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A little bit country

One of the last undeveloped residential parcels in Costa Mesa is about to vanish.

June 22, 2013|By Bradley Zint
  • Kathy Anderson walks down her Tustin Avenue home's original driveway as she recalls living on the 1.24-acre property in Costa Mesa for nearly her entire life. The land is set to be subdivided into 14 homes.
Kathy Anderson walks down her Tustin Avenue home's… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

When Kathy Anderson graduated from college, she left her parents' house for good.

Turns out, though, she didn't move very far.

Anderson, 62, spent the rest of her life in a little house next to her childhood home on her family's 1.24-acre property in Eastside Costa Mesa, which her parents bought for about $1,300 in the 1940s. The largely undeveloped residential parcel is one of the last of its kind in a city that's nearly built-out.

Anderson has many memories of life in her Tustin Avenue home: She knows the story of every tree planted on the property, including one former Christmas tree that now stands three stories tall. She vividly remembers the horses she kept there, Little Thunder and Tao.

And the family members' nicknames, written in 1964 on a wet cement curb in front of the house? They're still there.

On Tuesday, Anderson's residency in the one-bedroom bungalow will come to an end.

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Costa Mesa-based Matt White Custom Homes bought the property in late 2012 for $3.55 million and is set to build 14 detached, single-family homes in a community there that they're calling East Haven.

For years, offers poured in to the Andersons from developers who eyed the spot for new housing. After her mother's death at age 92 in 2011, Anderson and her three siblings decided it was time to sell the land at 2157 and 2159 Tustin Ave.

For Anderson, selling was never about the money, which she split with her siblings. It was just time to move on, something she could finally do after putting behind the grief she felt over her mother's death.

"I'll sit on my couch and I'll think, 'My goodness! A young mom is going to be here in the house of her dreams, with a couple of kids. She'll be happy as peaches and cream on this spot,'" Anderson said.

"That's a good feeling to pass to the community."

There is one nuisance she'll be glad not to have anymore: "I will say, I will not miss the gophers!"

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Pastoral sensibility

The Anderson property probably has the longest driveway in all of Costa Mesa. The cracked and rustic path leads to the two shaded, postwar bungalows there.

Each is a former Santa Ana Army Air Base building that survived the base's 1946 decommissioning. The one where Anderson stayed as an adult is about 900 square feet. The other, where her parents lived out their days, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,144 square feet.

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