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Community Profile: Auburn suits these families perfectly

By Tinka Davi

Jim Karpowicz bags oranges for customers during Orchard Days at Mandarin Hill Orchards. Orchard Days run the first and third weekends in December.
Jim Karpowicz bags oranges for customers during Orchard Days at Mandarin Hill Orchards. Orchard Days run the first and third weekends in December. Ed Andersen

Two Auburn families are pleased they chose to settle in Auburn.

Rick Krach moved from the Los Angeles area where he had lived for 25 years.

He and his wife had looked in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana and then someone suggested they should try Auburn.

They bought 15 acres that was part of the Hubbard family land who moved to the area in the 1800s, Krach said.

“I just fell in love with it immediately after living in the city.”

He built a new home and landscaped the property.

“It looks like a park,” he said.

Both he and his wife were school teachers, then they started a children’s book business, selling bilingual books online. They could move the business anywhere, he said. They’ve since sold it.

Krach likes the small town of Auburn.

“When we go into town to shop we run into people we know. I see them continually and we have made lots of friends.

The house is 7 miles outside of the city in the north area.

“We have a view and can see Marysville. I have 2 acres of open area where there are sheep, geese, wildlife and other animals. We get the most gorgeous sunsets.”

Sandy and Tom Parks had bought a spec home in Vacaville, but there were construction issues so they moved in Auburn in 1979. They’re on a large lot in the city.

“The area is pretty and it’s a nice community,” Sandy said.

What does she like best?

“Probably the friendliness and it seems quaint. We’ve had wonderful neighbors all these years, and when the parents passed their children moved in.”

They also enjoy the many musicals and plays at the Auburn theatre.

Kevin Hanley, CEO of Auburn Chamber of Commerce also likes the friendliness of the community.

“A lot of people like the small-town feeling and knowing the owners of the shops on a first-name basis,” he said.

Hanley also said that the historic Gold Rush is a big attraction.

Others are the river and hiking, the small-town living and the high quality of life with beautiful surroundings.

The 33,000-acre recreation area has lots of trails, motor biking, river rafting and people love that, Hanley said.

Auburn is designated as the Endurance Capital of the World for several events that include the Tevis Cup, an 100-mile equestrian ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn; the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn, the Auburn Triathlon; and the Auburn Century Bike Ride; the American River 50-mile run and others. In past years Auburn has been a host city for the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race.

Locals and people from other areas turn out for Auburn’s big events including the December Festival of Lights, which draws over 10,000 people and the Fourth of July Parade, Hanley said.

Many volunteers team up to do projects, he said.

“It’s small-town America which people really enjoy.”

Auburn also has several high-tech businesses at the Auburn Municipal Airport and Business Park and microbreweries — Crooked Lane and Auburn Ale House — as well the Wine Trail.

The city has good schools in the Placer Union School District and hospital care at Sutter Auburn, Hanley said.

The job outlook is good.

“We are the Placer County seat, the city of Auburn, the headquarters for Placer County Water and headquarters for the Placer County Air Pollution District,” he said. “The county seat, the hospital and the schools bring employers here.”

Hanley and his wife moved to Auburn in 1999 and he served on the City Council before joining the Chamber of Commerce.

“We have quite a few people from the Bay Area who are tired of the traffic and housing costs moving to Auburn. Some are CEOs at the Airport and PG&E is moving 350 employees to the Airport early next year.

Generally, there are resale homes in the canyon and river. A lot of people like access to those, he said.

According to the chamber’s website, “Auburn has a varied inventory of different places to call home. From single-family homes in new communities to the ready stock of older dwellings with the charm of another time, from renting to ownership and from places close in to the city center and small ranchettes a little further out, Auburn offers something for every taste and pocketbook.”

MetroList Pro shows homes for sale in Auburn range from $209,000 to $3,250,000.

“Auburn is the most accessible Gold Rush town in California because it’s next to (Interstate) 80 and (Highway) 49 — a perfect access point,” Hanley said.

Sandy and Tom Parks’ two daughters attended Placer High School.

Sandy said that when they came home for a class reunion, they said, “Wow. We didn’t realize how nice it was here.”

“I’m very happy and pleased to live here and I’m think I’m here to stay,” Sandy said.

Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.


Location: 32 miles northeast of Sacramento

Size: 7.5 square miles

Population: 13,804

Government: City Council

Incorporated: 1861 and 1888

County: Placer County seat