Sentinel staff report–
Newly posted street signs in KB Home’s 260-home development in Citrus Heights each have an intriguing tie to local history.
Visitors turning off Fair Oaks Boulevard to enter the new Mitchell Village subdivision are met with a pair of new model homes on Neff Court. The court’s name hails back to the Gold Rush Era, where D.S. Neff owned and operated the 17 Mile Road House on Auburn Boulevard, a once-popular teamster stop for those traveling from Sacramento to Auburn.
Craig LeMessurier, KB Home senior director of public relations and communications, told The Sentinel street names were selected in partnership with the City of Citrus Heights. “We are proud to have collaborated with the city in creating what will be a lasting community in which residents can take pride and that also respects the heritage of the area,” he said.
Roads in the expansive, new development are already paved, and official street signs have already been posted on about half the streets. A few highlights of confirmed street names are included below, with summaries provided by the Citrus Heights Historical Society.
Coldani Street. After a failed business in Florida, Henry and Ann Coldani built the Florida Inn Restaurant, Motel and Garage at the corner of Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane. They owned and operated the business from 1926 to 1946. It was a hot spot for many well-to-do Sacramentans. There was an in-house band and performing dancers that provided nightly entertainment and music for dancing. Curtains on the dining booths provided privacy for celebrity patrons.
Zella Court. Zella Desimone was the wife of Gene Desimone, who was a co-founder and first chief of the Citrus Heights volunteer Fire Department. Zella was a founder and leader of the Ladies Auxiliary, a volunteer group of all-female fire fighters in the 1930s and 40s, and later a founder of the Ladies in White, a volunteer group of all-female emergency first responders in the 1950s.
Pitcher Street. Edward M. Pitcher was a pioneer Sacramento merchant and County Supervisor. He married Georgiana Jane Hough in 1846. Edward died in 1860 and as a widow, Georgiana Pitcher homesteaded 650 acres on the Sacramento-Placer County Line. She named it, “Sunrise Ranch”. A road that connected her ranch with Greenback Lane also bore the same name. She later married a man named, Seeley DeKay. The original home, though extensively remodeled, still exists. It is owned by Richard Kniesel, founder of the Kniesel Auto Body shops.
Barris Court. George Barris became enamored with customizing cars while attending San Juan High School. After graduating in 1943, he moved to Los Angeles and became a celebrity for the cars that he created for the motion picture industry. Some of his most notable creations include the Batmobile for the 1966 TV series, the Munster Coach and the Beverly Hillbillies car.
Paseo I: Volle. Fred and Julia Volle homesteaded 480 acres near the Placer-Sacramento boarder in the 1860s. One of their daughters, Louisa, died very young with two small children. Her widower husband, Herman, wanted to remarry, so the Volle’s agreed to raise their two namesake grandchildren, Fred and Julia Rusch. Fred and Julia inherited most of their grandparents’ ranch. They eventually donated and sold portions of their ranch to the community, which served as the impetus for the Sunrise Recreation and Park District. Fred and Julia never married, but lived together in the 1915 Craftsmen style family home that still exists at the West end of Rusch Park.
Developers typically select names and submit them to the city for verification to ensure there are no other streets with the same name, or other conflicts. Watt Communities in 2017 named a new street in the 15-home Mariposa Creek subdivision off Antelope Road in honor of the late councilman Mel Turner.
Although not yet built, homes in the new Mitchell Village subdivision are already being sold, with KB Home offering a variety of options and customization for homes in three distinct villages. Access points are off Fair Oaks Boulevard, and Arcadia Drive.
A popular aspect of the Mitchell Village project has been the large amount of open space incorporated in the development, as a large swath down the middle of the acreage must remain undeveloped due to a 100-year flood plain associated with Arcade Creek.
Under an agreement with the Sunrise Recreation and Parks District, the undeveloped acreage is to be maintained by the parks district. Meandering walking trails can already be seen taking shape at the site.
Model homes in the development can currently be toured on Neff Court, which is accessible at a new entrance just south of the Heather Downs apartment complex at 12633 Fair Oaks Blvd.