Area: Approximately 383 acres
North: The southern edge of the Mesa Hills
South: The ocean
East: Oceano Avenue
West: Meigs Road
The East Mesa neighborhood contains the federal lighthouse, 1000 steps (access to the beach), Shoreline Park, La Mesa Park and the Washington Elementary School.
With the exception of the multifamily district in the vicinity of Oceano and Barranca Avenues, the East Mesa is uniformly developed with small-lot, single-family residences. The General Plan reflects this with a density classification of five dwelling units to the acre. Despite the predominant single-family development, there has been in the past pressure for rezoning to allow multifamily developments along Cliff Drive. The General Plan has shown an area around the Mesa Shopping Center in a density classification of twelve dwelling units to the acre. Most of this area is now zoned R-2 and is developed with garden apartments and duplexes.
Shoreline Drive serves both as a necessary element of the circulation system and as a scenic drive. For many years the people of Santa Barbara have had the foresight to reserve the oceanfront for public use and local residents are now enjoying the benefits of such foresight. The philosophy of preserving scenic and recreational areas for future generations should be continued and reinforced by efforts in this generation, adding to our heritage and thus passing along greater resources to the future.