Friendly families, golf and lots of level lots are the appeals
Photos by Tim Porter
Check this out: there is Peacock Drive, Peacock Court, Peacock Estates and Peacock Park—all in the San Rafael community of, here we go again, Peacock Gap. So where did all these Peacocks come from? Maybe, just maybe, it’s a leftover from Marin’s 1970s rep as the “hot tub and peacock feather” capital of the Western world?
Certainly not if you ask Marin native Caroline Nelson. “Ours is a very family-oriented neighborhood,” declares the upbeat mother of three, ages 6, 4 and 2. “We love it because of that; plus, we’re the one of the sunniest areas in Marin yet get cool breezes off San Pablo Bay.” Another amenity— possibly distinguishing Peacock Gap from the peacock-feather-swishing swingers of the 1970s—is Glenwood Elementary. “The family support that school receives is phenomenal,” adds Nelson. “I guess it’s because the teachers, staff, parents and students are all just outstanding.”
That said, let’s drop all references to peacock feathers and talk about nine irons. “The Peacock Gap Golf and Country Club on Biscayne Drive is big and soon to become bigger,” says Ed Peplinski, the club’s director of golf. What Peplinski is referring to is the upcoming complete refurbishing of Peacock Gap’s 1960s-era clubhouse, including the addition of a swimming pool, luxurious spa and extensive point-of-arrival improvements and landscaping. “We’ve just finished a multimillion-dollar year-long revamping of the championship golf course,” he adds. “This will complete the package and provide Peacock Gap with a truly first-class golf, entertainment and recreational experience.”
Speaking of experiences, for the past 11 years Catherine Wallace has lived in Knollwood, a cluster of townhouses overlooking the 10th green of the Peacock Gap golf course. “And I love it,” declares the financial services consultant before even being asked. “On one side I enjoy the serenity of a beautiful golf course,” the single divorcee adds, “In the other direction is China Camp State Park, where I love to go hiking and mountain biking.”
Also enjoying life in Peacock Gap are Guilia Welch and Ernesto Diaz and their three-year-old twin daughters. Diaz teaches math at Larkspur’s Redwood High School and Welch is an associate business professor at nearby Dominican University; they’re both recent refugees from the corporate world—she from Lucent Technologies; he from Autodesk. “We have fabulous neighbors here in Peacock Gap,” says Welch, “Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween or the Fourth of July, there’s always an open house or a party of some kind.” Welch, Diaz and their girls also enjoy the nearby (and picture-perfect) Peacock Park. “But,” Welch adds reluctantly, “the rock quarry is a bit of a bummer.”
The San Rafael Rock Quarry is across North Point San Pedro Road and half a mile toward the bay from Peacock Gap. Historically speaking, it was there first—as in 1929. Due to a series of bureaucratic oversights plus a recent surge in the demand for levee-building rock in the Sacramento Delta, it is still going full bore, although under a raft of environmental and noise abatement regulations.
All of which, on close examination, does not seem to have greatly affected real estate values within Peacock Gap. Besides family-friendly neighborhoods and the soon-to-be-refurbished Peacock Gap Country Club, the area’s appeals appear to be an out-of-the-rat-race countrylike atmosphere and a surfeit of large level lots—as in backyards where kids can play. One such property is listed with David Pfeiffer and Jan Gregg of Pacific Union’s Strawberry Village office for $1,125,000. “It has a 9,000-square-foot lot,” says Pfeiffer, “and it’s level land.” According to him, the 1,900-square-foot single-story home is “in topnotch condition including all the upgrades” with four bedrooms and two baths.
A similar level-lot listing belongs to Morgan Lane’s Kathleen Clifford. “This is an architecturally unique 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath home,” she says. “Years ago, it was the sales office for the entire Peacock Gap development.” As a result, it features a dramatic vaulted ceiling, extensive use of sliding glass doors and a massive stone fireplace. This property is priced at $945,000 and, to date, has attracted two offers.
Moving up in price range, a Peacock Gap listing by Joey DiBono of Bradley Real Estate is set on two thirds of an acre on Chapel Cove Drive, which has the area’s newest homes. “It is the biggest lot on the block,” DiBono boasts, “and this two-story, five-bedroom home has over 4,300 square feet, all of which are in perfect condition.” Adding to its attraction, says DiBono, are dramatic views of San Pablo Bay, two Bay Area bridges, and nearby mountains. The price of this Hamptons-style home: $2,229,000.
In case you’re wondering, in recent years some Peacock Gap homes have sold as high as $5 and $6 million.
So who cares where the name came from.