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Oceanside Neighborhood Guide: Morro Hills

Horses at Hawk Haven

Morro Hills, which is also known as South Morro Hills, is a rural farming community located in Oceanside’s northeast corner. This community is best known as the home to local producers of citrus fruits, avocados, vegetables, flowers, palm trees and strawberries, but is also home to a number of riding stables, small family farms and estate homes on large lots.

The rolling hills and rock outcroppings provide plenty of natural beauty throughout the area, while an active community association works to maintain the rural lifestyle enjoyed by Morro Hills residents.

History

The farming community of Morro Hills has a strong history as an agricultural area producing citrus fruits, avocados, flowers, palm trees, nuts, strawberries, herbs and vegetables. The majority of the single-family homes in this community were built after 1970, and about 500 homes have been built since 2005. There are more than 50 homes in this area that were constructed prior to 1939, as well as more than 100 that were built between 1940 and 1970.

View from South Morro Hills

In 1977, 18 Morro Hills property owners came together to form the South Morro Hills Association. Over the years, this community group has grown to more than 140 members and is dedicated to protecting their rural lifestyle, supporting area agriculture and influencing the manner in which the neighborhood grows.

This association actively opposes city infrastructure, such as streetlights, traffic signals, sidewalks, curbs and major thoroughfares in an effort to preserve the rural landscape and the character of the neighborhood.

The South Morro Hills Association has been instrumental in working with the city to widen and repave roads, install water lines and storm drains, and stop the consideration of proposed schools to be built in the neighborhood.

Housing

Morro Hills is primarily a rural community made up of single-family homes on large lots, farms and ranches. Lot sizes begin at 2.5 acres, and there are many larger parcels used for agricultural purposes. This agricultural zoned residential area is home to riding stables, flower and tree nurseries, avocado and citrus orchards, commercial produce suppliers and small family farms.

According to Trulia.com, the median sale price of properties in this area between October 2013 and January 2014 was $685,000. The average listing price of Morro Hills properties on the market at the end of January 2014 was $817,504.

Poinsettias at Armstrong Growers

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

As a rural, residential neighborhood with a focus on agriculture, there are no restaurants or shopping centers within Morro Hills. The closest shopping centers outside of this community are the River Village Plaza in Bonsall and the shopping area located around Highway 76 at College Boulevard in Oceanside, which is home to Mission Marketplace and Town Center North.

Along College Boulevard and in the surrounding area, which is southwest of Morro Hills, shoppers will find well-known chains, such as Walmart, Kmart, Vons, Starbucks and Big Lots.

There is also some shopping along Vandergrift Boulevard, including grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants.

Parks & Recreation

While there are no city or county parks located within Morro Hills, there are several parks, golf courses and recreational areas located nearby.

Arrowood Golf Course, which is open to the public and located near the western border of Morro Hills, is a 6,721-yard, 18-hole championship course with a clubhouse and restaurant. There is also the Marine Memorial Golf Course and Oceanside Golf Course located relatively close to the neighborhood.

Southwest of Morro Hills, there is the Melba Bishop Park & Recreation Center, which is a 16-acre park with baseball and softball fields, barbecue grills and picnic tables, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, and volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. There is also the Melba Bishop Skate Park and the Melba Bishop Recreation Center in the park, which provides community members with fitness classes, dance classes, tiny tots and teen programming, after-school programs, day camps, sports camps and a weight room.

Flowering Trees at Pardee Tree Nursery

Guajome Regional Park is also located southwest of Morro Hills just south of Highway 76. This large recreational area has a lake, campsites, hiking trails, picnic areas and playground equipment.

There is also the smaller Spring Creek Park located to the south, which is a three-acre city park at the corner of Melrose Drive and Old Ranch Road.

Horse lovers will find several boarding facilities and riding stables in this area, and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of interesting attractions in and around Morro Hills, including the Bonsall Preserve, Sleeping Indian ridgeline, the San Luis Rey River and San Luis Rey River Valley.

Another outdoor attraction in the area worth noting is Wild Wonders in Bonsall, which is a hands-on wildlife education center, which offers facility tours and programs with more than 150 animals in residence.

Schools

Most elementary school students living in Morro Hills and attending public school are served by the Bonsall Union Elementary School District and attend either Bonsall West Elementary School or Bonsall Elementary School. Other nearby public elementary schools (in the Oceanside Unified School District) include Del Rio Elementary School, Libby Elementary School and Reynolds Elementary School.

Most Morro Hills public school students live in the Fallbrook Union High School District for middle school and high school. However, depending on where they live in the neighborhood, some may also attend Cesar Chavez Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School or El Camino High School in Oceanside.

Boundaries

The Morro Hills community in northeast Oceanside is located south of Camp Pendleton and east of the Arrowood neighborhood. North River Road is to the south of the neighborhood, and Valle del Sol makes up part of the eastern border.

Additional Information

If your idea of a dream home is a rural estate within driving distance of downtown, a sprawling ranch or a producing farm, Morro Hills likely has a property to fit your needs. This agricultural area offers a quieter, country lifestyle for those who want to live near enough to the beach and city amenities to enjoy them when desired but far enough from downtown to enjoy starry nights, less traffic and a simpler way of life.

 

Horses photo courtesy of the Hawk Haven at Sky Dance Ranch website (hawk-haven.net). South Morro Hills view photo courtesy of the Fallbrook Country Homes website (fallbrookcountryhomes.com). Poinsettias photo courtesy of the Armstrong Growers website (armstronggrowers.com). Flowering trees photo courtesy of the Pardee Tree Nursery website (pardeetree.com). Morro Hills photo courtesy of the South Morro Hills Association website (southmorrohills.com). Real estate information gathered from trulia.com and city-data.com.

 

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+