Rocklin named a best place to live

City is No. 65 on Money magazine’s list of 100 top spots
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Money magazine just picked the city of Rocklin as one of the best places to live in the country based on jobs, great schools, low crime, charm, things to do and a great town to raise a family. For Rocklin transplant Carmen Fogelman, it was the school district that made her move from Grass Valley. “The schools are very good for children,” Fogelman said. “My son had a hard time adjusting but the school helped out. They even sent a school resource officer to talk with my son and he’s doing a lot better.” Rocklin was ranked 65 out of 100 with three other California cities ahead including; Pleasanton, 63, Yorba Linda 38, and Irvine 22. Money describes the community as “former ranch land now a conservative town with many businesses, extensive recreational program and a strong school district.” Mayor Scott Yuill said sound government helps those elements grow. “I am pleased, but not surprised that we made Money magazine’s list,” Yuill said. “Many of Rocklin’s desirable characteristics can be directly attributed to the skillful leadership of our city manager, Carlos Urrutia, who for 26 years cautiously built this city in a balanced, ‘steady-as-she-goes’ manner, leaving Rocklin in a desirable position to attract good businesses and residents.”  Fogelman and Yuill agree the low crime and safe neighborhoods attract families. The Rocklin Police Department reports overall crime has dropped 16 percent since last year at this time. Police Chief Mark Siemens said his officers take a lot of pride in their job. “Criminals are more likely to be apprehended than many other cities in our region. Therefore, many criminals avoid Rocklin,” Siemens said. For Fogelman, it also means enjoying an afternoon making a peach cobbler with fruit grown and donated from one neighbor and shortening borrowed from another. “People are very friendly,” Fogelman said. “And that’s a good thing.” For the Triple Advantage team of Rocklin-based Goodman Realty, the city is a destination for homebuyers. “I had a couple relocating from New England who picked Clover Valley over Morgan Creek in Roseville or a similar area in Granite Bay,” Triple Advantage Realtor Tracy Morgan said. Rocklin’s median household income is $95,000 while Granite Bay is more than $115,000 and Roseville is a little more than $57,000, according to the city’s website. “The people that buy in Rocklin are putting more money down,” Rocklin Realtor Pete Goodman said. ”Everyone that has bought since 2004 are in the same boat, but as a percentage, there are still more people with equity in Rocklin than Roseville.” The median home value in Rocklin and Roseville hovers around $275,000, but in Granite Bay it’s $715,000. “If you are looking where you can get the safest home, the best schools at the best price, it is Rocklin,” Triple Advantage team Realtor Beth Conway said. “We’re more affordable.” While job growth may continue to be an issue in this economy, Rocklin has an advantage as a bedroom community. “Traffic is a non issue here,” Conway said. “People are not necessarily coming here to work as a relocation but they are coming here to live. It’s a small enough city, you can still meet people you know in the grocery store.” Recreation is also on citizens’ minds as Rocklin’s central location makes it easy to play. “People own boats because there are so many lakes around here, even Tahoe is close,” Conway said. Vice Chairman of Rocklin’s Recreation Commission Jack Haycock said the number and quality of city parks have been hard to maintain in a bad economy, but it’s a commitment the city has not wavered from. “We try to involve the community,” Haycock said. “We have tremendous youth sports programs, community theater programs and evening programs in the parks. Rocklin is simply a healthy and happy place to live, work and play.”