by the Association. Its Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions were last updated in May 2004.