North Highlands, CA is a suburb of Sacramento. This community is made up of a diverse group of people that includes middle and upper middle-income families but there is also a large element of crime, prostitution and drugs. The research will paint you a picture of the good, the bad and the ugly sides of this community so many call home. Boundaries and Housing
North Highlands is a good-sized city in Sacramento County that started out as farmland in the 1930’s and over the next 80 years developed into the community we see today. Boundaries North Highlands was originally zoned for dry farming and grazing. Things started to change in the 1930’s after the military built McClellan Airbase. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission (1974) defined the boundaries of North Highlands as McClellan Airbase to Elverta Rd to the county lines of Placer and Sacramento to the train tracks. From there to Antelope Rd to Interstate 80 at Garfield to arcade Creek to Walnut to Pasadena to Winding Way to the Sacramento city limits back to McClellan Airbase. Housing
With the opening of the airbase brought people and growth to the area. A large growth spurt was evident in the 1940’s when the Plane Haven, North Haven and Highland subdivisions were built. With the opening of Interstate 80 brought more development to North Highlands (Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission, 1974).
The airbase officially closed in 2001 and has been converted today into a business park with housing and parks and ball fields. In addition, is also home to the Aerospace Museum of California (Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission, 1974).
Today, it seems the economy may be hurting this area as you drive thru the neighborhoods homes are boarded up and empty and some are in need of some much-needed care. The majority of homes were built from the 1930’s to the 1970’s with identifiable sub communities Highland, Hillsdale-Foothill Corridor, Auburn and Madison and McClellan Park (Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission, 1974). ▪ Estimated median house or condominium value $176,722 (“City-Data.com”, 2010).
▪ Estimated median gross rent $929 (“City-Data.com”, 2010).
The people that live in this housing are very culturally and ethnically intertwined if you live in the neighborhood you might have an Asian or African American family living next door or down the street. They may even be Russian or Indian. Religion is also diverse in this neighborhood but it is predominately Christian. Politically North Highlands is split almost down the middle with Democrats and Republicans with about 1% of the community registered as Independents (“City-Data.com”, 2010). Total Population 43,215
▪ Caucasian 23,211 (54.4%) ▪ Hispanic – 10,077 (23.6%) ▪ African American ▪ 4,609 (10.8%) ▪ Mixed Races – 2,052 (4.8%) ▪ Asian ▪ 1,997 (4.7%) ▪ American Indian 381 (0.9%) ▪ Native Hawaiian and ▪ Other Pacific Islander ▪ 289 (0.7%) ▪ Other race ▪ 78 (0.2%) (“Neighborhood Scout”, 2012).
For population 15 years and over in North Highlands CDP: ▪ Never married: 31.8% ▪ Now married: 45.0% ▪ Separated: 3.2% ▪ Widowed: 5.9% ▪ Divorced: 14.1% (“Neighborhood Scout”, 2012). Parks and Recreation While exploring the community several parks were seen during the day families were noted in the parks, while evening brought soccer and baseball teams out to the parks as night fell you saw a scarier element of people hanging out yelling obscenities at people, a fight was noted. As the night grew later and the park emptied at one park, an older man was seen making a bed on a picnic table.
The parks are well groomed no graffiti noted, grass cut and very green. Garbage was picked up tables clean. The playgrounds are large and in good repair. The recreation Center on Watt has a public pool that appeared well used by the community, as there were many people there at the time. The rec center also offers classes such as cooking, dance, ceramics and English as a second language just to name a few of the many fun things they have listed. Schools, Crime, Employment and Community Services
The school district for North Highlands is the called Twin Rivers. According to Neighborhood Scout (2012), there are 56 schools for a total of 31,632 students. ▪ Caucasian 30.3% ▪ African American 15.4% ▪ Hispanic 36.1% ▪ Asian 10% ▪ American Indian 0.8% ▪ Economically Disadvantaged 76.8% During this survey, a couple of the schools were seen and appeared to be in good repair. Children were seen riding their bikes in the parking lot and running around playing. They appeared to be having fun. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and Sac Metro Fire Department protect North Highlands. During this survey fire stations 41, 42, and 112. There was no fire department noted during this survey but I saw a high police presence in the community day and night.
The crime rates in this community are a little intimidating with a crime index with 100 being safest the North Highlands community it is 22. ▪ Violent Crimes 248 ▪ Property 1219 ▪ Annual Crimes per 1000 resident 33.95 (“City-Data.com”, 2010). ▪ 100 Registered Sex Offenders (“Megan’s Law”, 2011).
This community is a hard working blue-collar community predominately with most of the community working in construction and retail. Although, the unemployed rate is a whopping 9.5% in North Highlands. Jobs held:
▪ Construction 22% ▪ Retail trade 14% ▪ Manufacturing 10% ▪ Administrative and support and waste management services 8% ▪ Public administration 7% ▪ Accommodation and food service 5% ▪ Educational services 5% (“City-Data.com”, 2010).
North Highlands is a very interesting community with a lot of twist and turns. The diversification of this community’s people adds to its charm. The lower housing cost is a draw for families to the area, but this can also bring an element that brings higher crime rates. I hope that as the economy improves and unemployment declines business will return and grow in this community and crime will decrease and North Highlands will thrive as it did 80 years ago.