Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about the history of the Greenhaven 70 subdivision.
Ellsworth C. Zacharias Park was named in honor of a former land owner in today’s Greenhaven area. // Photo by Lance Armstrong
Greenhaven 70, as presented in the first article of this series – which was published in the Oct. 18 edition of this paper – was established as the Pocket’s first subdivision.
As previously mentioned, in 1958, L & P Land Development acquired more than 700 acres for the development of Greenhaven 70.
Before any subdivision could be approved by the city, however, L & P was required to present their proposed plan for the Pocket’s entire 4,674 acres.
This plan was known as the Pocket Area General Development Plan and included schools, a shopping center, two churches, a hospital with medical offices, a social-cultural center with a library and a theater, gas stations, a teen center, an open space pavilion, a heliport, a nursery, a motel, a hotel, various shops, a firehouse and a restaurant.
Following the annexation of the Pocket area in 1959, the city’s Planning Commission passed the general development plan for the area on July 11, 1961. And on Sept. 7 of that year, the city council adopted the plan.
A 1962 Greenhaven 70 advertisement recognizes this development as “the start of tomorrow” and notes that this then-future community will present “a new and better way of living for the entire family.
It took a few years before L & P began to physically develop Greenhaven 70, which was partially named after its 1970 target year for completion.
This development was recognized as the newest and most progressive home development in Sacramento.
Streets in the area were designed in a manner that they would horseshoe to a centralized park, where a playground and an elementary school would be constructed.
The plan for the area also included pedestrian bridges for the safety of residents on thoroughfare streets such as Riverside Boulevard and the future Gloria Drive extension.
Another feature of the area was its electrical and television underground cables that made it so no overhead telephone poles and wiring to homes or television antennas would be visible.
With the signing of sales contracts for Greenhaven 70 lots, the purchasers were required to sign an agreement that listed restrictions pertaining to the building and maintenance of their homes.
This agreement required property owners to place their television antennas either horizontally across the lower part of their rooflines or set them inside their attic, closest to the location of their main television set.
To avoid unsightly appearances, garage doors were not to be left open and automobile were not to be parked on streets for extended periods of time nor were cars to be mechanically worked on anywhere on those streets.
Residents with motor homes were required to park these vehicles behind the frontage, fenced area on their property.
Items such as basketball standards were not permitted anywhere on the fronts of the homes or along the streets, and garbage cans were required to be kept behind fenced areas and to not be visible from the streets.
Distances from the sidewalks to the fronts of homes were standardized, along with no two driveways being allowed to be located side by side.
To enforce the subdivision’s restrictions, the Greenhaven Homeowners Association was formed.
Whenever there was an infraction of any rule, the objecting homeowner would inform the association of the violation, so that the association could ensure a correction.
Through the signing of the sales contracts and the restrictions papers, homeowners were entitled to memberships in the Greenhaven Cabana Club at 6207 Riverside Blvd.
Dues for upkeep and other expenses of the club were paid by family residents.
A second Cabana Club – Greenhaven Cabana Club South – was later opened at 6615 Gloria Drive, opposite the street from the now former Bear Flag Elementary School at 6620 Gloria Drive.
The first home to be built in the subdivision was a spec home at 805 Royal Garden Ave.
Because of the home’s challenging floor plan, the home, which later included a second story addition, was not immediately sold.
The subdivision’s second house at 819 Royal Garden Ave. was built for Bill Hallisey, a former conservationist for the state Department of Agriculture.
Additionally, Hallisey spent many years as the owner and manager of the Colony House Apartments at 915 Johnfer Way.
Among the other original homeowners of the subdivision were Antone “Tony” Terra, Bob Bos, Norman Greenslate, Bob Dias, Richard Corum, Even Zacharias, Ellsworth “Jack” Zacharias and Norman Magee.
The building of homes was a slower process in the Greenhaven Lake area.
This area grew as streets were added and paved and model homes were opened for inspection.
The north section of Greenhaven 70 was completed prior to its southern portion.
During the final stages of the building of the last homes on the subdivision’s north side, McKay Construction Co. purchased continuous lots in the area and built homes on an entire street – possibly Moonlit Circle.
Many of the residents were concerned that these houses would be tract houses and would detract from the standards of the original plans for the area.
By that time, the proposed shopping center for the subdivision had been revised, because the city council had decided to nullify this small shopping center in favor of the much larger Florin Mall on Florin Road.
The Greenhaven marina, which was proposed in the subdivision’s original plan, was later rejected by the Army Corps of Engineers, because of the need to cut into the levee, which would create a greater possibility of flooding in the area.
Another portion of the subdivision’s original plan that was later rejected was the greenbelt around Lake Greenhaven.
Kermit Lincoln filed for bankruptcy in the late 1960s, which resulted in Harold Parker and Lincoln splitting up their remaining assets, which included lots that were designated for apartments in the Riverside Boulevard section of the subdivision.
The proposed greenbelt around Lake Greenhaven was affected by these turn of events and the greenbelt area was offered back to the city for a parkway. However, the city declined this offer, which resulted in this area being zoned for large lakefront lots.
Because the greenbelt was not going to be enjoyed by all the residents who had planned on it for relaxation and entertainment purposes, the surveyor pegs for designated lots suddenly disappeared late one evening.
Jack Parker, manager of Greenhaven 70, informed residents near the greenbelt area that this action was unacceptable and costly to L & P.
Unfortunately for L & P, after a second set of surveyor pegs were placed on these lots, the dastardly event reoccurred much to the consternation of Jack, who became furious by the event and demanded retribution.
Fortunately for the property’s developer, after the third set of pegs was placed on this property, the pegs remained without an incident.
But an ongoing disappointment remained in the minds of those original residents who purchased lots in the subdivision and were promised this special place to relax and enjoy.
Bill Parker, who was the son of Harold Parker, was responsible for the remaining portion of Greenhaven 70 in the mid-1970s. During that time, Bill maintained his office in the locally renowned Dutra House.
All of the proposed 1,600 homes, which were mentioned in the original Greenhaven 70 plan, were eventually completed.
And because of the loss of the marina, the plan for 1,200 apartment buildings was exceeded.
The final portion of Greenhaven 70 was sold and completed by Morrison Homes, which constructed houses and streets in the loop street pattern in accordance to the original plan for the area.
After the completion of Greenhaven 70, which is today known by its shortened name of Greenhaven, Bill continued to work as a land developer in other notable areas.
Regardless of the changes and disappointments of some features of Greenhaven 70 that did not materialize, many residents of the area are still proud to call Greenhaven their home.