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OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ATHERTON | MENLO PARK | PORTOL A VALLEY | WOODSIDE

EMERALD HILLS

FELTON GABLES

WESTRIDGE

LINDENWOOD

P R O F I L E S, M A P S A N D V I TA L FA C T S O F F E AT U R E D N E I G H B O R H O O D S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y

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4

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OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ATHERTON | MENLO PARK | PORTOLA VALLEY | WOODSIDE

INDEX ATHERTON .....................7 Lindenwood .......................10 Lloyden Park ......................12 West Atherton ...................16 West of Alameda ...............18

MENLO PARK ...............21

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STAFF

tagecoaches brought settlers to the Midpeninsula, then trains, buses, planes and automobiles. Burgeoning towns incorporated, with the 1920s and period after World War II seeing the establishment of the communities we know today as Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Neighborhoods are extensions of our homes, in a way. Beyond the living room, the characters of the people who make up a place inform our daily life experience. We can retreat or engage, celebrate or stroll in reverie. These pages are filled with stories told by people who inhabit 31 neighborhoods. Some of their views are personal, from recollections about Halloween gatherings to opinions about high-speed rail and schools. What drew residents to settle into their neighborhood? What makes each neighborhood come alive? From local hangouts to book groups, races, parks and gatherings, Almanac Neighborhoods Publisher: Tom Gibboney Editor: Sue Dremann Art director: Raul Perez Researchers: Kelly Jones, Karla Kane, Sarah Schilling, Sarah Trauben, Georgia Wells Map designer: Gail Thoreson

Sue Dremann, editor sdremann@paweekly.com Vice President Sales and Marketing: Walter Kupiec Sales representatives: Connie Jo Cotton, Neal Fine, Rosemary Lewkowitz, Anna Mirsky, Irene Schwartz Home-sales data: Courtesy of J. Robert Taylor, Taylor Properties

Additional copies of The Almanac Neighborhoods, as well as companion publications — Palo Alto Neighborhoods and Mountain View/Los Altos Neighborhoods — are available at the Palo Alto Weekly, 450 Cambridge Ave. All three publications are available online at www.almanacnews.com/real_estate. Copyright © 2011 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

PORTOLA VALLEY........43 Central Portola Valley ........ 46 Ladera .............................. 44 Portola Valley Ranch ......... 48 Westridge ......................... 46

WOODSIDE .................. 51 Emerald Hills ..................... 52 Family Farm/Hidden Valley 54 Kings Mountain/Skyline .... 56 Mountain Home Road ....... 54 Skywood/Skylonda ........... 56 Woodside Glens ................ 52

ON THE COVER: Bianca Johnston plays with her pet chicken, Daisy, while her parents, Alessandra Costa and Michael Johnston, watch at their Menlo Oaks home. Photo by Michelle Le. Photos of Emerald Hills, Felton Gables and Lindenwood by Michelle Le. Photos of Westridge by James Tensuan.

NEIGHBORHOODS

The Almanac 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas Menlo Park, CA 94025 650-854-2626 www.TheAlmanacOnline.com

offers a sampling of what residents say makes their place the best. A fact box for each neighborhood provides information about schools, fire stations, shopping and homes and maps of each city or town show the location of each neighborhood. Want to know more? You can download neighborhood maps online or learn about other neighborhoods not in this book by visiting www.almanacnews.com/real_estate. Online neighborhood profiles include Belle Haven, fair Oaks, Park Forest, Stanford Hills, Stanford Weekend Acres, The Willows in Menlo Park; Blue Oaks, Brookside Park, Los Trancos Woods/ Vista Verde and Woodside Highlands in Portola Valley; and Woodside Hills and Woodside Heights in Woodside and neighborhoods in Palo Alto and Mountain View.

Allied Arts/Stanford Park ... 36 Central Menlo Park ........... 32 Downtown Menlo Park ..... 34 Felton Gables .................... 28 Linfield Oaks ..................... 30 Menlo Oaks .......................24 Sharon Heights ................. 40 South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks ................................. 26 Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/ Flood Park Triangle............ 22 University Heights ............. 38

5


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With a few exceptions — primarily former San Mateo County streets acquired through annexation — that is still the rule today. A few of the early homes remain, including three built by Timothy Hopkins for his daughters between 1901 and 1908 on Parkwood Drive, Altree Court and Lowery Drive.

FACTS 2010-11 TOWN OPERATING AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUDGET: $14.3 million POPULATION (2009): 7,194 HOUSEHOLDS (2000): 2,413 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2000): 99 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $2,847,750 MEDIAN CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $635,000 MEAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2000): $200,000-plus

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For xtraordinary Results & Personal Experience Trust me to handle your real estate needs. “It was the most pleasant, time saving, professional and stress-free large financial transaction we have ever completed! Cindy was “off the charts” wonderful! Not only did Cindy do what she said she was going to do, she also did much more than that. All along, Cindy made sure that my wife and I were communicated to quickly, and accurately. There was never anything left for chance. We were both amazed at the level of service Cindy gave us, knowing that she had other listings she was working on, and other things going on that were probably more pressing than our issues! We have highly recommended Cindy to anyone that is talking real estate!” Scott and Lisa Lohmann

NEIGHBORHOODS

Atherton • Los Altos • Menlo Park Palo Alto • Woodside

8

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I N DY IEBSCH 650-591-7473

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NEIGHBORHOODS

Oak Ave., Redwood City

9


LINDENWOOD

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10

lost,” she says, referring to the maze-like configuration. Carol Collins grew up in the neighborhood and moved back with her husband Evan 16 years ago. Growing up in Lindenwood, Ms. Collins is still surrounded by people from her childhood. “My parents still live in the home I was raised in. My daughter has a friend around the corner who is the grandchild of my parent’s neighbors,” Ms. Collins says. The Lindenwood Homes Association is active in the neighborhood. The association takes care of such things as repairing the gates and maintaining the plantings in the public areas, according to Philip Lively, a board member. “We also have communication with neighboring Menlo-Atherton High School regarding lighting and noise control,” he says. Mr. Lively estimates 63 percent of the 470 homes belong to the association, each paying $40 annual membership dues. “We also have all kinds of informal gettogethers, like Young Family Coffees, and cocktail parties,” Ms. Collins says. How does she feel about all the teardowns and mushrooming estates? “The lots are big enough so that the homes have to be set back, and they always re-landscape,” she says, indicating the arborescent setting prevails. — Susan Golovin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

till retaining its private-estate atmosphere from the days when the “Silver King of the Comstock Lode,” James C. Flood, lived there on 600 acres, two gates on Middlefield Road and one on Frederick Avenue adorn the entrances to Lindenwood’s lanes and roads, which twist and meander. He built Linden Towers, a 44-room, three story home. He adorned his 1878 estate house with towers, gables and cupolas and furnished with exotic treasures from around the world. Fittingly, all the plumbing fixtures were sterling silver. Between 1937 and 1955, the area now known as Lindenwood was developed after the death of Flood’s son. But Flood’s presence still presides over the neighborhood. Many of the artifacts from the estate, which was torn down in 1934 — fountains, statues, street lights — still exist, in some cases, on private properties. Lindenwood has retained its private estate atmosphere because it is totally enclosed. Lindenwood’s lanes, avenues and roads twist and meander. James Avenue, the “Main Street,” is one of its few straight streets. “It’s like living in an arboretum,” Irene DeVivo says. She and her husband Douglas built their home 21 years ago and raised their children there. Mr. DeVivo organizes neighborhood emergency preparedness, she says. “It’s very safe because anyone coming in to do harm would probably get

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: The Playschool, Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: Marsh Road, Ringwood Avenue, Bay Road and Middlefield Road NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Marion Oster, 650-325-0714 PARK: Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $3,547,500 ($1,705,000-$8,800,000) HOMES SOLD: 22


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Michelle Hayes and her husband Steve were well aware of the discrepancy when they moved to Lloyden Park 24 years ago. However, they wanted to provide their four children with the same kind of wholesome childhood they had growing up in the Midwest. Ms. Hayes fondly remembers the neighborhood Christmas caroling, where one of the residents always played Santa; Fourth of July plays, bicycle parades, Easter egg hunts and other group activities. “We’re within easy walking distance to Holbrook-Palmer Park and the library,” she adds. Mr. Barca, president of the Lloyden Park Homeowners’ Association, says the small neighborhood of about 84 homes gets together when the need arises. In the past, neighbors successfully encouraged Caltrans to re-route traffic away from the area for the sake of children and the elderly. The neighborhood is the best of all possible worlds because it is close, yet private, he says. A potential high-speed rail system is currently causing concern among homeowners who fear it could affect property values, he says. This issue has been the main focus of the homeowners’ association for the past few years. “Atherton has this image of being the parochial home on big properties, but this is the more affordable part of Atherton. This is the neighborhood for people who want to be neighborly,” he says. — Susan Golovin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

harming, friendly, and quaint — that’s how Michelle Hayes describes Lloyden Park. The area was once owned by Joseph B. Coryell, who bought his home in 1902 for $30,000. His estate was subdivided in 1927, and most of the development took place in the 1940’s, dividing the land into mostly one-third acre lots. Home styles run the gamut from a Streamlined Moderne built for the 1939 World’s Fair, to traditional, complete with picket fence. Tear-downs are rare in this part of town, but remodeling is common. There is less of a rural and a more neighborhood feel to Lloyden Park. The neighborhood is zoned for smaller lots than the rest of Atherton. Sidewalks and underground utilities, eschewed elsewhere in Atherton, encourage walking and socializing. “It’s not what people normally think of Atherton. It’s a family neighborhood,” David Barca says. He moved to the neighborhood in 1982, to a home his grandparents built in 1953. Most of the residents send their children to private schools. Lloyden Park is part of the Redwood City school system, whereas the rest of Atherton has access to the Menlo Park school system. When he moved to the neighborhood with his wife and two small children, they were not planning to stay long because of the Redwood City schools. But Mr. Barca and his wife lived the neighborhood so much that they stayed and sent their kids to private school, he says.

FACTS FIRE STATION: 32 Almendral Ave., Atherton LOCATION: Wilburn Avenue and Lloyden Drive, and El Camino Real and Southern Pacific Railroad tracks NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Lloyden Park Homeowners’ Association, David Barca, president, 650-368-1427 PARK: Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Redwood City School District — Selby Lane School, 170 Selby Lane, Atherton; Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Ave., Redwood City; plus magnet schools Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,614,500 ($1,230,000-$3,800,000) HOMES SOLD: 6 MEDIAN 2010 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $635,000 ($374,000-$688,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 3


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NEIGHBORHOODS

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We like to live a quiet life.” Ms. Carey says she chats with other neighbors by phone and some of the neighbors were very friendly with her kids when they were in school. “I love everything the town has to offer,” she says. Tom Owen echoed Carey’s praise for Atherton. “I feel very privileged to have been raised in this town,” Mr. Owen, says. He was born and raised on Robleda Drive and moved back to the neighborhood 13 years ago. While there was nothing extraordinary that drew him back to his old stomping grounds, the climate and the big yard of his new home were appealing. “My kids have room to run and play,” he says. Mr. Owen, who has two daughters ages 10 and 13, says they don’t get together much with the other young families in the neighborhood because the houses are so spread apart. Despite the separation by large lots, Mr. Owen says he still feels a strong sense of community because of the uniquely personable police department in Atherton. The police will come out if someone loses their dog or they will check up on your home while you are on vacation. “The police department does a phenomenal job, truly a level of service, they’re not just out there writing tickets. If your daughter is home with a babysitter, they can put another guy in the area to make her feel more comfortable,” he says. — Sally Schilling

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

esidents will tell you there is no shortage of space and peacefulness in West Atherton. The rural feel of the area, boasting big lots and lanes without sidewalks, has been preserved through a long history. In 1860, Faxon Dean Atherton purchased more than 600 acres, essentially what is now West Atherton. He built his home at the center of this plot, what is now the Menlo Circus Club, a private country club, which hosts polo games and charity events. Atherton’s city government encourages the preservation of the community’s country feel. Most of the town is zoned for one-acre lots and a town ordinance that protects the heritage trees in the area; oaks, redwoods, cedars and pines. Dean Sivara, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than two years, says “it is nice to have the space and the maturity on a quieter street.” Mr. Sivara previously lived in Menlo Park, which he said was far more crowded than West Atherton. “We can walk the dogs and there is not a lot of traffic. The freeway is a little faster to get to and there is less congestion, so we have the ability to enjoy neighborhood.” Mr. Sivara says the large lots prevent him from having much contact with the neighbors. “There are a lot of gates and fences so you only see the neighbors if they’re walking, you wouldn’t go through the gate.” Helen Carey, who has lived in the neighborhood for 59 years, agreed. “It isn’t like Menlo Park, the neighbors are more separated here.

FACTS CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: St. Joseph’s Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton FIRE STATION: 32 Almendral Ave., Atherton LOCATION: Alameda de las Pulgas and El Camino Real; Selby Lane and Valparaiso Avenue PRIVATE SCHOOLS: St. Joseph’s School, 50 Emilie Ave., Atherton; Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; Sacred Heart Prep,150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; Menlo College, 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton PUBLIC SCHOOLS: (Eligibility for school districts depends on resident’s address) Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Oak Knoll School, 1895 Oak Knoll Lane, Menlo Park; Encinal Elementary School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Redwood City School District — Selby Lane School, 170 Selby Lane, Atherton; Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Ave., Redwood City; plus magnet schools Sequoia Union High School District — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park; Stanford Shopping Center MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $3,025,000 ($800,000-$11,300,000) HOMES SOLD: 30




Since 1984 Randy has established himself as a highly successful real estate agent. Currently he ranks in the top 1 percent of all Alain Pinel agents in sales production. He has a proven track record specializing in the high-end residential real estate market. Pat Briscoe has been a real estate broker for over 30 years. Working as a team, Randy and Pat offer a wealth of experience in the MidPeninsula communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley, and Palo Alto.



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esidents agree that their neighborhood, West of Alameda — the area west of Alameda De Las Pulgas, between Walsh Road and Stockbridge Avenue — is a quiet part of Atherton with a natural feel. Mysterious estate-like properties with high gates and hedges spring up along roads that wind through hills covered with oaks, redwoods, eucalyptus and even olive trees. Some of the hilltop homes have sweeping views of the bay and the rolling hills. “It’s wonderful, that’s why I built,” says Patricia Arthur, who built a home in the neighborhood in 1955. While it neighbors Woodside High School and is just minutes from highway 280, this western-most area of the town of Atherton is secluded. West of Alameda residents can be seen enjoying the peaceful scenery while walking their dogs in the hills. “It’s like being in the country and yet we’re five minutes from Stanford Hospital and shopping centers,” Ms. Arthur says. While the streets are quiet, Ms. Arthur says there have been problems with people

FACTS

speeding in the neighborhood. “Cal Water drives too fast, they killed two of my neighbor’s dogs.” Neighbors say you can sometimes hear coyotes, owls and mountain lions up in the hills at night. Judith Finch says her family moved to the neighborhood from San Francisco for the school district. She says her three children took the bus to school. “While the neighborhood holds an annual block party, there is not a sense of community because the houses are so far apart,” she says. Mary King, who built her home in the neighborhood in 1956, recalled “in those days Walsh Road was just a dirt road. We used to ride horses here and cross over 280 when it was just a country road.” When the neighborhood was young, it was very open and there were not a lot of big gates and fences like there are today, she says. Despite the isolated properties, Ms. King says the neighborhood gets together for an annual picnic. She says while the neighborhood has developed there is still a familiar country feel to the area.

FIRE STATION: 3322 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park LOCATION: Alameda de las Pulgas to Hwy. 280; Menlo Park city border near Walsh Road to the Redwood City border near Fletcher Drive PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Las Lomitas School District — Las Lomitas School, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton; La Entrada School, 2200 Sharon Road, Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,595,000 ($1,425,000-$9,400,000) HOMES SOLD: 7

18

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

—Sally Schilling


Expert Knowledge | Proven Results Lyn Jason Cobb & Associates brings an emphasis on innovation and service to the local real estate market and our connections to the areas we serve go back for generations. That personal experience and in depth market knowledge give our clients a distinct advantage when buying or selling a home. Our Clients Receive: - Expert Market Analysis - Professional Photography & Brochures - Personalized & Effective Marketing Solutions including: EFlyers, Newspaper & Magazine Ads, Custom Websites, Virtual Tours, World- wide E-Marketing Campaigns... and more. - 1031 Exchange Expertise - Staging Consultation - Access to our private list of home repair specialists - Full Time Service & Support

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NEIGHBORHOODS

Atherton | Menlo Park | Woodside | Portola Valley | Palo Alto | Redwood City | San Carlos

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Park: Beyond the Gate.” Landowners first incorporated back in 1874, but chose to “disincorporate” a mere two years later. It wasn’t until 1927 that today’s city was established. Menlo Park now offers a suburban enclave with many urban amenities: from a bustling downtown and strong public school district, to plenty of parks and recreation facilities.

NEIGHBORHOODS

nce known as the “Sleepy Hollow of California,” Menlo Park did not take off as a community until after World War II. Despite its proximity to Stanford University, Sand Hill Road venture capitalists, dot-com start-ups and research institutions, “Menlo Park still at least seems like a small town,” notes Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett in their published “Menlo

FACTS 2010-11 CITY GENERAL FUND BUDGET: $37.6 million POPULATION (2008): 30,087 HOUSEHOLDS (2000): 12,387 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2000): 61.1 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1,195,000 MEDIAN CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $813,000 MEAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2000): $123,809

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Lorelei Manor fought for and won a zoning overlay that is specific to neighborhood needs. The typically 1/8-acre lots are smaller than those in most of Menlo Park. Steve Wong lives next door to his parents in Suburban Park. “I’m one of at least five ‘returning children,’” he says, describing the special pull of his close-knit community. Suburban Park was established in 1945 and was developed as housing for military personnel. Remodeling and rebuilding have introduced a more eclectic look as well as larger homes. Kate Kennedy loves raising her children in Suburban Park. “There’s a real support system in the neighborhood,” she says. “Our neighborhood association also does a lot of substantive work,” says Ms. Kennedy. The Community Response Emergency Team, trained by the Menlo Park Fire Department, is an outgrowth of neighbors caring for neighbors, she adds. Flood Park Triangle has through traffic, which the cul-de-sac configurations of Lorelei Manor and Suburban Park discourage. Flood Park Triangle, an attractive, quiet oak-and-bay-studded neighborhood park, offers a natural oasis from the sound of nearby freeway traffic from nearby Hwy. 101. — Susan Golovin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

he 240 homes in the neighborhoods of Suburban Park, Lorelei Manor and Flood Park Triangle are three distinct neighborhoods linked by geography. Flood Park, 23 acres dotted with oak and bay trees, is the centerpiece of the three communities enclosed by Marsh Road, Bay Road and Highway 101. Michael Murphy has lived in Lorelei Manor for about 15 years. His home, as many in the neighborhood, was built in the early 1950s and has been expanded. “You can still recognize the original subdivision style as you walk around the area,” he says. “Many of the houses have added family rooms and/or second stories.” Kitty Craven, a resident for over 40 years says, “When we first moved, the homes were considered modern ranch, with allelectric kitchens, and forced-air heat.” Ms. Craven has been active in the neighborhood association. Through the years the association, as the one in Suburban Park, has been a key element in organizing social get-togethers such as block parties, holiday celebrations and book clubs. Both associations play a strong role in advocating for neighborhood interests. Current hot topics are the proposed Dumbarton Rail Project as well as a Hetch Hetchy repair project that impacts the greenbelt at the entrance to the area.

FACTS CHILDCARE & PRESCHOOLS: James B. Flood School, 320 Sheridan Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: Between Marsh Road, U.S. Hwy. 101 and Bay Road NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS: Lorelei Manor: Salim Shaikh, president, 650-326-6536 Suburban Park: Co-presidents Susan Arrington 650-321-7996, Kristin Campbell 650-328-9897 PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Marsh Manor MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: Suburban Park: $865,500 ($799,000-$930,000) Lorelei Manor: $875,000 ($500,000-$953,500) Flood Park Triangle: $937,500 ($567,100$1,165,000) HOMES SOLD: Suburban Park: 6 Lorelei Manor: 3 Flood Park Triangle: 7


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Peninsula School. “I enjoy it because it is clearly a neighborhood in transition,” Mr. Fadiman says, in reference to the small and large homes, senior citizens and young families. Tree houses and large play structures dot the backyards, and many neighbors hit the streets each evening to walk their dogs. Neighbors even gather for a picnic each year to congregate and celebrate their treasured environs. The neighborhood got its start before World War II as an enclave of summer homes for folks in San Francisco, says Mary Brown, who arrived in 1945. She likes the fact that the schools regularly bring a new crop of young families with children to the area. The neighborhood has been changing in other ways, too, says 13-year resident Holly Still. “Google money” has been pouring in to Menlo Oaks, as it has in neighborhoods in Atherton. Several newly minted millionaires from the Mountain View company have bought existing homes during the last year or two, she says. “It’s unique. This is a forested neighborhood, (but) I’m three minutes from Menlo Park and two minutes from the freeway,” Mr. Fadiman says. — Kathy Schrenk, Carol Blitzer and Renee Batti

Michelle Le

ver the years, Menlo Oaks has fought to keep its country feel in the face of pressures from bike-lane activists, “McMansions” and even the Catholic Church. This slice of land sandwiched between Menlo Park and Atherton is dominated by the 85-year-old private Peninsula School and its impressive Victorian main building. There are no sidewalks or streetlights in Menlo Oaks and residents want to keep it that way, they say. The 106-acre area in San Mateo County bounded by Ringwood Avenue, Bay Road, Berkeley Avenue, Coleman Avenue and Arlington Way. The big issue is always whether or not to incorporate and become part of Menlo Park. Also adding to that rural feel are the many mature, towering oak, eucalyptus and evergreen trees among the 300 homes. Most are sited on half-acre lots, and only 13 — built before 1941 — are considered historically significant. The architecture is as eclectic as the neighbors themselves: side by side are representatives of Craftsman, ranch, Spanish and California bungalow, with an Eichler or two thrown in, and new homes. The Menlo Oaks District Association holds its annual picnic at Peninsula School, a private, progressive K-8 that was formerly the Coleman Mansion. The neighbors formally meet once a year, but pick up news from a newsletter published electronically and a directory of residents. Their electronic bulletin board shares information on everything from handymen to dealing with mailbox vandalism. Community action is a byword in Menlo Oaks. Over the years neighbors have successfully prevented a storm drain project from killing their cherished trees, promoted installation of traffic-slowing street circles, and joined together in a successful drive to transfer their neighborhood from the Ravenswood to the Menlo Park City School District. The community also has vetoing power over removal of heritage trees. Directly to the neighborhood’s west is the huge campus of Menlo Atherton High School. It’s just a few minutes from downtown Menlo Park, downtown Palo Alto and Highway 101. But it’s the spirit of independence that makes the area special. James Fadiman moved to Menlo Oaks more than 35 years ago because he wanted 24 to send his children to the progressive

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Peninsula School, 920 Peninsula Way, Menlo Park; The Roberts School, 641 Coleman Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: Ringwood Avenue to Berkeley Avenue, adjacent to the Veterans Administration Medical Center; Bay Road to Arlington Way NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Menlo Oaks District Association, Michael Johnson, president, 650-533-5102. E-mail: president@menlo-oaks.org PARKS: Flood Park, 215 Bay Road, Menlo Park; Seminary Oaks Park, Santa Monica Avenue near Middlefield Road, Menlo Park; Willow Oaks Park, Willow Road near Gilbert Avenue, Menlo Park PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Peninsula School, Peninsula Way, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,642,500 ($1,022,687-$3,725-000) HOMES SOLD: 8


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“There are six floor plans, and each plan offers several style choices, such as Tudor, Craftsman, English cottage. Also, a certain number of the floor plans are reversed. Combine that with different color choices and it explains why it doesn’t look like a development,” he says. Anne B. Butler’s home in Vintage Oaks was one of the first three houses built there and she moved there in 1991. Ms. Butler says she loves living in the neighborhood. She moved from a bigger house in Woodside and enjoyed watching the other homes being built. Today, her favorite activity is watching the young families and children in the neighborhood, she says. She chuckles and says that “my age skews the demographics — but it’s one of the nicest things about living here.” Although you no longer see the seminary students coming out every Thursday on their bikes — their black robes streaming — the neighbors still enjoy the seminary bells. — Susan Golovin and Karen Canty

Michelle Le

ld walnut and liquid ambar trees shade the modest homes of the South of Seminary neighborhood where Laura and Mark Rich have lived for 24 years. The couple has raised their two children there, and Ms. Rich’s favorite part of living in this neighborhood continues to be watching the children on the block grow up. “Even though Middlefield is close by, the kids ride their skateboards, play ball and do chalk drawings on the street,” she says. South of Seminary is geographically defined by Middlefield Road, Willow Road, Coleman Avenue and Santa Monica Avenue, and is bordered by modest homes and apartment buildings, with the new development of Vintage Oaks in the center. Most homes were built in the 1940s and early 1950s. The neighborhood was named because of its proximity to St. Patrick’s Seminary, which was dedicated in l898 and once occupied 86 acres donated to the Catholic Church by Kate Johnson. The neighborhood consists of onestory houses on small lots, with some apartments lining the edges along Coleman Avenue and Willow Road. There are sidewalks, but no curbs. And residents are walking distance to a small supermarket and Sunset Magazine and Books. Residents say it’s a friendly neighborhood where people are welcoming. When neighbors get sick, word gets out and food magically appears. And neighbors gather every year for the Fourth of July and again in the fall for a block party on Nash Avenue. “There hasn’t been a lot of change on our block,” says Ms. Rich. “The Vintage Oaks subdivision is the biggest change in the neighborhood.” Forty-six acres of this former pastoral retreat is now known as Vintage Oaks, and consists of 131 homes and 14 duetstyle townhouses. The latter are reserved for people who work for the city, such as government officials and school teachers. Dr. Richard Green and his wife Lynda moved into Vintage Oaks in 1997. “We all moved in at the same time, so we became very close,” he says — a seemingly universal sentiment in the area — encouraged by neighborhood celebrations 26 and gatherings.

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Footsteps Preschool, 490 Willow Road, Menlo Park; The Roberts School, 641 Coleman Avenue, Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: Middlefield Road and Coleman Avenue; Willow Road to Ringwood Avenue and Arlington Way PARK: Seminary Oaks Park, Santa Monica Avenue, near Middlefield Road, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Avenue, Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park. Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1432,500 ($819,000-$2,250,000)


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NEIGHBORHOODS

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of the smaller ones — more typical is 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre, with a few double lots. Both the Slates and the Keatings attest to the cohesiveness of the area. Neighborhood gettogethers are frequent and people are invested in one another. “It’s basically one giant cul-desac with no through streets,” Mr. Slate says. “I like to walk outside and know who my neighbors are,” says Mr. Keating. “I also like that it’s close to downtown and schools,” he adds, pleased that his daughters were able to walk places as they grew to be more independent. Laurie Thomas, resident of the oldest home in the neighborhood (1922), says that one of the major concerns is, in fact, for the safety of children walking to and from school. Ways to enforce the speed limit are being considered. The neighborhood association is keeping informed of the changes at Encinal School and traffic issues are to be addressed by the school district. The association is also making sure that people are both informed of and represented on the issue of high speed and/or elevated rail and its impact. Some of the Felton Gables homes border the train tracks. With the passage of Prop 1A in 2008, some residents could lose property to eminent domain. “It’s really too bad. Keating says, adding he is not happy the proposition passed. But the neighborhood remains a stable one. And there is a strong community feeling. The

Fourth of July block party is a major event. “There’s not a lot of turnover in this neighborhood,” says Ms. Thomas, although there was more in 2009. Mr. Keating echoes his neighbors’ sentiment: It’s “charming and delightful.” — Susan Golovin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

ucked between Encinal Avenue, Holbrook Palmer Park and the railroad tracks, and buffered from El Camino by a commercial development is a neighborhood that retains the name of one of its first residents: Charles Norton Felton. Senator Felton made his fortune in the Comstock Lode and settled in Menlo Park in the 1870’s. He built “Felton Gables” a pink, two-story mansion on 3.5 acres on the north side of Encinal and there he entertained presidents and royalty. President Harrison made a quick visit in l891 — when the population of Menlo Park was 400. By the time Harvey and Barbara Slate moved into their circa 1934 English Tudor home in 1967, most of the neighborhood’s 115 homes had been built. The major development took place in the 1930s and 40s, which accounts for the mature foliage. “The neighborhood has a lot of architectural diversity: Craftsman and New England styles, ranches and cottages. Now there are more two-story homes,” Harvey Slate says, noting that their area has had its share of tear-downs and renovations. Felton Gables has its own zoning restrictions, which limit the footprint and height of homes. Brian and Katy Keating have lived in Felton Gables for 11 years. They took their home down to the studs and rebuilt a “country French” home with a brick front that retains the flavor of the area. At 7,900 square feet, the lot is one

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: The Playschool, Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton; Trinity Early Childhood Program, 330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 32 Almendral Ave., Atherton LOCATION: West of Southern Pacific Railroad tracks and south of Holbrook Palmer Park, between Watkins and Encinal avenues NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Felton Gables Homeowners’ Association, Russ Peterson, president, 650-327-2450 PARK: Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,711,500 ($1,685,000-$1,738,000) HOMES SOLD: 2


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LINFIELD OAKS

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have our own version of Christmas Tree Lane on Sherwood Lane,” he says. The neighborhood is a nexus for many people’s interests because of the Recreation Center between Alma and Laurel streets and the proximity to downtown Menlo Park and Palo Alto, he adds, but speed tables have lessened the impact of increased traffic. Nancy Hosay and Jacob Asher have lived on Linfield Place for 17 years. She says that she appreciates the civic awareness in her neighborhood. The neighborhood Internet group allows neighbors to share resources and keep abreast of issues of common concern. It’s also a great way to find a babysitter for Saturday night, she adds. Suzanne Dahling, who, with husband Randall, purchased their Claremont Way home in l964 were one of the first families to buy into the neighborhood, she says. The neighborhood has had a renaissance of young families. “I noticed a big change this year on Halloween: lots of young children,” she adds. Another source of neighborhood pride: “The area is so pretty. There are lots of trees and flowers and it’s very green,” she said. — Susan Golovin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

tuart Soffer describes his neighborhood as “a ‘Leave It to Beaver’ neighborhood.” He and wife Susan have lived in their 1954 ranch-style home on Linfield Drive since 1994. Although remodels are changing the look of many neighborhoods, Mr. Soffer says his neighbors have been sensitive to others’ sight lines when they’ve remodeled — something that poses a problem in some other neighborhoods. Linfield Oaks consists of 80 acres bordered by San Francisquito Creek, Middlefield Road, Ravenswood Avenue and Alma Street. The area was developed in the early 1950s by Claude and Ray Lindsay as a planned community with single family homes, garden apartments, and at the borders, campus-style office space such as Sunset Magazine, Western Headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey and Stanford Research Institute. Neighborhood unity is fostered by informal get-togethers and what Mr. Soffer describes as a “cohesive spirit” that they have found to be an unexpected bonus. “Once a year, in late summer, we have a block party with about 100 people. We even

FACTS CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Geokids Day Care Center, 345 Middlefield Road #204, Menlo Park; Burgess After-school Program, Burgess Kindercat Program, Menlo Park Recreation Center, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, Menlo Children’s Center, 801 Laurel St. Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: West of Middlefield Road to Alma Street and San Francisquito Creek to O’Keefe Street NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: E-mail coordinator: JoAnne Goldberg, 650-327-4716 PARK: Burgess Park, Alma Street and Mielke Drive, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Avenue, Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,295,000 ($1,050,000-$1,625,000) HOMES SOLD: 13


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1970. “Menlo Park has a very small town feel,” he says. The father of five children, Mr. Caletti says he was very pleased with the schools and all the local recreation his kids had growing up. Each Halloween children come to see the famous “talking pumpkin,” he says. In general, the neighborhood is very walkable, he says. His only concern is that downtown may become over-developed. If he had his way, the city would refrain from putting in any more parking structures and work to maintain Menlo Park’s small-town character, he says. John Fox and his wife moved into Central Menlo in 1993 because, according to Mr. Fox, “We liked the local flavor.” A city commissioner for 10 years, Mr. Fox would like to see more bike lanes and paths throughout the city. “There’s tremendous potential here, because it’s flat and because of the layout and structure,” he says. Mr. Fox is an avid cyclist and loves that he can bike to the Caltrain station. “There is a lot of discussion about the Caltrain and high-speed rail, but overall I think the Caltrain corridor is a good thing,” he says. — Nick Veronin

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

lton Sherwin loves his Central Menlo Park home for many reasons: “great schools, great commute, great weather, the biking and the walking.” And he especially likes the “smaller-town feel of Menlo Park,” he says. Mr. Sherwin is a cycling enthusiast and loves to ride his bike through the flat Stanford campus or in the nearby hilly trails. He also walks or takes his bicycle down to Safeway or Draeger’s about once a week to fetch necessary items. “Being within walking distance of those things has been very nice. You can live here and work almost anywhere and have a great commute,” he says. There is a great sense of community in Central Menlo Park, according to Mr. Sherwin, who says he knows most of the people on his street. Mr. Sherwin, who has lived on North Lemon Avenue since 1994, says residents of many streets in the neighborhood do an annual block party where they block off the street for festivities. The tennis and basketball courts at the local Hillview Middle School are also a favorite activity for Mr. Sherwin and his daughters, he adds. Bob Caletti, a Menlo Park resident his entire life, has lived on Wallea Drive since

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: The Kirk House Preschool, 1148 Johnson St., Menlo Park; St. Joseph’s Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; Littlest Angels Bethany Preschool, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 700 Oak Grove, Menlo Park LOCATION: Valparaiso Avenue to San Francisquito Creek; Cloud Avenue to Arbor Drive and Johnson Street PARKS: Tinker Park, Santa Cruz Avenue at Elder Avenue near Hillview School, Menlo Park; Jack W. Lyle Park, Middle Avenue and Fremont Street, Menlo Park; Fremont Park, Santa Cruz Avenue and University Drive, Menlo Park; Nealon Park, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; Sacred Heart Prep, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; St. Joseph’s School, 50 Emilie Ave., Atherton; St. Raymond’s Elementary School, 1211 Arbor Road, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Oak Knoll School, 1895 Oak Knoll Lane, Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Allied Arts MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,050,000 ($975,000-$5,300,000) HOMES SOLD: 61


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h, to live in Downtown Menlo Park. Close to the library, Kepler’s, the Caltrain stations and all the shops and restaurants of Santa Cruz Avenue — and within biking distance of Stanford and downtown Palo Alto. Appealing homes with attractive yards and streets. It’s so pleasant, residents say, that people stay put for many years, while newcomers continue to be attracted to its mix of amenities and charm. Edwin and Joyce Brandle moved in to their home on Oak Avenue more than 40 years ago and say they’re as happy with the neighborhood now as they were when they first moved from the East Coast, after looking in the North and East Bay and settling on Menlo Park. “We liked what we saw. It looked like a nice, small town,” Edwin Brandle says, adding that they admired the well-kept homes and yards and heard good things about the school system. “It’s convenient to downtown shopping, the Stanford Shopping Center and the hospitals and clinics,” he adds. Beverly Altman and her husband David, are also longtime residents. They’ve been in the neighborhood for nearly a half century. “We lived in Los Altos first but I had my heart set on Menlo Park,” Ms. Altman says. The schools, along with the proximity to Stanford and the community in general drew

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her there. She describes her neighborhood as made up mostly of ranch houses but with newer additions and construction mixed in with original homes. She loves the fine-dining options of the downtown area, and the range of retail establishments. “The restaurants are good and bustling, the markets are good and we’re getting more new ones. Plus Stanford Shopping Center is always exciting,” she says. However, the economic downturn of recent years has not left downtown Menlo Park unaffected. “There are empty storefronts now; it’s sad and a big change. Another sign of the times is seeing homeless people on the streets, it’s unusual,” she says, also expressing regret at the closure of the Park movie theater. Over the years it’s also become a little less quiet as Silicon Valley has developed, she says. “There’s definitely more traffic now — traffic in downtown, traffic on El Camino. It’s gone from a small town to, well, a very busy small town.” Though the Brandles and Altmans have lived in the area for decades, they say young families continue to flock to the neighborhood, keeping it vital. “There are many younger people now, that’s good. It’s very welcoming for new people,” Mr. Brandle says.

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Menlo-Atherton Cooperative Nursery School, 802 Middle Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 700 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park LOCATION: Valparaiso Avenue to Middle Avenue and El Camino Real to Johnson Street and Arbor Road PARKS: Fremont Park, Santa Cruz and University Drive; Nealon Park, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Oak Knoll School, 1895 Oak Knoll Lane, Menlo Park; Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Stanford Shopping Center MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,168,000 ($790,000-$1,770,000) HOMES SOLD: 11 MEDIAN 2010 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $970,000 ($389,000-$1,100,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 8

The schools have remained popular and full, Ms. Altman says, as families with kids continue to feel at home. “It doesn’t take too long to be appreciative of what we have here — the trees, the flowers. It’s a nice place. We like it,” Mr. Brandle says. — Karla Kane

Veronica Weber

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NEIGHBORHOODS

With its old-town charm, Allied Arts/ Stanford Park seems a world away from the hustle of El Camino Real to its east, and the promise of new high-tech concerns such as Tesla Motors. The cutting-edge electric-car company hosts a show room of sports cars just across El Camino. But tucked inside the neighborhood, a country feel remains. A lack of sidewalks results in a perfect place for strolling among 1925 bungalow homes, attractive flower gardens and fruit trees on roads named after colleges — Yale Road, Cambridge Avenue, Princeton Road, Cornell Road and Harvard Avenue. Lamp-topped pillars mark the entrance to the neighborhood. And old and shady trees grace the streets. Small enough that one could run laps around it, the neighborhood is marked by four distinct streets: Middle Avenue on the north, San Francisquito Creek to the south and Allied Arts Guild on Arbor Road to the west. Allied Arts Guild is a centerpiece of the neighborhood and a main attraction. The Spanish-Colonial designed complex came into existence in 1929 and developed as an artisan’s

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workspace of studios and shops. James Hill owned a candle shop and a gourmet cookware shop called “Batterie de Cuisine” in the guild from 1963 to 2002. He moved to Allied Arts in 1972 with his wife Elaine and the couple live in a 1935 Tudor-style house that allowed him to be “living over the store, so to speak,” he says. Stephanie Brown moved in 31 years ago. The “sense of distinctive, autonomous, individual design of the homes creates a sense of individuality,” she says. That individuality has allowed the neighborhood to keep its identity over the years as it has matured, she says. A local meeting spot for residents is “The O” — The Oasis Beer Garden. It’s a burger and pizza bar located in a WWI building that had peanut shells on the floor and was one of the first places with a big-screen television, Betty Lee says. Ms. Lee has lived in the neighborhood for 56 years. She and her husband raised a child there. “When we first moved in, Cambridge Avenue was very quiet, you could almost hear a pin drop,” she says. The neighborhood is close to just about

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Menlo-Atherton Cooperative Nursery School, 802 Middle Ave. FIRE STATION: 700 Oak Grove Ave. LOCATION: Middle Avenue to San Francisquito Creek; Arbor Road to El Camino Real PARK: Nealon Park, 800 Middle Ave. PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Oak Knoll School; Hillview Middle School; Sequoia Union High School District — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Stanford Shopping Center MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,372,500 ($799,000-$2,850,000) HOMES SOLD: 22

anything she needs: Draeger’s Market, Stanford University and Stanford Shopping Center and downtown Menlo Park are all within walkable distance, she says. Residents say more families are moving in and Ms. Lee says some homes have been renovated or newly-built. But one characteristic has stayed constant: The “caring and kind people in the neighborhood,” Ms. Brown says. — Kris Young

Veronica Weber

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play together in the streets in a way that reminds her of her childhood in Virginia, she says. Susan Colb has lived in the area for seven years, and shares her neighbors’ sentiments. University Heights is “a neighborhood in transition, where half of my neighbors are retired and in their 80s and the other half are new families with children.” The area has “everything you need,” she says. She can bike to work, walk her dogs up the hill to nearby Sharon Park, and run errands on foot to the dry cleaners and post office. But some of the streets are narrow and people drive too fast out of the local burgerand-beer joint, the Dutch Goose, she says. Local restaurants provide an option for social interaction. The range is wide, going from an informal family-friendly atmosphere found at older establishments such as the Dutch Goose and Lutticken’s deli, to pizza at Round Table or Avanti, casual dining at Lulu’s Taqueria, or fancier fare at Flea Street Cafe, another long-lasting fixture in the neighborhood. After business hours though, Ms. Lewis says, “It’s peaceful at night,” yet another plus to calling University Heights “home.” —Kate Daly

Michelle Le

any commuters drive through University Heights, which is why there are so many partial fences blocking the roads, speed bumps and extra signs posted to slow down traffic in the busy corridor. But the tree-lined neighborhood in unincorporated San Mateo County still feels like a little urban oasis where residents can leave their cars behind and walk to local stores, restaurants and schools. With well-manicured lawns, the neighborhood is alternately called Menlo Heights and West Menlo Park. The area features a business district along Alameda de las Pulgas, and easy access to Sharon Heights. The neighborhood is bordered by Las Lomitas and La Entrada public schools, and Phillips Brooks, a private school. Diann Lewis moved into her house 20 years ago. “We picked it for the good schools and the fact that we could walk to everything,” she says. Time permitting, she walks 15 minutes to the closest Safeway for groceries, and likes the simplicity of being able to drop off her car for servicing at the nearby Shell station and then strolling home. For a time, when her older child began attending college, Ms. Lewis felt there were fewer children living on her street. But younger families have moved in, and children are playing in the streets again, she says. Over the years, Ms. Lewis has noticed a change in the size and scope of homes. Most of the former summer bungalows have been replaced, and the trend is toward remodeling and building large, two-story houses, she says. Lindsay Farino moved to nearby Sherman Lane in 2002 with her three children. An interior designer who holds clothing sales four times a year, she credits the closeknit neighborhood and her relationships with parents of her daughter, currently a sophomore at Menlo Atherton High, for her successes. “It’s the kind of neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. On Holloween, Sherman is closed, and 800 to 1000 trick or treaters come. Almost every house decorates,” Ms. Farino says. “It really brings out the best in people.” University Heights neighbors keep each other close, helping with each others’ pets 38 and collecting mail for vacationers. The kids

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Children’s Creative Learning Center, Las Lomitas School, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton; Littlest Angels Preschool, Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park; The Phillips Brooks School, 2245 Avy Ave., Menlo Park; University Heights Montessori Children’s Center, 2066 Avy Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 3322 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park LOCATION: East and West of Alameda de las Pulgas to Altschul Avenue to the west; North Lemon Avenue and Santa Cruz Avenue PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Phillips Brooks School, 2245 Avy Ave., Menlo Park; Trinity School, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Las Lomitas School District — Las Lomitas School, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton; La Entrada School, 2200 Sharon Road, Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Alameda de las Pulgas, Sharon Heights MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,225,500 ($719,000-$2,480,000) HOMES SOLD: 35 MEDIAN 2010 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $330,000 ($158,764-$940,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 7


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41 YEARS IN SHARON HEIGHTS We have been honored to represent many buyer and sellers this year. We are committed to always providing personable and comprehensive real estate services with exceptional attention to detail. From listing your home to providing contractor referrals for upgrades, we facilitate a smooth buying and selling experience. Your needs are our first priority, and we look forward to building the personal relationship that will enable us to assist you. We provide the most professional and updated services and would welcome the opportunity to explore any real estate needs you may have.

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NEIGHBORHOODS

JOE MERKERT

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SHARON HEIGHTS

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socializing. It holds an annual summer party and an annual holiday party, Ms. Wiegard says. The condominiums tend to have community parties as well, Mrs. Saxe says of 1000 Sharon, a development home to spacious townhouses and condominiums. “Generally, we have annual holiday parties, which a condo resident hosts. We also have pool parties on Labor Day and the Fourth of July.” Although residents boast a choice of schools from among Phillips Brooks School, Trinity School, Las Lomitas School, La Entrada School and Menlo-Atherton High School, Ms. Wiegard and Mrs. Saxe both say that the townhomes and condominiums are home to mostly adult neighbors. “As a hilly neighborhood, it’s not as conducive to children running out to play in the streets,” according to Julie Brenner, whose children were grown when she and her husband moved to the area in 2006.”There are some young families, but generally, the lower down on the hill you go, the more children you see.” Living in the hills provides some opportunities as well as drawbacks, according to Mrs. Brenner. She walks the hills with a neighboring resident on her cul-de-sac. “Walking with my friend, I have come across

many people who clearly are coming from out of the area,” she says. “If you live in Menlo Park and want to get some exercise, here’s the only place hilly enough to go.” — Sarah Trauben

Vivian Wong

NEIGHBORHOODS

itting atop the West Menlo Park Hills is the Sharon Heights neighborhood. Developed by for residential use by Duncan McDonald and Mark Radin in the 1960s, the neighborhood is home to a variety of residences, including houses, condominiums, townhouses and apartments. Neighbors say they love the hilly community with ample greenery and neat landscaping. “I love where I live,” says Dorothy Saxe, who moved with her husband to the neighborhood from Palo Alto in 1979. “The views and the neighbors are lovely, and the neighborhood is well-maintained and convenient to shopping and 280.” Sharon Heights retains a quiet allure despite its proximity to commerce and thoroughfares. “The trees are beautiful as they change in the different times of year,” Cora Wiegard says. She has been watching the trees change through autumn and spring since she moved to the neighborhood in 1983. Ample tournaments and volunteer opportunities keep some residents involved with the Stanford Heights Golf and Country Club, which borders the 574-acre community along with Alameda de las Pulgas, Santa Cruz Avenue, and Sand Hill Road. The Sharon Heights Homeowners Association provides other opportunities for

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Trinity School, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 3322 Alameda de las Pulgas LOCATION: Sand Hill Road and Hwy. 280; Santa Cruz Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Sharon Heights Homeowners’ Association, John Sakrison, president, 650-854-4487 PARKS: Sharon Park, Sharon Park Drive; Sharon Hills Park, Valparaiso Avenue at Altschul Avenue PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Phillips Brooks School, 2245 Avy Ave.; Trinity School, 2650 Sand Hill Road PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Las Lomitas School District — Las Lomitas School, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton; La Entrada School, 2200 Sharon Road, Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Sharon Heights Shops MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,737,944 ($1,225,000-$3,710,000) HOMES SOLD: 16 MEDIAN 2010 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $900,000 ($431,000-$2,000,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 35


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with much of the Peninsula, the real surge for development came after World War II. The town of Portola Valley was incorporated in 1964 with the goals of preserving the beauty of the valley, fostering low-density housing, and limiting services to those necessary for local residents. To this day, the goal is to maintain a balance between the rural, quiet neighborhoods and the need for modern development.

NEIGHBORHOODS

stride the San Andreas fault, with views extending from across the Bay to San Francisco, Portola Valley’s history begins with the logging town of Searsville. Its most famous 19th-century settler was Andrew Hallidie, inventor of the cable car, who purchased property in 1883, then donated land for a school and post office. Farming and stock ranching were major enterprises between 1860 and 1920, but as

FACTS 2010-11 TOWN OPERATING BUDGET: $5.6 million POPULATION (2008) 4,532 HOUSEHOLDS (2000) 1,772 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2000) 74.6 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE $1,722,000 MEAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $205,700

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LADERA

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goal was to set up “a diverse community of modest homes, not too far apart, with shopping and nature,” Mr. Decker says. The plan ran into money trouble and ended up in the hands of developers. He estimates less than half of the 535 homes date back to the originals, but most are still ranch-style and situated on anywhere from quarter- acre to two-acre lots in the oak-studded hills of unincorporated San Mateo County, surrounded by Stanford University and Portola Valley. Anna Plume, her husband and their four children have lived in Ladera for 11 years. She chose the neighborhood specifically because of the sense of community she felt there — even when just looking for a house. “As a stay-at-home mom, I felt I needed a place where we could connect with other families,” she says. The sense of camaraderie in her neighborhood is wonderful, she adds. Her third child spent time in the hospital when he was a four-week-old; the neighbors fed the family for almost a month. And her older children can play in the cul-de-sac away from their house, without much adult supervision. Ms. Plume says she knows it is safe and that neighbors watch out for them. It is “very

much like a neighborhood of the ‘50s,” she says. The Plume’s children make use of the Ladera Recreation Center as members of the swim team in the summer and take tennis lessons at the center. Overall, she couldn’t be happier with the choice they made to live in Ladera, she says. — Kate Daly and Karen Canty

James Tensuan

NEIGHBORHOODS

“People who live in Ladera value it for the sense of community and belonging,” says Judith Weber, a resident there for 16 years. “It’s like a small town in the Midwest where the people look out for each other.” Ms. Weber loves when the Ladera Community Association (LCA) publishes a directory listing local kids who will baby sit and pet sit. She also likes the fact that many of the neighborhood children who compete on the swim team, and go to summer or tennis camp at the centrally located Ladera Recreation Center later go on to become lifeguards and camp counselors there when they’re older. “It’s a wonderful facility,” she says, also giving credit to the Caryotakis family who raised money from neighbors to put in a large playground next to the pool and tennis courts for all to enjoy. Peter Caryotakis grew up in Ladera and is now raising his own family there. Former LCA President Rob Decker says he sees this happen a lot, where the kids return and maybe even buy their old family home. He moved in 27 years ago and says once you’ve lived in Ladera it’s hard to find anything that compares. Ladera started out in the 1940s as an experiment in cooperative living, where the

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Ladera Community Church Preschool, 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Woodland School (also a private elementary school), 360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley LOCATION: West of Alpine Road and north of Westridge Drive to Lucero Way and La Cuesta Road PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Woodland School, 360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Las Lomitas School District — Las Lomitas School, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton; La Entrada School, 2200 Sharon Road, Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Ladera Country Shopper MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,553,000 ($1,205,000-$2,320,000) HOMES SOLD: 17


Beautiful ten acre campus in Portola Valley near Alpine Road and Highway 280.

Building a Lifelong Joy of Learning

Preschool through eighth grade, Woodland Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus is a challenging academic program with a strong enrichment program in the areas of French, art, music, drama, computers, gymnastics and physical education. Science, math and technology are an integral part of the 5th-8th grade experience.

Woodland School 360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley, CA 94028 www.woodland-school.org

(650) 854-9065

NEIGHBORHOODS

Voted Best Private Day School in the San Francisco Bay Area by Bay Area Parent Magazine

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hen Lorraine and Noble Hancock moved to the Westridge neighborhood in 1957, Mapache Drive stopped at their house on the third lot. The neighborhood retained its rural, small-town feel as development continued, with a sense of camaraderie that Mrs. Hancock says came from local mothers’ coffee dates and shared efforts to pick neighborhood children up from school. Developed back in the 1920s after serving as ranch land, Westridge is an oasis that feels far removed from the hustle and cramped conditions of Silicon Valley. Each lot in the rolling hills and oak-tree dotted neighborhood is a minimum of 2.5 acres, and bridle path easements on each property preserve the open-space feel. “Originally, the neighborhood catered strongly to horse owners, and so each lot has natural trails for horse rides. There aren’t as many horses anymore, but now the trails are being used by hikers and bicyclists,” Mrs. Hancock says. Over ten miles of trail attract hikers, bicyclists, and riders.

FACTS Keeping the natural allure of Westridge alive is a priority for the residents’ association, which sponsors annual clean-up days and a picnic and barbeque as well as holding an annual meeting in the winter. Homebuilders must adhere to strict design guidelines enforced by the Westridge Architectural Supervising Committee, which aims at preserving the rural character of the neighborhood. Adaline Jessup, was 26 when she moved to Westridge Drive with her pediatrician husband in 1950, has seen the community evolve since its early days. She and her husband chose Westridge for its openness and natural space. While the neighborhood has since become more developed, grasslands have grown wooded, and the demographics have changed, Westridge is again attracting new families. “Kids kind of disappeared for awhile,” Mrs. Jessup says “Now there are many kids, and it makes me realize how much I missed hearing children’s voices.” —Sarah Trauben

CENTRAL PORTOLA VALLEY

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NEIGHBORHOODS

n Mollie Raab’s two and a half acres, she overlooks a neighbor’s orchard on one side and a sweeping view of the Western Hills on the other and a walking trail passes in front of her nearly new two-story house. Ms. Raab has lived in Hillsborough, Atherton, and Woodside, but she chose to build a new house for her family in Portola Valley “because it’s out in the country — but not really in the country — with nature, space and quiet,” she says. Sandy Boyce says she first moved to the neighborhood 11 years ago. “I thought it was very inconvenient,” location wise, but over time some new additions and improvements have been made in the local shopping areas “that make it so you never have to leave town,” she says. When the kids were younger, Little People’s Park — the playground perched next to the redwood grove and tennis courts behind Town Center — provided hours of entertainment. Ms. Boyce’s husband, Dick, and Ms. McKinnon’s husband, Neil, teamed up to raise money to rehabilitate the sports field at 46 Rossotti’s.

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Windmill Preschool, 4141 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Ladera Community Church Preschool, 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Carillon Preschool at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road, Portola Valley; New Horizons (after school care), 200 Shawnee Pass, Portola Valley FIRE STATION: Woodside Fire Protection District, Portola Valley Station, 135 Portola Road, Portola Valley LOCATION: Westridge Drive between Alpine and Portola roads NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Westridge Architecture Supervising Committee PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School (K-3), 200 Shawnee Pass, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School (4-8), 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Nathhorst Triangle, Portola Road at Alpine Road; Village Square, 884 Portola Road; Ladera Shopping Center, 3130 Alpine Road, Portola Valley MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,650,000 ($2,233,000-$3,150,000) HOMES SOLD: 4

FACTS

The town seems as though it is always staging a barbecue, race, art show or theatrical event organized by the Presbyterian Church, giving the residents plenty of opportunities to commingle. Carol Lavine has lived in the area since 1977 and has witnessed changes in the community over time. She loves the wildlife and semi-rural atmosphere of the town but has noticed several people are changing the landscape. “Some people have been paving over whole lots. That’s one thing that has been a big change in the last 10 to 12 years.” She says. The local association in her area of Alpine Hills hosts social gatherings. Residents gather for coffee and morning tea and each year they throw a birthday party for an elderly couple, she says. Clay Baker and his family have lived in Central Portola Valley for the past 7 years, having moved from Woodside. It’s a tight-knit community where “ everybody kind of knows everybody,” and people communicate through a public-discussion forum on Yahoo, he says. “You can say, ‘I need a bird cage,’ and in a minute you have 15 posts,” he says. — Kate Daly

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Trinity Preschool at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road, Portola Valley; Windmill Preschool, 4141 Alpine Road, Portola Valley FIRE STATION: 135 Portola Road, Portola Valley LOCATION: South of Westridge Drive to Portola and Alpine Roads and west of Alpine Road PARK: Little People’s Park (at Portola Valley Town Center); Windy Hill Open Space Preserve PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Woodside Priory School, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School, 200 Shawnee Pass Road, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Portola Road; Valley Center (Portola and Alpine Roads) MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,000,000 ($1,400,000-$3,760,000) HOMES SOLD: 15


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Available: 506 Sand Hill Circle, Sand Hill Circle, MENLO PARK

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visual continuity from the forested open space to the design of the residential clusters. “But I couldn’t resist using my Stanford geophysics skills in adding earthquake stability elements to the mandatory house plan when my wife Mimi and I moved here in 1978,” he says. He also has written about Portola Valley history. “Part of the old Bovet Ranch, the forerunner of PV Ranch, is still here, hidden away; the old stable is there too. To safeguard it, I can’t tell you exactly where.” Barbara Wertheimer is a 16-year resident who loves her neighborhood. The neighborhood gets together the first Friday of every month and people who live on different streets bring drinks outside and meet with neighbors, she says. “There is also a hiking group that hikes the first Saturday [of each month]. It’s a very nice community and very comfortable to live in. I’ve never met anyone who isn’t nice,” she says. Marilyn Walter has lived at the Ranch since 1975 and is involved with maintaining the native landscape along hiking trails. “I love the quiet — I love the natural surroundings. We’ve been very fortunate because we have a wooded area on one side and we’re up against Windy Hill on the other.

We’re surrounded by open space,” she says. —Phyllis Butler

Vivian Wong

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idden away on the edge of the old valley, near where Alpine and Los Trancos roads intersect and Portola Road ends, lies the planned community known as Portola Valley Ranch. The houses, their natural wood exteriors and earthy colors are visually harmonious, in keeping with developer Joe Whelan’s award-winning 1975 design plan. An active homeowner’s association administers the lush common areas and shared recreational facilities, including a community ranch house capable of holding more than 100 people, two swimming pools, three tennis courts, a wine producing vineyard, vegetable gardens and dedicated hiking trails. Longtime Portola Valley Ranch resident Sheldon Breiner is an avid hiker (he describes himself as “peripatetic”) and values the site’s natural setting and the totally natural landscape plan — all foliage, both existing and newly planted, are restricted to native plants, despite changes in ownership. Dr. Breiner, a sort of high-tech Renaissance man who’s a writer, amateur explorer, as well as successful Silicon Valley inventor/ entrepreneur — Geometrics is one of his betterknown startups — says there’s a rewarding

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Windmill Preschool, 4141 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Ladera Community Church Preschool, 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Carillon Preschool at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road, Portola Valley; New Horizons (after school care), 200 Shawnee Pass, Portola Valley FIRE STATION: Woodside Fire Protection District, Portola Valley Station, 135 Portola Road, Portola Valley LOCATION: South and east of Alpine Road and west of Los Trancos Road NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Portola Valley Ranch Association, Pete Steiner, president PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School (K-3), 200 Shawnee Pass, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School (4-8), 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Nathhorst Triangle, Portola Road at Alpine Road; Village Square, 884 Portola Road; Ladera Shopping Center, 3130 Alpine Road, Portola Valley MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,114,000 ($2,085,000-$3,200,000) HOMES SOLD: 4


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NEIGHBORHOODS

JEAN ISAACSON

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Representing Buyers And Sellers In These Areas . . . And Beyond Emerald Hills Atherton

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Born and raised in Portola Valley and now residing in Woodside with children in local schools, Erika is committed to the community and the business of real estate. Her expertise is second to none and has earned her the distinguished ranking as the Portola Valley

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WOODSIDE ■ Emerald Hills ■ Family Farm/ Hidden Valley

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baron C.F.A. Talbot, heirs to the H.M. Newhall land and cattle fortune, as well as millionaire spice magnate August Schilling. But it wasn’t until the post World War II building boom brought more than 500 new houses to the area that local residents decided to get together to protect the rural nature of their community. In 1956, the Town of Woodside was incorporated, bringing road maintenance, management, planning and zoning under local control.

FACTS 2010-11 TOWN OPERATING AND BUDGET: $5.6 million POPULATION (2008): 5,579 HOUSEHOLDS (2000): 1,949 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2000): 74.6 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1,755,000 MEAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2000): $205,700

NEIGHBORHOODS

or more than 100 years, beginning in the 1830s, the area now called Woodside was gradually developed, first as sawmills that supplied redwood to build San Francisco, later as farms, small cattle ranches and vineyards. As early as 1852, a regular stagecoach service connected Woodside to San Francisco, and by the 1880s, prosperous San Franciscans began building country estates. Their ranks included coffee tycoon James Folger, lumber

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rom its oak-studded hills, residents of Emerald Hills can see Crystal Springs Reservoir and the cities of Woodside and Redwood city and the fog spilling over the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Emerald Hills, which some call Emerald Lake Hills, was conceived as a resort community for San Franciscans during World War I. The area consists of two subdivisions created around 1920: Emerald Lake (even though there are two lakes) and Emerald Hills, according to the Emerald Hills Homeowners Association website. Horses still graze on some properties, which also boast vineyards and older homes have been replaced by mansions. But there are still plenty of the older wooden structures, which are as much a part of the rural feel as the hills and trees. Even when they were students at Stanford University, Andy and Laura Poppink knew they wanted to live in Woodside. They knew they wanted to settle in an area that’s “relaxed, has nature, space and privacy,” Mr. Poppink says.

“You come home from work and take a deep breath. You have access to getting away quickly on the trails,” he says. Their two-story Spanish Mission-style home started as a summer residence built out of adobe bricks that were made from clay on the property back in the ‘40s. Many of the families chose to move into the area so the kids could attend Woodside School. The neighbors all know each other and range in age, according to Mr. Poppink. “It’s a neighborhood in transition, with lots of new construction or remodeling going on.” Jim and Pat Fisher live a couple of windy streets and hills away on West California Way. They moved into their two-bedroom bungalow on an acre in 1985. “We wanted a rural atmosphere, and some space,” she recalls, adding, “At the time we had horses on all sides.” Mrs. Fisher enjoys walking her dogs up to the 94-foot-tall white Easter Cross that can be seen from quite a distance. She appreciates one neighbor who “has done an outstanding job on emergency preparedness” for the neighborhood, and says

WOODSIDE GLENS

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ongtime residents know the natural gifts tucked into the hilly Woodside Glens neighborhood, where fields of wildflowers sometimes bloom in nearby swales in springtime. The Glens isn’t a collection of $10 million estates on 10-plus-acre lots. The houses are close together, though the rugged terrain keeps them private. Thanks to the proximity, people can come out onto the winding, narrow roads to chat with a neighbor. The neighborhood provides all the advantages of living near the Woodside town center with the bonus of a tight-knit community. Finding a newcomer to the Woodside Glens neighborhood is no easy task. Most people, it seems, have lived here half their lives or more. “Once you move to the Glens, I think you stay for a really long time,” says Sandra Pugh, who has lived here for 38 years. On Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bicycle Sundays — residents can opt to get some exercise by joining hundreds of

bicyclists who ride up nearby Canada Road when the road is closed to traffic between between the Filoli entrance and Highway 92, a pleasant ride north of the Glens. Centered around Glenwood Ave. off Canada Road, the Glens seems to have a higher concentration of school-age kids then anywhere else in Woodside, Ms. Pugh says. A Halloween party and other kidcentered activities are popular. Woodside Glens was originally made up of vacation homes for people from San Francisco, said Paul Fregulia, who also has been here 38 years. Many of the houses were built in the 1930s, he says. The variety of styles of homes is one of the features of the neighborhood that he loves, he says. And it feels like living in the country, with the redwoods and the creek and the steep valleys, but it’s just a few minutes to the town center and the freeway. Jeanne Carley has been a Woodside resident off and on since she was 3, but she’s finally settled down here.

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Woodside Parents’ Nursery School, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside Preschool, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside FIRE STATION: 4091 Jefferson Avenue, Emerald Hills LOCATION: Cañada Road and Farm Hill Boulevard NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Emerald Hills Homeowners Association, Michael Mangini, president, 650-365-4449; E-mail: board@ emeraldhills.org; www.emeraldhills.org PARK: Edgewood County Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Redwood City School District — 750 Bradford Street, Redwood City; Woodside Elementary School District — Woodside School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside; Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside and Redwood City MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,850,000 ($1,750,000-$1,850,000) HOMES SOLD: 3

through his efforts, “We’ve gotten to know each other better.” — Kate Daly

FACTS CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Woodside Parents’ Nursery School, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside Preschool, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside FIRE STATION: 3111 Woodside Road, Woodside LOCATION: Hwy. 280 and Cañada Road and Glenwood Avenue to Alto Road PARK: Huddart County Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Woodside Elementary School District — Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,095,000 ($490,000-$2,225,000) HOMES SOLD: 7

“The Glens is sweet. It’s very friendly. People help each other out,” she says. Neighbors loan out their driveway space when someone’s having a party, since there’s very little parking available on the narrow streets, she adds. — Kathy Schrenk


MARGOT LOCKWOOD 650.529.2410 Office 650.400.2528 Cell h o m e s @ m a r g o t l o c k wo o d . c o m

115 Laning, Woodside $2,999,999

162 Rutherford, Redwood City $699,999

707 Lakehaven, Sunnyvale $524,500

The best of country living in central location! Remodeled 4 bed, 3 bath & 2 half baths. Lovely landscaped yard w/pool, spa, 2 large patio areas, large chicken run & several raised planting beds. Just over 1 acre w/ beautiful 3-stall barn w/walk out paddocks, a, tack, feed, equipment room & heated wash rack.

Spacious 2 bedroom 1 bath home with gourmet kitchen! Formal living and dining room with fireplace. Hardwood floors and dual pane windows. Lovely landscaped large yard with white picket fence. Detached one car garage.

This 3 bed/2 bath home has a spacious open floor plan. Kitchen has been updated w/granite counters, gas range and wood floors. Large 8500+ sq ft lush landscaped yard & hot tub enclosed w/ wood fence. 2 car garage.

1954 Clarke East Palo Alto $135,000

1950 Clarke East Palo Alto $135,000

Flat 6500 sq ft residential lot. Convenient location to shopping.

6000 sq ft lot zoned residential. Easy access to freeway.

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For more information or Virtual Tour visit www.margotlockwood.com

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MOUNTAIN HOME ROAD

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ituated a stone’s throw from the Woodside’s town center, Mountain Home Road its bordered by a meandering creek. The neighborhood got its start as the huge Mountain Home Ranch and passed on to the hands of famous millionaires from the previous century, including the Folger family of coffee fame. Residents love their horses, and aren’t afraid to show it. Moreover, they love where they live because the animals are tolerated and even encouraged. Many of the homes in the Mountain Home Road area border on horse trails, and the town of Woodside hosts a number of horse-related events. This neighborhood attribute brings many, if not most, of the residents to this area. And while the huge lots and mansions — along with the beautiful and convenient location — are attracting rich and famous types such as Oracle’s Larry Ellison, the equestrian element is still going strong. Fentress Hall has lived in the area for 10 years, but had wanted to live there 25

FACTS

years before that. She had always ridden her horse in nearby Wunderlich County Park and always wanted to live nearby. She finally found a 100-year-old cottage on a property with a barn and enough acreage to allow her to keep up to eight horses. The trail to Wunderlich goes right along her property. “If you want to have horses at home, this is where you go,” she says. At least half the people in the neighborhood have horses, Ms. Hall estimates. She already knew many of them when she moved in and met the rest on the trails thereafter. People are friendlier here than where she used to live in Atherton, she says. But more people are moving in who don’t have horses, says Kathleen Scutchfield. “It is changing,” she says. Some of the trails go across private property, so access is at the whim of the owners. “If the property (owner) wants to close them off, they can.” — Kathy Schrenk

FAMILY FARM/HIDDEN VALLEY

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amily Farm/Hidden Valley is a neighborhood of vineyards, views, walkways and wildlife. When Stephanie Harman moved her family into the Hidden Valley neighborhood from nearby Portola Valley 15 years ago, the Harmans built a new home next to an old established vineyard on a stretch that she describes as “tranquil” yet teaming with coyotes, deer, a bobcat, blue heron and red-tail hawks. Neighbors keep horses in pastures where large polo fields once existed, she says, making the dead-end streets off of Portola Road a peaceful area where older people come from the outside to walk and kids can ride bikes to school. Ms. Harman estimates there are about two-dozen houses strung out in the neighborhood. There hasn’t been much turnover, but when there is, younger families are moving into the homes. Everyone in the community is linked through e-mail. Patty Martin’s family bought a property in Hidden Hills 16 years ago, and co-joined

CHILDCARE & PRESCHOOLS: Woodside Parents’ Nursery School, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside Preschool, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside FIRE STATION: 3111 Woodside Road, Woodside LOCATION: South of Woodside Road between Woodside Road to the west and Whiskey Hill and Sand Hill Roads; bisected by Mountain Home Road PARK: Huddart County Park. 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School, 200 Shawnee Pass Road, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Woodside Elementary School District — Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $2,776,874 HOMES SOLD: 1

FACTS

it with another large lot at the top of the hill rising up from Family Farm Road. “You get beautiful views,” she says, referring to her overlook of both the Western Hills and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Her husband, Eff, says they were living in Atherton and hadn’t planned on moving, but “fell in love with the natural beauty.” Stone pillars at the entrance to the neighborhood set off the farm. More than a century ago, the private men’s club featured much activity at its lodges, cabins and stages tucked into the woods. The club now keeps a fairly low profile. The Martins don’t have many neighbors because the homes are spread out, but they mingle when neighbors horseback ride on the trail along their property, see them at restaurants, or at dinner parties they throw just to get together. “The people are very friendly here; there seems to be a lot of esprit de corps. I really love it out here, it’s very beautiful and a great antidote to the stress of life in the Bay Area,” he says. — Kate Daly

CHILDCARE & PRESCHOOLS: Woodside Parents’ Nursery School, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside Preschool, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside FIRE STATION: 3111 Woodside Road, Woodside LOCATION: North of Portola Road to Family Farm Road and west of Westridge Drive PARK: Huddart County Park. 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School, 200 Shawnee Pass Road, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $6,050,000 HOMES SOLD: 1


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NEIGHBORHOODS

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lthough the homes of the redwoodstudded enclave of Kings Mountain are spread out, residents say the community is very tight-knit. “It’s a self-selection of people who love nature,” says Joanne Howard. “Everybody is very independent, but very supportive of helping their neighbors.” One of Mrs. Howard’s favorite aspects of the area is the volunteer fire brigade that protects Kings Mountain. Mrs. Howard recalls the time her husband fell and was injured retrieving the mail. A member of the volunteer fire squad was passing by and helped her husband, then called her to let her know what had happened. Kings Mountain also has an Emergency Preparedness group as a subset of the fire department, which according to Mrs. Howard, checks up on everyone living in the area in a disaster. Sheena Mawson, president of the Kings Mountain Association, praises the Yahoo group. “Recently someone needed a ride to the airport and in less than 30 minutes they had a ride arranged, just by asking for help on the board,” she says. “I love knowing that if there

FACTS

were ever a crisis the community would come together and get through it together.” Some modern technologies are harder to come by. “While we all love living ‘away’ from it all, it would be nice to have fast Internet, reliable cell service, and be able to get more than just the regular TV channels,” she says. What the area lacks in cell reception residents make up for with community events. The Kings Mountain Association hosts five major events each year: a Halloween Party, a holiday party featuring Santa, spring brunch, an annual dinner, and a summer barbeque, which kicks off the Kings Mountain Art Fair. The Art Fair is hosted in Kings Mountain over the Labor Day weekend to benefit the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and other community activities. Between the natural beauty of the area and the array of community activities and cooperation, residents of Kings Mountain say they love where they live. “It’s a small, but tight community,” Mr. Howard says. “It’s physically, extraordinarily beautiful.” —Kelly Jones

SKYWOOD/SKYLONDA

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estled in the Santa Cruz Mountains at the intersection of highways 35 (Skyline Boulevard) and 84 (Woodside Road), the communities of Skywood and Skylonda perch high above the rest of the Peninsula, with sweeping Bay and woodland views. With their neighborhoods bordering such outdoor treasures as the La Honda and Thornewood open space preserves and Wunderlich County Park, residents say Skywood and Skylonda can’t be beat for nature lovers. “We have fabulous views. More than half the homes here have an incredible view of the bay and the others have the woods,” 27-year Skywood resident Kathleen Braunstein says. Skywood is a planned community (within Woodside borders, but kids go to Portola Valley schools) of around 80 homes, each of which has 1.5 to 3 acres of land, insuring a rural, peaceful home atmosphere. The homes are all custom built. Unincorporated Skylonda, across the highway, has fewer homes, including some log cabins, and is more of a “hodgepodge” of rustic styles, she says.

Though it may seem remote from the rest of the world, there is a real sense of community among neighbors. An active homeowner’s association holds an annual picnic, barbecue or event of some kind and maintains a community website, Ms. Braunstein says. Catherine Lamar, who’s called Skywood home for the past 12 years, says one of her neighbors has a vineyard and provides wine for the annual gathering. “All the neighbors get together; it’s so nice that way,” she says. The winding, steep location can prove daunting to visitors, however. “Friends say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to drive all the way up there, it’s so far,’ but it’s really only a 10minute drive to 280 or into town in Woodside,” Ms. Lamar says. Downtown Palo Alto and Menlo Park are a 20- to 25-minute drive. “You do want to plan your day and do all the errands you can think of before you come back up the hill,” Ms. Lamar says. Up at the top, the Trading Post convenience store, a gas station and Alice’s Restaurant meet the essential needs of Skywood and Skylonda

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Kings Mountain Children’s Center at Kings Mountain School, 211 Swett Road, Woodside FIRE STATION: CDF Skylonda Station, 17290 Skyline Blvd., Woodside; Kings Mountain Fire Brigade, 13889 Skyline Blvd., Woodside LOCATION: Skyline Boulevard and Kings Mountain Road around Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Kings Mountain Association, Sheena Mawson, president, 650-346-9993 PARK: Huddart County Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside; Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Skyline Boulevard, Half Moon Bay PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Cabrillo Unified School District — Kings Mtn. Elementary School, 211 Swett Road, Woodside; Cunha Intermediate School, Kelly Avenue and Church St., Half Moon Bay; Half Moon Bay High School, Half Moon Bay Woodside Elementary School District — Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Crystal Springs Shopping Center, Half Moon Bay shopping district, Woodside MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $4,300,000 ($3,900,000-$4,700,000) HOMES SOLD: 3

FACTS FIRE STATION: 3111 Woodside Road, Woodside LOCATION: South of Wunderlich County Park between Highway 84 and La Honda Open Space Preserve NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Skywood Association: Matt Richter, 650-529-9793; Skylonda Area Association PARK: Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Portola Valley School District — Ormondale School, 200 Shawnee Pass Road, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside SHOPPING DISTRICT: Four Corners, Highways 84 and 35, Woodside Road, Woodside and Redwood City MEDIAN 2010 HOME PRICE: $1,294,000 ($768,000-$2,520,000) HOMES SOLD: 11

residents — as well as serving as a meeting place for friends. “I always run into my neighbors there. It’s really cool,” Ms. Lamar says. —Karla Kane


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