The development we know today as Highland Palms Senior Estates & Country Club, Inc. was the dream of two brothers from Iran, Sauid and Lofallah Halimi, who began thinking about developing the 140-acre plot in 1960. However, it wasn’t until 1968 that they were finally able to start designing the project, initially named Highland Palms Mobile Estates, under the umbrella of another development they were pursuing in Nevada, Tyrolian Village, Inc.
The actual development of Highland Palms began in 1972 with the clubhouse complex, designed by Sauid’s Son, Henry, together with the paving of the streets, the layout of 180 lots, and the completion of the swimming pool. The community was incorporated on May 30 of that year as Highland Palms Mobile Estates, Inc.
The first Directors of the new corporation were:
The community’s first resident was George Urquhart, who purchased his property in October of 1972.
Later that year, an additional section of land was annexed to the project, bringing the community to its present size of 535 residential lots.
In 1973, Henry was recalled to Iran for compulsory military service and the work on the development was taken over by his cousin, Edward.
Initially, the development was run by a manager, Merle Hancock and his wife, Clara, who left in 1973 and were replaced by Jack Stokes, a professional golfer, who initiated the community’s first open golf tournament, The Highland Fling. Following Jack’s death in 1974, the community changed from a manager-run development to one governed by a board of directors.
At the end of 1975, a supplement to the original Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), recorded May 18, 1972, converted the development into an “Adult” community – meaning all residents had to be at least 18-years of age. The supplement also made Highland Palms Mobile Estates, inc. the successor declarant to Tyrolean Village, Inc.
In the mid-70s, the project ran into a variety of troubles and Brentwood Savings & Loan Association took things over, bringing in a project manager, Ernest Roach, to oversee completion of utilities and preparation of lots, and a sales team, Bill and Betty Neeper.
Between them, they finished the development and ultimately turned over clear title to the property to Highland Palms Mobile Estates, Inc. You can see a copy of their brochure promoting the development here.
The CC&Rs were amended again in 1989 to change from an Adult community to a “Community for Older Persons,” meaning persons 55 years of age or older. After the federal Housing for Older Persons Act was passed in 1995, the CC&Rs were amended again to bring the age restrictions into line with the new federal laws and made the minimum age for all residents 55, with a few limited exceptions.
In 2006, the Articles of Incorporation were amended to formally change the name of the community to Highland Palms Senior Estates and Country Club, Inc., which is where things stand today.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the information in this article came from a 1986 history written by Violet V. Hyde and published in the April, 1986, edition of the Highland Palms Highlights newsletter. She is identified as the first secretary of the Highland Palms Homeowners Association and her husband, Henderson Hyde, was the photographer who took the photos in the Brentwood Savings & Loan Association's brochure.