Cameron Park

Street names such as Lockheed Court, Boeing Road and Cessna Drive offer a clue to Cameron Park’s unique feature: Part of the community is located on an airstrip.

In fact, cruising along Cameron Park Drive, it’s possible — and surprising to some — to see airplanes parked in hangars connected to the homes in Cameron Airpark Estates.

The community is home to several pilots and stewards who commute to work at San Francisco and other airports without having to leave their favorite mode of transportation — light aircraft.

It’s also home to others who love to fly. Their hangars, which look like oversized attached garages, house their personal aircraft and, in some cases, their automobiles, too.

Extra-wide streets double as taxiways leading from the homes to the runway at Cameron Park Airport, which is a public airport that serves the foothills area.

“Cameron Airpark is an eclectic neighborhood with both older and newer homes that are not cookie-cutter (in appearance),” said Wendy Mattson, who lived on a taxiway, three blocks from the runway, for 12 years.

“Cameron Park has an intimate feel and is unique with an airpark, horse properties, gated communities, high-end estates, country club, schools, churches and shopping,” Mattson said. “Where else can you find all that?”

Larry Cameron, rodeo rider, rancher and car salesman, conceived the idea of a community with an airpark and country club in the 1950s when he purchased approximately 5,000 acres for ranching. In the early 1960s, he divided the land into residential lots, and in 1962 he broke ground for the country club.

“Over the years, Cameron Park has been built out around Cameron’s vision,” said Gary Stout, a broker with El Dorado County Relocation. “It has built up since the ’60s with several subdivisions outside of the airpark.”

Homes built over the decades represent a variety of architectural styles and ages.

“Properties are little bigger than those in surrounding communities,” Stout said. “The lot-to-land values are good.”

Current sales prices for condominiums range from a maximum of $250,000 for a 2,300-square-foot condominium to an average-priced two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo for $90,000 to a low price of $50,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit, which Stout said is probably a fixer-upper.

The sales prices for single-family homes range from a maximum of $585,000 for a 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom home to $280,000 for a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom 2,000-square-foot home to a low of $81,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, also likely a fixer, Stout said.

Cameron Park has many 4-acre to five-acre ranchettes and horse properties. The latter are turnkey, with stables and barns on the property, Stout said. The ranchettes are large enough for horses but are without stables.

Homes in gated Cameron Estates, south of Highway 50, are priced from $499,000 to $988,000 and range from approximately 2,500 to 5,500 square feet, with three to five bedrooms and three to four bathrooms.

The unincorporated community of Cameron Park is in the foothills above the fog level and below the snowline. Sacramento may be socked in for three weeks, while Cameron Park, at 1,350-foot elevation, basks in the sun, Stout said.

Basic shopping and services are available in the area, which is close to Highway 50 and a convenient commute by car to employment and shopping in El Dorado Hills, Folsom and Rancho Cordova. South Lake Tahoe is about 70 miles east on Highway 50.

Schools in Cameron Park are in the Buckeye Unified School District and have fairly high ratings. Most upper-level students attend high school in nearby Shingle Springs.

“It’s pretty remarkable how the area has grown,” Mattson said.

Wineries are popping up, Marshall Medical Center offers outpatient services in Cameron Park, and Eskaton and other senior-living and retirement communities have moved in, she said.

The community center on Country Club Drive, which opened in late 2009, has a gymnasium, an aquatic center, meeting rooms, a kitchen and an assembly and stage area.

The Cameron Park Lake and Recreation Area offers swimming, boating, kayaking, canoeing, picnic areas, playground and a walking-jogging trail. Community parks have sports and picnicking facilities.

Special events include the Show N’ Shine & Fly-In on Oct. 8, which features vintage aircraft and classic cars on display at the Cameron Park Airport. Other annual events include the Cameron Park Summer Spectacular and fireworks display, held in July at Cameron Park Lake and Concerts on the Green, during the summer.

Although many residents commute high above the crowded freeways, others just walk to their backyards and enjoy the mild temperatures.

Cameron Park is a place for residents to relax in a pleasant, rural setting.