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

ATHERTON

PORTOLA VALLEY

WOODSIDE

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

W W W. T H E A L M A N A C O N L I N E . C O M


2010 Q3

2011 Q3

rron park

$1.83

$1.56

-14.3%

llege

$1.83

$1.37

-25.1%

mmunity center

$1.63

$0.98

-40.2%

$2.51

$2.15

-14.4%

wntown

$1.07

$1.48

39.0%

een acres

$1.15

$1.97

71.6%

een gables

$1.49

$1.50

0.7%

dtown

$1.63

$1.59

-2.3%

d palo alto

$2.01

$2.26

12.1%

$2.10

$2.65

26.2%

scent park

o alto hills


Successfully Representing Sellers & Buyers for over 25 years

Sean Foley

Your advocate in every transaction! NEIGHBORHOODS

Homes, Estates & Investment Properties Direct: 650-329-6631 Cell: 650-207-6005 sfoley@cbnorcal.com

3


Representing over 400 buyers & sellers in Menlo Park & Atherton since 1999.

SOLD by Tom LeMieux

Superior real estate representation for those who expect only the very best.

Map data Š2011 Google

NEIGHBORHOODS

W W W. T O M L E M I E U X . C O M

4

650 329 6645 tom@tomlemieux.com

tomlemieux.com DRE# 01066910

Coldwell Banker Top 1% Internationally Top 50 Nationally, Wall Street Journal, 2011


OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ATHERTON | MENLO PARK | PORTOLA VALLEY | WOODSIDE

INDEX ATHERTON .....................7 Lindenwood .......................10 Lloyden Park ......................12 West Atherton ...................14 West of Alameda ...............16

MENLO PARK ...............19

S

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 25 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 Editors: Karla Kane and Chris Kenrick Art director: Raul Perez Researcher: Brandon Mohajeri Map designer: Scott Peterson

Karla Kane and Chris Kenrick, Editors ckenrick@paweekly.com

PORTOLA VALLEY........47 Central Portola Valley ........ 48 Ladera .............................. 50 Portola Valley Ranch ......... 52 Westridge ......................... 54

WOODSIDE ..................59 Vice President Sales and Marketing: Tom Zaharias Sales representatives: Connie Jo Cotton, Neal Fine, Rosemary Lewkowitz, Carolyn Oliver, 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 Almanac for $5 each. Palo Alto and Mountain View Neighborhoods are available at the Palo Alto Weekly, 450 Cambridge Ave. for $5 each. All three publications are available online at www.almanacnews.com/real_estate. Copyright (c) 2012 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

Kings Mountain/Skyline/ Skywood/Skylonda ........... 60 Mountain Home Road ....... 62 Emerald Hills/Woodside Glens .. 64 Woodside Hills .................. 66 ON THE COVER: Caroline Melnicoff waters the garden at her home on Cotton Street in Menlo Park. Local builder Gary Lencioni grew up in, and later redeveloped, this home. Photo by Michelle Le. Photos of Lindenwood, Ladera, Emerald Hills by Michelle Le.

NEIGHBORHOODS

The Almanac 450 Cambridge Ave Palo Alto, CA 94306 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. Other neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods in Palo Alto and Mountain View, are profiled online.

Allied Arts / Stanford Park . 20 Belle Haven ....................... 22 Fair Oaks .......................... 23 Central Menlo Park ............24 Downtown/Park Forest ..... 26 Felton Gables .................... 28 Linfield Oaks ..................... 30 Menlo Oaks ...................... 32 Sharon Heights ................. 36 South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks ................................. 38 Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/ Flood Park Triangle............ 40 University Heights ............. 42 The Willows ...................... 44

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NEIGHBORHOODS


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he privacy gained by lots of at least one acre, winding streets with mature trees, gracious mansions set well back from the curbless streets — this is Atherton today. Once part of a Spanish rancho, the town was incorporated in 1923. One of its first rules was to assure that lots would not be subdivided into parcels smaller than an acre. With a few

exceptions — primarily former San Mateo County streets acquired through annexation — that remains 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

2010-12 TOWN OPERATING AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUDGET: $11.6 MILLION POPULATION (2010): 6,914 HOUSEHOLDS (2009): 2,479 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2000): 99 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $3,200,000 MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2009): $185,000

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For A Stress Free Real Estate Transaction Contact me! “It was the most pleasant, time saving, professional and stress-free large financial transaction we have ever completed! Cindy was “off the charts” wonderful!” Scott and Lisa - Menlo Park

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NEIGHBORHOODS

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Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto

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Cappelletti Ct., Mountain View

Spring St., Redwood City

Fremont St., Menlo Park

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BROKER ASSOCIATE, e-PRO Cell: 650-255-2977

Crestview Dr., Mountain View

Rod@RodCreason.com www.RodCreason.com

Maddux Dr., Palo Alto

NEIGHBORHOODS

Continentals Way, Belmont

9


LINDENWOOD

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appreciate Lindenwood just as much as those who have lived there for decades. “The week we moved in, so many people dropped in and introduced themselves,” Ms. Westover says. “I love the neighbors — the neighbors are amazing.” Her family has lived in Lindenwood for a little more than a year, having moved from another Atherton neighborhood. “We really wanted to stay in Atherton,” she says, partly because of community events such as the town barbecue, the Easter egg hunt in the park and special events at the library. She likes the quiet streets and the rural feel of Lindenwood and its large lots, which are all at least an acre. “It’s beautiful,” she says. Because Lindenwood has only a few entrances, winding streets and is completely enclosed, it has little passthrough traffic, another characteristic she loves, Ms. Westover says. “I just like that there’s no thoroughfare,” she says. The location is also convenient, with her sixth-and eighth-gradersí school, St. Raymond’s, only six minutes away. “The other thing I like about Lindenwood is being close to the train,î she says. Even though Atherton’s train station has closed, the Menlo Park station is only a few minutes away. Membership in the Lindenwood Homes Association is voluntary but in 2011, according to the association’s

website, 61 percent of neighbors paid dues. The association maintains public areas in Lindenwood, including the entry gates on Middlefield Road and Ringwood Avenue. The association informs residents about emergency preparedness, safety and security, sends out a neighborhood newsletter, and keeps a watch out for local issues that might affect the neighborhood. — Barbara Wood

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

here are two main things people in Atherton’s Lindenwood neighborhood pride themselves on — the history found throughout the neighborhood in remnants of the 1878 estate of silver baron James Flood, and the sense of living in a tight-knit, enclosed neighborhood with its own association, annual events and limited through traffic. Marion Oster, president of the Lindenwood Homes Association, has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years. “I’m an old-timer,” she says. She thinks it is important that new residents of Lindenwood, which is bounded by Middlefield Road, Marsh Road, Bay Road and Ringwood Avenue and has fewer than 500 homes, know about the neighborhoodís history. Many of the artifacts from Flood’s estate, which was torn down in 1934 — fountains, statues, street lights — still exist, in some cases on private properties. The association recently decided to organize a tour of the neighborhood’s many artifacts and its history sometime in the spring of 2012, Mrs. Oster said. Newcomers to the neighborhood are welcomed and are given information about the area, books on its history, and phone numbers for local resources, she said. Cat Westover and her family are some of those newcomers, and they seem to

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 — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $3,262,000 ($1,435,000-$5,800,000) HOMES SOLD: 20


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as am I,” she said. “Times have changed and younger families are very busy but Lloyden Park is still here and charming as ever.” Realtor Elyse Barca has been a resident of the Lloyden Park area for 29 years. She especially likes the neighborhood feeling and the fact that itís tucked away. “Nobody knows itís there. Itís the only one with sidewalks in the immediate area,” Ms. Barca said. Home styles in the neighborhood vary, she said, and include saltbox colonials, ranches, Cape Cods, and Santa Barbaras. The treelined streets curve to accommodate the lots. Itís a nice blend of young families and people whoíve been there a long time, she said. Ms. Barca especially appreciates “the kindness and neighborliness of neighbors.” She recalls block parties from years past and how her son David didnít want to miss the Fourth of July block party for Boy Scouts. “It’s really a neighborhood,” she says. Bob Roeser and his family also like Lloyden Park because it “is a small community in a small town” and close to family. The Roesers moved to the Bay Area in 1974 and have been living in Lloyden Park for a little over a year. On top of neighborly kindness, “an additional benefit is Holbrook Palmer

Park with its tennis courts, walking paths, playground and special events,” Mr. Roeser said. One thing that Ms. Simends, Ms. Barca and Mr. Roeser all agree on is the people. “Our neighbors are friendly and we help each other,” he concluded. — Joann So

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

anet Simends has been living in the same house in Lloyden Park for 44 years. She has raised her family, seen people come and go, and even had people lining up outside her house“ to get a bite of her prized fuyu persimmons. “A sweet and homey place” is how she paints the neighborhood. “There are delightful little sidewalks with children on scooters, people biking and babies being walked,” says Ms. Simends. Fruit trees also dot many of the Lloyden Park backyards. “I love it in February when the sun comes out and fruit trees come,” Ms. Simends said. In addition to fruit-bearing trees, camellias and roses line the sidewalks. These days, though, finding sidewalks on streets is not too common. “You donít find them too often — our little streets are three blocks long.” Smaller streets enable residents here to connect a few times a year. “We have block parties for 4th of July and caroling for Christmas,” she said. “Weíre a safe community and close to town, the fire department and library. Everything is right here and I donít know how youíd beat that,” she added. “We really take care of each other and as times change, some of them are getting older

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, 650-543-1214 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $2,256,366 ($2,070,000 – $2,599,100) HOMES SOLD: 3


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.0734 Elyse@ElyseBarca.com | www.ElyseBarca.com | DRE# 00106027

1550 El Camino Real, Suite 100 Menlo Park, CA 94025

NEIGHBORHOODS

Successfully Representing Buyers and Sellers since 1988

13


WEST ATHERTON

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Helen Carey, who has lived in the neighborhood for 59 years, agreed. “It isn’t like Menlo Park, the neighbors are more separated here. 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.”

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $4,198,318 ($1,250,000-$15,500,000) HOMES SOLD: 28


apr.com

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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RANDY EYLER 650.740.9747 (cell) reyler@apr.com

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MENLO PARK

1550 El Camino Real

650.462.1111

NEIGHBORHOODS

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15


WEST OF ALAMEDA

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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 speeding in the neighborhood. 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. — Sally Schilling

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

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

FACTS

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 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: 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $4,515,000 ($1,690,000-$7,750,000) HOMES SOLD: 13


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Lyn Jason Cobb: 650.566.5331 LynJason.Cobb@cbnorcal.com

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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.

FACTS

2011-12 CITY GENERAL FUND BUDGET: $37.4 million POPULATION (2010): 32,026 HOUSEHOLDS (2010): 13,085 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2010): 61.3 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1,200,000 MEDIAN CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $665,000 MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2010): $105,909

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 Park:

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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 has 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 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

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

ith 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 cuttingedge 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 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-

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 — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Stanford Shopping Center MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,650,000 ($1,030,000-$4,000,000) HOMES SOLD: 19 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $760,000 CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 1


NEIGHBORHOODS

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BELLE HAVEN

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process. Building-savvy residents have been steadily upgrading their properties, says resident Matthew Harris. Raised in the neighborhood, he returned to Belle Haven upon his retirement in 1995 and is currently president of the Belle Haven Neighborhood Association The community, residents say, is a neighborhood on the upswing. “I’ve seen a real change for the better,” Maria. Escobedo says. “New families are moving in, houses are being well-kept, and there is more eagerness to get involved in the community.” Neighborhood amenities include two parks, schools, a Boys and Girls Club, a senior center and the Onetta Harris Community Center, where 20-year resident Ms. Escobedo says students enjoy art and cooking programs. “This community has the real potential to upgrade and uplift itself,” says Mr. Harris, adding that the community’s top priority is education. A core group of community members recently met with the city library commission and local companies to propose funding and constructing a city-owned library accessible to residents, arguing it is the next step in neighborhood revitalization. The library available to residents is a joint city-school run library located at the Belle Haven Elementary School property and lacks resources for teens, college students, and

adults, some residents say. A recent proposal by Belle Haven residents suggests a library site at the neighborhood center at Ivy Drive Plaza, across the street from the school. “This library is the next step to update our community,” Mr. Harris says. “It’s something we absolutely need. Kids need it, and adults need it.” “A library is the cornerstone of a healthy community,” Ms. Escobedo added. — Sarah Trauben

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

onceived as an enclave of affordable housing for the working class when built during the Great Depression, the Belle Haven neighborhood, separated from the rest of Menlo Park by Highway 101, now houses the most diverse community in the city. A 540-acre triangle on the south side of Highway 101, the neighborhood’s boundaries are marked by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board Railroad to the north and Willow Road on the east end. The mostly residential neighborhood home to single-family residences, apartments and duplexes was first diversified by African Americans in the 1950s, with Hispanic and Pacific Islanders moving in the 1980s. The neighborhood remains diversified in the 2010s with many children raised in the neighborhood returning as adults, and young workers from nearby Facebook moving in. “Everyone loves this neighborhood that we live in,” Whitney Pine Hoermann says. After spending two years as a Teach for America corps member at Belle Haven Elementary School, she moved to the community and says she has had former students live on her street. Ms. Pine Hoermann added square footage to her Terminal Avenue home after purchasing it in 2007. Many in Belle Haven, a designated redevelopment zone, are remodeling and improving their properties despite what some say is an unfriendly city building permit

FACTS

CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Belle Haven Child Development Center, 410 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park; Belle Haven After-school Program, 415 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park; Family Connections, 415 Ivy Drive, #14, Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 1467 Chilco St., Menlo Park LOCATION: East of U.S. Highway 101 between Willow Road and Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, near Terminal Avenue PARKS: Kelly Park, Terminal Avenue near Del Norte Avenue, Menlo Park; Market Place Park, Ivy Drive and Market Place, Menlo Park PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Beechwood School, 50 Terminal Ave., Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Ravenswood City School District — Belle Haven Elementary School, 415 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park, Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo Atherton, Carlmont or Woodside High School SHOPPING: Corner of Willow Road and Hamilton Avenue MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $322,778 ($212,699-$500,000) NO. OF HOMES SOLD: 40


FAIR OAKS

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iding in plain view between Menlo Park and Redwood City, the unincorporated community of Fair Oaks strikes a delicate balance between the peacefulness of the country and the bustle of city life. Commuter convenience is what Jenny Donnelly likes most about her home on Fair Oaks Avenue. “We’re close to the freeway, but were not right on top of it,” Ms. Donnelly says of U.S. Highway 101. She works in Sunnyvale and her husband works in San Mateo — both “easy commutes,” from their home, which is just a short drive from Highway 101. Her location also makes scheduling flights easier, as she is able to choose between the equidistant San Jose and San Francisco airports, she says. A sense of community is another benefit, says Ms. Donnelly, who moved to her home in 2006 and enjoys walking her dog through the tree-lined streets. “You end up standing on a street corner having conversations with your neighbors.” Dale Miller agrees. “People are more interested in getting together here than in other neighborhoods,” says Mr. Miller, who has lived on Ninth Avenue since 1990. He remembers planting about 350 trees with his neighbors, in an effort spearheaded by the Fair Oaks Beautification Association. In addition to the tree-planting, the association raised money

FACTS

to build a neighborhood playground. Mr. Miller walks or drives to a local strip mall, which has a dry cleaner, liquor store and market. The Caltrain station is also just a 10-minute walk. It is easier to get ordinances and zoning regulations changed in Fair Oaks because it is unincorporated, Mr. Miller says. About a decade ago the community installed round islands in the middle of intersections, which both slow traffic, and add aesthetic appeal — trees, bushes and flowers sprout from each, he says. Another benefit of living under county rule, he says, is that the community has managed to keep “McMansions” out of Fair Oaks. Lisa Burnett has lived on Encina Avenue since 1997. She also enjoys taking walks through Fair Oaks. “There are lots of trees and I love that there are no sidewalks,” she says. Roy Hills, who has lived on Encina Avenue since 1980, loves the neighborhood for its heritage oaks and well-kept yards. He knows many of his neighbors well and said that Fair Oaks has a “real sense of community, he says. “It’s been a great place to raise kids,” Mr. Hills adds. Growing up, his children had many playmates in the neighborhood and often enjoyed soccer or softball games on the large front lawn.

FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park LOCATION: Fifth Avenue at the Redwood City border to Marsh Road and north of Middlefield and Semicircular roads NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Fair Oaks Beautification Association, www.fobaneighbors.org PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Redwood City School District — Garfield School, 3600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City Sequoia Union High Scholl District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Middlefield Road, Redwood City MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $644,500 ($335,000-$2,289,000) HOMES SOLD: 34

— Nick Veronin

NEIGHBORHOODS

Michelle Le

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CENTRAL MENLO PARK

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“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 1970.

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 — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Allied Arts MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,820,000 ($1,150,000-$4,100,000) HOMES SOLD: 64


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DOWNTOWN MENLO PARK

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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 her there. “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.” “There are many younger people now, that’s good. It’s very welcoming for new people,” Mr. Brandle says. The schools have remained popular and full, Ms. Altman says, as families with kids continue to feel at home.

PARK FOREST

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ust off El Camino Real in Menlo Park is a neighborhood hidden away from the public’s eyes, but once spotted there is something magical waiting to be discovered. Park Forest residents live in townhouses of various styles and architectures, but the magic lies in what is on the other side of the homes — not visible to the outside observer. Each back yard leads outside to a communal area filled with a swimming pool and surrounded by redwoods, oaks and maples, in a tucked-away private world. “I feel like I live in a redwood forest, which I love,” said Martin Mazner, treasurer of Park Forest 3. “It is a hidden and beautiful oasis.” Comprised of three streets (Stone Pine Lane, Buckthorn Way and Forest Lane), the neighborhood has three different associations: Park Forest 1, 2 and 3. “I think of these as open doll houses,” Kathy Hamilton, Park Forest 3 board of directors member and resident, said. “The nice thing about being here is if we see people outside and you are home we join each other and have a good time.” Potlucks, game-nights, communal parties and barbecues in the summer all take place in Park Forest, she said. Going outside to the communal area for a glass 26

of wine in the evening and joining a neighbor for a stimulating conversation is something he values about Park Forest, Mr. Mazner said. Almost all of the townhouses are three stories high and average 2,500 square feet, said Debbie Koelling, Park Forest 3 president. The insides vary among the townhouses. The neighborhood draws a mix of ages and families as well as professions but many here are retirees who downsized from larger homes and don’t want to hassle with taking care of a house or gardening, Mazner said. “When (their) kids finish college they don’t want to deal with the maintenance.” The pool and each communal area is taken care of by the associations. The neighborhood is also a 10- to 15-minute walk from downtown Menlo Park, and the train station in Menlo Park is about 10 minutes away, Hamilton said. Bicyclists are commonly seen here, as are people strolling with their pets on walks. Unlike other nearby neighborhoods, there are people out here at various times of the day and someone always to talk to, Mazner said. Many of his neighbors are retirees or work from home. Although most residents here are “empty-

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 — MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Stanford Shopping Center MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,277,500 ($790,000-$1,770,000) HOMES SOLD: 10 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $775,00 ($430,000-$1,619,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 15

“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

FACTS

CHILDCARE & PRESCHOOLS: The Playschool, Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton; Trinity School Early Childhood Program at Holy Trinity Church, 330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 700 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park LOCATION: El Camino Real to Southern Pacific railroad tracks; Buckthorn to Stone Pine lanes 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, Stone Pine Center MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $982,000 ($750,000 - $1,137.500) HOMES SOLD: 8 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $805,333 ($516,000 - $950,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 3

nesters,” young families starting out are also living here, he said. — Mike Lata


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FELTON GABLES

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that draws hundreds of Trick or Treaters each Halloween. “It’s so inviting that at Halloween people across Menlo Park bring their children here because it’s so small and safe,” 35-year resident Barbara Wood says. Residents say nearby Holbrook Palmer Park serves as an extended backyard for neighborhood children. and Encinal School makes Felton Gables attractive to people with families. While many original residents moved to the neighborhood seeking to downsize from large country lots in Atherton and Woodside, now younger families live alongside established residents. “It really adds to the energy in the neighborhood to have a lot of young kids, and it adds to the cohesiveness in the neighborhood,” resident Lorie Satzger says in a sentiment echoed by many others. “It’s a very nice mix of older, middle-aged, and young families,” Ms. Blumberg adds. Community get-togethers are common, with the Felton Gables Homeowners’ Association running a fall adult cocktail party, a general meeting in the spring, and a widely attended Fourth of July picnic complete with a children’s parade and a range of barbeque fare. Association dues are modest, but the board voted this year to donate a surplus to an organization representing community members on plans for High Speed Rail. Concerns about railroad expansion plans are widespread, as many residents on the railway border fear they could lose their

properties to eminent domain. Despite such concerns, turnover remains low, and residents say neighbors appreciate one another. “It’s really an incredibly friendly neighborhood,” Ms. Beuttler says. Neighbors keep in touch on strolls through the shady streets of Felton Gables. “You know everyone in your own little pocket in the neighborhood, and people watch out for each other,” Ms. Wood adds. — Sarah Trauben

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

lmost surrounded by Atherton, the small Menlo Park neighborhood of Felton Gables is named for the 1870s era estate on which it was built: The former home of Senator Charles Norton Felton. Bordered by Holbrook Palmer Park, Encinal Avenue, and the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, Felton Gables homes were built between the 1920s and 1950s. Because lots were built and sold individually, the neighborhood’s 115 custom homes were built in a range of architectural styles. “It doesn’t feel like a cookie-cutter neighborhood and has nice winding streets,” Gayle Blumberg, a resident since 1993, says. Home designs ranging from cottage and ranch to Craftsman and New England styles dot the streets lined with mature beech, maple and magnolia trees. Diana Beuttler says each lot in Felton Gables, at an average size of 1/4 acre, housed a small home when she moved to the “enclosed neighborhood” in 1968 for its “convenient location and attractive homes.” Felton Gables residents developed stricter zoning requirements which limit the size of second floor rebuilds, but many homes have since been rebuilt with second stories. The neighborhood now houses a mix of larger and smaller homes. Despite architectural changes, residents say the area’s secluded geography has meant for consistent camaraderie among residents and a general sense of neighborhood safety

FACTS

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: The Playschool, Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton; Trinity Early Childhood Program, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, 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 PARK: Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton; 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,712,500 ($1,125,000-$3,125,000) NO. OF HOMES SOLD: 6


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LINFIELD OAKS

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block party with about 100 people. We even 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 nearly two decades. 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. 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

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,295,000 ($1,064,990-$2,300,000) HOMES SOLD: 17 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $640,000 ($515,000-$735,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 9


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O

NEIGHBORHOODS

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

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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 36 years ago because he wanted to send his children to the 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 resident Holly Still. “Google money” has been pouring in to Menlo Oaks, as it has in neighborhoods in

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $2,500,000 ($1,175,000-$4,700,000) HOMES SOLD: 10

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

Veronica Weber

MENLO OAKS


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NEIGHBORHOODS

NEIGHBORHOODS

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SHARON HEIGHTS

S

36

volunteering and 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 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

Michelle Le

NEIGHBORHOODS

itting atop the West Menlo Park hills is the Sharon Heights neighborhood. Developed 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. Golf, athletics and social activities keep some residents involved with the Sharon 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 — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING: Sharon Heights Shops MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,755,000 ($880,000-$3,940,000) HOMES SOLD: 27 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $635,000 ($332,500-$1,556,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 40


Homes SOLD

by Maya and Jason in Sharon Heights 2011

2009

924 Siskiyou Drive

2401 Sharon Oaks Drive

1026 Cascade Drive

1262 Sharon Park Drive

1256 Sharon Park Drive

1055 Whitney Drive

300 Sand Hill Circle #302

3 Carriage Court

1300 Trinity Drive

1165 Monte Rosa Drive

8 Sunset Lane

955 Siskiyou Drive

1280 Sharon Park Drive #24

1280 Sharon Park Drive #26

1100 Sharon Park Drive #35

1025 Lassen Drive*

940 Siskiyou Drive

3 Alexis Court

1230 Sharon Park Drive #65*

1150 Klamath Drive

1065 Continental Drive

2323 Eastridge Ave #523

28 Sunset Lane

1290 Sharon Park Drive #48

675 Monte Rosa Drive # 821

1040 Whitney Drive

2335 Crest Lane

5 Shasta Lane

9 Brent Ct.

1130 Trinity Drive

2315 Eastridge#712

2332 Crest Lane*

995 Lassen Drive

Continued

2008

2010 1015 Monte Rosa Drive 9 Alexis Court

2009

2332 Crest Lane** 584 Sand Hill Circle

855 Sharon Park Drive 977 Continental Drive*

2007

977 Continental Drive**

1100 Sharon Park Drive #37

*Represented Seller

2007

702 Monte Rosa Drive 1204 Sharon Park Drive #85*

Mayasold@pacbell.net Jason@JasonSewald.com

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

16 Biltmore Lane** 1021 Sierra Drive 1080 Deanna Drive

980 Siskiyou Drive 921 Siskiyou Drive 1010 Continental Drive 929 Siskiyou Drive

2402 Sharon Oaks Drive

1045 Whitney Drive*

1202 Sharon Park Drive #71

646 Sand Hill Circle*

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

NEIGHBORHOODS

650.346.1228 (MAYA’S CELL) 650.307.8060 (JASON’S CELL)

16 Biltmore Lane*

472 Sand Hill Circle

Maya and Jason Sewald International President’s Premier Top 1%

2006

300 Sand Hill Circle #203*

**Represented Buyer

Broker & Sales Associate

Continued

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996 (MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996 (MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996 (MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

(MAYA SEWALD YOUR SOURCE FOR REAL ESTATE Since 1996

37


SHARON SOUTH HEIGHTS OF SEMINARY /VINTAGE OAKS

38

southern side of Santa Monica, and chalkdrawn pictures and games like hopscotch are a common sight. “Every Sunday night, each family with children has been out playing and cooking on the cul-de-sac,” says Lexy Eaton, a resident since 2008. Opposite Santa Monica Avenue lies a younger neighborhood development, built in the 1990s and named for its fully-grown foliage: Vintage Oaks. A 46-acre area with 131 larger homes and 14 townhouses, the development was built on fields formerly belonging to the seminary it surrounds. The subdivision houses a mixture of city workers, older residents and families with children who enjoy easy access to neighboring schools and public transit, as well as local restaurants. “We can bike and take the train everywhere,” says Armando Castellano, who moved to Vintage Oaks with his wife and sons in 2007. Both South of Seminary and Vintage Oaks have a reputation for safety. Neighborhood children enjoy access to Seminary Oaks Park at its center on Santa Monica Avenue. Mr. Castellano’s young sons Andries and Wim play there often. “It’s really quiet here,” Andries says. — Sarah Trauben

Vivian Wong

NEIGHBORHOODS

T

he twin neighborhoods of South of Seminary and Vintage Oaks, though enclosed by the northern intersection of the busy thoroughfares of Willow Road and Middlefield, maintain a quiet, residential flavor. Mature redwoods, oaks, walnut and liquid ambar trees shade the streets in South of Seminary for locals strolling on curb-less sidewalks and sparse street traffic along the mostly one-story homes on modest lots. “It’s not a quaint neighborhood, but it is very comfortable,” says Sally Mendiola, who was raised in South of Seminary on property bought by her grandfather on Nash Street in the 1920s. She returned to a home on built in 1949 by her father, developer J. W. Fryckman, in 2003 to raise her daughter. Bordered by Santa Monica Road and Seminary Oaks Park, South of Seminary is named for its proximity to St. Patrick’s Seminary, which occupied 85 acres donated to the Catholic Church by Kate Johnson and was dedicated in l898. The neighborhood’s residences were built in the post-war period and into the 1950s, but many have been rebuilt or remodeled. Modest apartment complexes dot the neighborhood’s edges on Coleman and Willow. A sense of community feeling runs high, residents say, with Fourth of July festivities bringing neighbors together and the annual Nash Bash closing a block of Nash Avenue an afternoon each September. The potluck and barbeque, planned by Nash residents over an email list, attracts a large turnout of local families. Residents also deploy the email list when a pet goes missing or when they’d like to schedule a shared garage sale, residents say. “We look out for each other in this neighborhood,” Ms. Mendiola says. Jeanne DePrau, who lived on Santa Margarita Avenue for 32 years, says South of Seminary attracts a range of residents, from younger families to more established homeowners. The quiet neighborhood’s proximity to area shopping is a draw. “I can get to both downtown Menlo Park and downtown Palo Alto easily,” she says, adding that the library, recreation center, Willow Market and area schools are also within biking distance. Neighborliness draws young residents outdoors on three cul-de-sacs on the

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 City School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Avenue, Atherton; 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 2011 HOME PRICE: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks: $1,630,000 ($800,000$2,525,000) HOMES SOLD: 10 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: South of Seminary: $621,500 ($398,000-$845,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: South of Seminary: 2


ELAINE HAS DONE OVER 33 TRANSACTIONS IN VINTAGE OAKS

“Elaine you are a ROCK STAR! Anyone selling in Vintage Oaks would be silly not to hire you, you are THE go to expert. We researched who was the best agent in the area. It was clearly you and you proved it out as well. We had high expectations, and you exceded them. You oversaw all the preparatory work in our absence, and your attention to detail was excellent. Whenever an issue arose, you were quick to respond and eliminate it as a potential stumbling block. Your knowledge and connections were critical in pricing the house correctly, negotiating and getting things resolved very quickly. We have moved a lot and you were clearly the best agent we have had. We just wish we could bring you with us so you could help us find our new home in PA. Thanks for everything! You earned every penny of your commission and then some.” Jesse and Alison Deutsch, Sellers “Elaine, I can't thank you enough for all that you did in getting our house sold. In particular, you are completely knowledgeable about the market and what appeals to buyers. Additionally, your ability to coordinate contractors and suppliers to ready the house for market in a cost-efficient manner was invaluable. You were also available whenever we needed you, had answers to all of our questions and are a skillful negotiator, all while maintaining the utmost integrity.” John Stacey, Seller

ewhite@cbnorcal.com www.ProRealEstateTeam.com DRE #01182467

ELAINE BERLIN WHITE

The Vintage Oaks Expert Broker Associate, Attorney at Law

Top 1% of all Coldwell Banker Agents Wall Street Journal's Top 150 Agents

NEIGHBORHOODS

(650) 566-5323

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SHARON SUBURBAN HEIGHTS PARK/LORELEI MANOR/FLOOD PARK TRIANGLE

T

NEIGHBORHOODS

he 240 homes in the neighborhoods of Suburban Park, Lorelei Manor and Flood 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 since the mid-1990s. 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 all-electric kitchens, and forced-air heat.” Mrs. 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.

40

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. 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 l945 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 Triangle has through traffic, which the cul-de-sac configurations of Lorelei

FACTS

CHILDCARE & PRE SCHOOLS: James B. Flood School, 320 Sheridan Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Triangle LOCATION: Between Marsh Road, U.S. Hwy. 101 and Bay Road NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS: Lorelei Manor: Salim Shaikh, president, 650-326-6536 Suburban Park: Kristin Cox, 650-326-6825 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 2011 HOME PRICE: Flood Triangle: $848,000 ($625,000-$1,525,000) HOMES SOLD: 31

Manor and Suburban Park discourage. Flood Park, an attractive, quiet oak-andbay-studded neighborhood park, offers a natural oasis from the sound of nearby freeway traffic from nearby Hwy. 101. — Susan Golovin


Start with a

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NEIGHBORHOODS

1377 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA 94025

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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS

I

NEIGHBORHOODS

has lived in University Heights for seven years. The Las Lomitas School District, which her daughter attends, was a major factor in choosing the area. “It’s one of the best in the state,” she says. She also likes the sense of community. “I know most of the neighbors and they’re really nice.” A Starbucks regular, she likes being close to shopping on the Alameda and at Sharon Heights Shopping Center, eliminating the need to drive downtown. David and Tracy Williams, who moved to Sherman Avenue in July, already knew the neighborhood, having lived on Siskiyou Drive in Sharon Heights as grad students. Both have MBAs from Stanford University. The Williams family chose the area because of its convenience and, again, the outstanding Las Lomitas school district. After living in the hills in Belmont, says Mr. Williams, “It’s also great to be in flat land, where we can walk and ride our bikes everywhere.” They like being close to Alameda businesses instead of having to drive to downtown Menlo Park. The pair recently enjoyed their first Halloween on Sherman Avenue, where the street is closed and almost every house is decorated. “We went through 1,600 pieces of candy that night,” says Mr. Williams. — Jane Knoerle

Michelle Le

n the past 50 years, University Heights in unincorporated San Mateo County has changed dramatically. Once a sleepy neighborhood of small homes and summer cottages, it is now a lively blend of longtime residents and families with children. Many of the older homes have been replaced with large two-story residences. The business section along the Alameda de las Pulgas caters to young families drawn to the area because of the excellent Las Lomitas School District and the proximity to Stanford University. The Mix frozen yogurt shop, Lutticken’s wine bar, Studio Rincon yoga, dance and exercise facility, and Halo hair salon are among the area’s newest businesses. Many are owned by local residents. Even the Dutch Goose, the venerable burger-and-beer hangout, has been given a new look. University Heights has been shaped by leaders determined to save its small-town charm. In the 1970s environmentalists worked to prevent the Alameda from turning into a four-lane thoroughfare. Thirty years later, civic-minded residents campaigned to make the business section visitor friendly with street trees and paved sidewalks Christine Stahler certainly qualifies as a longtime University Heights resident. She’s lived on Valparaiso Avenue all her life. So has her mother, Anne Affrunti, who resides next door. Ms. Stahler lives in the house her grandparents built in 1936. Mrs. Affrunti, Ms. Stahler, and her daughters, Amanda and Kathleen, all attended Las Lomitas Elementary School. Ms. Stahler fondly remembers her childhood in University Heights: walking to the AllAmerican market (corner of the Alameda and Avy Avenue) for candy and shopping at the dime store (Blockbuster Video). “The area has always been family oriented. It’s cozy and down-to-earth,” she says. Christine’s husband, Al Stahler, puts on an elaborate Halloween display every year, drawing hundreds of visitors. Gwen Faulkner, a 42 psychologist and nurse,

FACTS

CHILD CARE AND 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 Altlschul Avenue to the west; Vine Street and Santa Cruz Avenue, Atherton border 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 Shopping Center MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,350,000 ($715,000-$2,400,000) HOMES SOLD: 41 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $675,000 ($357,000-$710,000) CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 3


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42 YEARS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD 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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THE WILLOWS

T

NEIGHBORHOODS

no traffic, but I talked to the café owner and she said, Don’t be afraid. Everybody’s nice,” Acosta said. ‘And she was right.’ The Willows has a diverse housing stock of pre- and post-World War II homes, some of which have been remodeled. “There are some bigger, beautiful homes, but for the most part they’re small homes on smaller lots - they are very charming, but there’s not a lot of wasted space,” said Thompson. Barnett said she’s noticed plenty of remodeling in the neighborhood since she arrived in 1994. The Willows has strong neighborhood spirit. “We’re active online, but even more so in person,” said resident Kristin Seuell. “We know our neighbors.” Diane Mavica, a Willows resident since 1993, launched the Willows Moms & Babes group in 2001, which now has a roster of more than 400 families. “We have block parties, cocktail parties, moms night out, wellness nights and play dates,” she said. — Chris Kenrick

Michelle Le

ucked into a leafy swath between San Francisquito Creek, Willow Road, Middlefield Road and Highway 101, residents of Menlo Park’s Willows area say they are a lucky bunch. The tree-filled neighborhood has access to good schools and a dog park, a new playground for kids and neighborhood shops — and plenty of diversity. “I think the Willows is a lot like Palo Alto was in the –70s and –80s when I was growing up there,” said Holly Thompson, who with her husband bought their “starter home” here a decade ago — and still love living in it, even as their family has grown. “You still see kids out playing in the neighborhood. The Willows is very welcoming.” Neighborhood children attend Laurel, Encinal and Hillview schools in the Menlo Park City School District. Some residences near Highway 101 are in East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood City School District. High school students attend Menlo-Atherton High School in the Sequoia Union High School District. “I’ve always loved that M-A has so much diversity in it,” Thompson said. Thompson and her friend Neddie Barnett also know neighborhood kids who go to area private schools - the German-American International School right in the Willows, or the nearby Nativity School or Peninsula School. “But I think this is one of the most affordable places to live in this area with good public schools,” Barnett said in a recent interview in CafÈ Zoe, a popular neighborhood hub and gathering spot on Menalto Avenue. Café Zoe is part of a string of local shops that include La Hacienda Grocery, Menalto Dry Cleaner a hair salon and several spas. Ines Acosta, who recently moved to the area and opened Habibi’s Salon after running a salon in Manteca for 11 years, said it’s been a happy experience. “I was nervous about opening in the middle of a 44 neighborhood where there was

FACTS

CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: The Applebee Preschool, 107 Clover Lane, Menlo Park; Footsteps Preschool, 490 Willow Road, Menlo Park; The Roberts School, 641 Coleman Ave., Menlo Park FIRE STATION: 300 Middlefield Road PARKS: Willow Oaks Park, Willow Road near Gilbert Avenue NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Willows: Willows_neighborhood@yahoogroups.com PRIVATE SCHOOLS: German-American School of San Francisco, 275 Elliott Drive, Menlo Park PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton SHOPPING:Menalto shops MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,050,000 ($420,000-$1,650,000) HOMES SOLD: 39 MEDIAN 2011 CONDOMINIUM PRICE: $517,000 CONDOMINIUMS SOLD: 1


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Successfully serving Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley and our local surrounding communities since 1989 ARE YOU LOOKING FOR REALTORS® WITH LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE? i Together we have sold over 150 homes locally, 34 in the Willows alone! i More than $135 million of Real Estate sold in our local communiƟes i Our experience includes first Ɵme home buyers, move up buyers, relocaƟons,

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NEIGHBORHOODS

Call Ginny or Joe for a private tour of these exceptional properties

46

GINNY K AVANAUGH

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TheK avanaug h s.com


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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

2011-12 TOWN OPERATING BUDGET: $3.86 million POPULATION (2010): 4,462 HOUSEHOLDS (2010): 1,689 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2010): 74 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1,750,000 MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2005-09 estimate): $168,750

47


CENTRAL PORTOLA VALLEY

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feels it is a very safe environment for them. When Karen and Karel Urbanek moved to Portola Valley two years ago, it was primarily for a better school system. Their girls are now 3 and 5 and the 5-year-old is attending kindergarten at Ormondale, which is right across the street from their home. Karel Urbanek is a cyclist and rides his bike to work at Stanford University. “He used to take long bike rides through Portola Valley and was taken with its beauty, trails, and open space,” says Ms. Urbanek. Another draw for the family was to be close to Irene Ruiz, Karel’s sister, who is also a Portola Valley resident. “Moving from Redwood City, I didn’t know the sense of community we would have here,” says Ms. Urbanek. “There is a small-town feeling.” For family activities, she says, “I love the park at Town Center and we go to the little library. The children can also ride their bikes on the trails.” Are there any disadvantages to living in the valley? “It takes a little bit longer to get to shopping, but it’s worth it,” she says. — Jane Knoerle

James Tensuan

NEIGHBORHOODS

hen Sue Crane moved to Portola Valley 47 years ago she and her husband, Hew, were drawn to Alpine Hills by the open space and exquisite views, but she felt isolated. With three little boys, she was used to back yards, to walking with a stroller in her old neighborhood in Barron Park. “I was very lonesome,” she recalls. After the boys entered school, that changed, however. She became involved in her sons’ school activities, then went on to become mayor of Portola Valley, serving 12 years on the Town Council. Now she has come full circle. Her youngest son, Dan, and his two daughters are living in a separate unit in her home and she is learning about the fine local schools again. “Now I’m re-visiting Corte Madera School.” “This gives me a new prospective and a great pleasure,” says Ms. Crane about living as a multi-generational family. “And there are more people that I know who are doing the same thing.” Her granddaughters enjoy watching the deer and the sense of open space. She also

FACTS

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Carillon 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, Portola Valley; Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road, Portola Valley Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill, Woodside SHOPPING: Portola Road; Valley Center (Portola and Alpine Roads), Ladera Country Shopper MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $2,500,000 ($1,600,000-$6,995,000) HOMES SOLD: 15


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ELLEN ASHLEY DRE# 01364212

cell: 650 888-1886 Square footage and/or acreage information contained herein has been received from seller, existing reports, appraisals, public records and/or other sources deemed reliable. However, neither seller nor listing agent has verified this information. If this information is important to buyer in determining whether to buy or the purchase price, buyer should conduct buyer’s own investigation.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Alain Pinel Realtors President’s Club Woodside Office

49


LADERA

T

NEIGHBORHOODS

he small community of Ladera (Spanish for hillside or slope), located in unincorporated San Mateo County adjacent to the town of Portola Valley, is also bordered by Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, putting residents in proximity to plentiful nature beauty and rural charm. Built on former ranch land, Ladera is home to more than 500 households and residents say a distinct neighborly feel exists, especially among those with deep roots in the area. Though the appealing landscape is a plus, residents say the interesting people make Ladera extra special. Dee Bailey, originally of New York City, has lived in Ladera since 1988. Her husband Jon Heiner grew up in Ladera. “My family built a house and moved to Ladera in 1963,” Mr. Heiner said, and he and Ms. Bailey were happy to move back a few decades later. “We enjoy the strong community feeling and the stability from many long-time residents. I enjoy walking around the hills of Ladera knowing that I will often run into friends,” he said. And Ladera is not only home to human neighbors — resident David Benaron, a consulting professor at Stanford School of Medicine, and his family have opened their home to rescued exotic cats, including servals, savannah cats and more, who’ve

50

FACTS

been retired from non-invasive research or have medical problems. The Siesta Court Animal Annex and Exhibition center is licensed by the county and state to provide shelter for the cats, and promote conservation and education. Almost all of his neighbors have been supportive, Mr. Benaron said. “We wanted this to be a positive resource for the community and area so I worked to build consensus at all levels,” when opening the shelter. “We asked the Community Association to support us so there were local meetings.” The active Ladera Community Association serves to connect neighbors through meetings, a website, mailing lists and a community newsletter, as well as through organized events such as garage sales and Fourth of July celebrations. Local teens can even advertise their availability for babysitting, dog walking, yard work and other services in the annual Ladera Directory. The Ladera Rec Center, boasting around 400 members, offers swim lessons, tennis, summer camps, barbecues and more. “It’s a great community, very family oriented,” said Wendy Seymour, co-manager of the center. Mr. Heiner is now the facilitator for the Ladera Book Club. Every six weeks, around a dozen members meet to discuss a book at members’ homes or at the Ladera Rec

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,670,000 ($1,220,000-$3,150,000) HOMES SOLD: 16

Center. “You read books that you don’t even know about, let alone would read otherwise,” Ms. Bailey said. “We also do a movie night and various other things that are really fun. We have a lot of people with varied backgrounds and interests. We get to get a lot of different points of view and it’s very nice socially,” she said. — Karla Kane


Preschool through 8th Grade Independent Day School

Academic Excellence Provided to Bay Area Students Since 1981

Building a Lifelong Joy of Learning

Advanced Math, Science, and Technology

Preschool through eighth grade, Woodland School’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. Beautiful 10 acre campus in Portola Valley near Alpine Road and Highway 280. Extended care available before and after school, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley www.woodland-school.org

(650) 854-9065

NEIGHBORHOODS

Woodland School

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

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PORTOLA VALLEY RANCH

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better-known startups — says there’s a rewarding 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 17-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

NEIGHBORHOODS

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 hi-tech Renaissance man who’s a writer, amateur explorer, as well as successful Silicon Valley inventor/ entrepreneur — Geometrics is one of his

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,890,000 ($1,289,000-$5,000,000) HOMES SOLD: 15


J EAN I SAACSON & C HRIS I SAACSON Sold by Jean & Chris in 2011

Atherton

Portola Valley

Woodside

Portola Valley

Woodside

Portola Valley

Menlo Park

Portola Valley

Palo Alto

Woodside

Serving buyers and sellers in Portola Valley and surrounding communities for over 25 years.

Menlo Park

Portola Valley · Woodside · Atherton · Menlo Park· Los Altos Hills · Palo Alto · Los Altos· San Carlos

CHRIS ISAACSON

(650) 387-8427

(650) 352-3430

jisaacson@cbnorcal.com www.jeanisaacson.com DRE #00542342

christopher.isaacson@cbnorcal.com www.chrisisaacson.com DRE #01754233

©2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker®, Previews® and Previews International® are registered trademarks licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC. DRE License # 00313415

NEIGHBORHOODS

JEAN ISAACSON

53


WESTRIDGE

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NEIGHBORHOODS

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. “In the first five years, there were many children of the same age, and it was a treat for our five children and for all of the mothers at home.” 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. Keeping the natural allure of Westridge

54

FACTS

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. “We cherish our open spaces, and I regret that some people have been digging out the natural landscaping and digging wells,” Mrs. Hancock says. 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 has hosted 52 medical and law students in the apartment off of her garage. She and her husband chose Westridge for its openness and natural space, which she and her husband picnicked on before they decided to develop a lot. “We had two children when we moved in, and promptly got a dog. Then came the sheep, goats, and chicken, and even a boarded a horse.” While the neighborhood has since become more developed, grasslands have grown wooded, and the demographics have changed, Westridge is again attracting new families.

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $3,350,000 ($3,210,000-$4,450,000) HOMES SOLD: 3

“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


7ILLOW2OADs3/,$ $850,000 MENLO PARK

-ORAs/FF -ARKET3ALE $2,500,000 LOS ALTOS

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52 years combined local real estate experience 103 years combined local residence!!! We offer organizing, staging and design consulting as part of our suite of services... Sand Hill Circle   s0ENDING/FF -ARKET3ALE MENLO PARK

,A-ESA$RIVEs3/,$ $1,995,000 PORTOLA VALLEY

Deanna Tarr & Jenny Pollock $AHLIA#OURTs3/,$ $725,000 SUNNYVALE

Top 100 agents on the Peninsula. Top 100 teams in the country — both for Coldwell Banker

267 Camino al Lago   s/FF -ARKET3ALE ATHERTON

Deanna (415) 999-1232 Dtarr@cbnorcal.com DRE# 00585398

Jenny (650) 867-0609 Jpollock@cbnorcal.com DRE# 01215021

3AND(ILL#IRCLEs3/,$ $1,300,000 MENLO PARK

TOWNHOUSE SALES 506 Sand Hill Circle, Represented Seller 702 Sand Hill Circle, Represented Buyer 690 Sand Hill Circle, Represented Seller

4HAIN7AYs,EASED  s0!,/!,4/

NEIGHBORHOODS

“Local Girls Make Good”

55


WOODSIDE HIGHLANDS

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NEIGHBORHOODS

ore and more people have been relocating to the rural retreat of Woodside Highlands, drawn to the open feel and beautiful views. Beginning at Portola Road and stretching through the Hayfields pastures, the small community once acted as a summer getaway for San Franciscans in the 1920s. A notable feature of the area is the Larry Lane Trail, a hiking trail that winds through the oak trees to overlook the San Francisco Bay. “I just love the weather here, I love the environment,” says 18-year-old resident Paul Swietek, who values using the hiking trail. Mr. Swietek has lived in Woodside Highlands all his life, and hopes to one day buy his family home. The community bonds through the bi-annual road clean ups that help keep Woodside Highlands drivers safe through each season. Neighbors gather to clear debris from the roads and trim overhanging branches to prevent accidents, says resident Ann Willard. “It’s a very nice neighborhood and most people are interested in keeping up their property,” Ms. Willard says. The Woodside Highlands Improvement Association is an important asset to the neighborhood as it keeps the roads safe and brings neighbors together. According to Mr. Swietek many of the roads are safe, but

56

some are too narrow, remembering a scary moment when he was run off the road. He also participates in what he referred to as “Road Day,” the street-clearing event. Ms. Willard, who has lived in Woodside Highlands for 16 years, finds other ways to stay connected with her neighbors. She and her husband host an annual Christmas party at their house. They also enjoy attending community barbecues that their neighbors take turns hosting each fall. “It’s kind of been a traditional thing, it’s been going on since before we were here,” she says. As a resident of more than 40 years, Rose Wassman likes that the community is spacious and rural. Living in the area for so long, many of the friends and neighbors that Ms. Wassman and her husband were close to have moved out of the area, replaced with new, younger families. Now Ms. Wassman finds she enjoys having space between her neighbors. “I think in this area that’s how many people want it to be, not to be that close to our neighbors,” she says. However, if Ms. Wassman needs assistance from a neighbor, the community is connected through a yahoo group, where residents can handle local issues. Originally from the East Coast, Ms. Wassman and her husband find the weather and the setting much more appealing, and appreciate the atmosphere of their

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: Portola Road and Wayside Road to Santa Maria and Russell avenues NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Woodside Highlands Improvement Association, president, Richard Crevelt, 650-851-4518 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,185,000 ($700,000-$1,455,000) HOMES SOLD: 3

neighborhood. “It’s not just being in California. We love Woodside Highlands because it’s rural and spread out,” she says. — Kelly Jones


NEIGHBORHOODS

57


SOLD

SOLD

Updated Craftsman on 1.3 Acres

Bright & Open Home on Quiet Cul-De-Sac

Tripp Court Price upon request

Arbor Court Offered at $2,995,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

Stunning Contemporary on 3.5 Acres

Beautifully Remodeled with Pool & Waterfall

Spectacular 3-Acre Estate with Guest House

Robles Drive Price upon request

Cañada Road Offered at $2,450,000

Woodside Road Price upon request

SOLD

SALE PENDING

SELLING EXC E P T I O N AL WO O D S I D E P RO P E RT I E S

Additional Recent Sales Manzanita Way, Woodside (buyer) Ridgeway Road, Woodside (seller) Woodside Road, Woodside (buyer) 4-Acre Mountain Home Estate (buyer) Valley Road, Atherton (buyer) Lakeview Way, Emerald Hills (buyer) Altaire Walk, Palo Alto (buyer) Altaire Walk, Palo Alto (buyer)

Moments to Town at the End of a Private Lane

Serene Park-Like Setting on 2.9 Acres

Neuman Lane Offered at $2,895,000

Kings Mountain Road Offered at $3,295,000

Stockton Place, Palo Alto (buyer) Lane St., Belmont (seller) Sherman Ave., Menlo Park (buyer) Edgewood Road, Redwood City (buyer)

NEIGHBORHOODS

650.740.2970

58

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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

2011-12 TOWN OPERATING BUDGET: $5.46 million POPULATION (2010): 5,486 HOUSEHOLDS (2010): 1,914 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING (2010): 74.6 percent MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1,600,000 MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2005-09): $214,310

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 baron C.F.A. Talbot, heirs to the H.M. Newhall land and cattle fortune,

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KINGS MOUNTAIN/SKYLINE

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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. “There are lots of volunteers that are all eager to help in many different ways,” Mrs. Howard says. “It’s good to know that we have very skilled people volunteering; it makes us feel safe.” 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. A Yahoo group keeps the community connected, where residents can post neighborhood updates or ask for help with issues.

FACTS

“We had a dog that was lost three or four days,” Mrs. Howard says. After posting on the group “someone heard him barking and ultimately rescued him.” Sheena Mawson, president of the Kings Mountain Association, also 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 were ever a crisis the community would come together and get through it together.” What the area lacks in cell reception residents make up for with community events, they said. The Mawsons say 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. 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 looking to make their home in the secluded Coast Range while still enjoying (relatively) quick access to the bustling Silicon Valley world below. “We have fabulous views. More than half the homes here have an incredible view of the bay and the others have the woods,” says Kathleen Braunstein, a Skywood resident since 1983. 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. The windy, 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 10-minute drive to 280 or into town in Woodside,” Ms. Lamar says. Downtown Palo Alto and Menlo Park are a 20- to 25minute drive. Up at the top, the Trading Post convenience store, a gas station and Alice’s

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: Surrounding 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 Street, 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $925,000 ($475,000-$3,635,000) HOMES SOLD: 5

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,100,000 ($399,000-$5,400,000) HOMES SOLD: 19

Restaurant meet the essential needs of Skywood and Skylonda 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


Carla Priola Anisman 650-888-9521 Canisman1@aol.com

Lovinda Beal 650-529-8585 Lovinda@cbnorcal.com

Sue Crawford 650-566-5341 Scrawford@cbnorcal.com

Louise DeDera 650-642-1422 LoudLoud@sbcglobal.net

Bonnie Biorn Lyn Jason Cobb 650-888-0846 650-566-5331 Bonnie.Biorn@cbnorcal.com LynJason.Cobb.@cbnorcal.com

Erika Demma 650-740-2970 edemma@cbnorcal.com

Janet Dore 650-766-7935 Jdore@cbnorcal.com

Jackie Copple 650-465-9160 jcopple@cbnorcal.com

Sean Foley 650-207-6005 Sfoley@cbnorcal.com

Chris McDonnell and Ian Hamilton Jean and Chris Isaacson Diane Kneis Kelly Griggs 650.722.9661 650-387-8427 650-799-6714 650-207-2500 ian.hamilton@cbnorcal.com jisaacson@cbnorcal.com Diane.Kneis@cbnorcal.com Kelly.Griggs@cbnorcal.com

Jenny Lamb 650-281-7017 jlamb@cbnorcal.com

Margot Lockwood 650-400-2528 homes@Margotlockwood.com

Maya and Jason Sewald 650-346-1228 Mayasold@pacbell.net

Sam Zerarka 650-796-2911 Brigid.VanRandall@cbnorcal.com Sam.Zerarka@cbnorcal.com Brigid Van Randall 650-566-5348

MENLO PARK | WOODSIDE ©2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. DRE License #00313415

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Valerie Soltau 650-464-3896 ValerieSoltau@gmail.com

Gwen Luce 650-566-5343 gluce@cbnorcal.com

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MOUNTAIN HOME ROAD

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NEIGHBORHOODS

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 horserelated 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 years

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FACTS

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

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 2011 HOME PRICE: $4,170,333 ($1,503,000 – $11,500,000) HOMES SOLD: 12


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QUETZAL GRIMM

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EMERALD HILLS

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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, and that’s what led them to choose Emerald Hills. “You come home from work and take a deep breath. You have access to getting away quickly

on the trails,” he says. The Poppinks lived on West Glen Way for five years and before recently moving to West Maple Way. Their new home features more than an acre that backs up to open space. They love their views, and how “every weekend we can leave our house on foot and go for hikes and runs in Edgewood County Park,” Mr. Poppink 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

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 since 1977. 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 Avenue 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 kid-centered 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. “The Glens is sweet. It’s very friendly.

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: Canada 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,900,000 ($1,000,000 – $2,649,000) HOMES SOLD: 9

from quite a distance. She appreciates one neighbor who “has done an outstanding job on emergency preparedness” for the neighborhood, and says 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 Canada 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 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,900,000 ($1,075,000-$2,900,000) HOMES SOLD: 5

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


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Spectacular views upon entering this custom home. Windows overlook the level 3 acres of pasture. 2 bd upstairs each w/private ba. Additional room downstairs w/bath. Rec room sep fr house perfect for entertaining. Co-listed with Erika Demma 650.740.2970

Wonderful country style 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths approx. 2000 sq ft built in 2005. Separate office/ bonus room on property including 2nd half bath. Kitchen opens to FR leading to deck and yard. Master bedroom suite with fireplace includes walk-in closet. Large 10,000 sq ft level lot & great front porch.

Gorgeous views from this lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on 12.5 acres w/wrap around deck. Approx. 3500 sq ft built in 1989/remodeled in 2009. Open kitchen w/center island, breakfast bar and large dining area. Large office/bonus room on lower level plus 4000 bottle wine cellar. Excellent Portola Valley Schools.

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REDWOOD CITY

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MENLO PARK

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NEIGHBORHOODS

WOODSIDE

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WOODSIDE HILLS

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rant Huberty grew up in Woodside Hills in a simpler time — when Interstate 280 didn’t run through Woodside, when there were no fences between homes and views went forever because the only trees in the neighborhood were native oaks, and when there were fruit orchards on Woodside Road. Things have changed, but a few years ago, when Mr. Huberty had a chance to move back into Woodside Hills after 25 years of living elsewhere, he took it. He and his wife, Carol Welsh, are now living in the house Mr. Huberty grew up in. “My wife and I are remodeling it to make it ours,” he says. “I’ve always liked Woodside. It’s got a desire to stay rural,” Mr. Huberty says. In fact, he says, the town may even be “a little less polished than some people like” since it still has no sidewalks and no street lights. Another thing he has always loved about his neighborhood is the fact that his home, like many in Woodside Hills, has a view. “I like to be up the hill. I like the view,” Mr. Huberty said. “I grew up being able to look out the view.” Another advantage of the neighborhood of about 250 homes is that the lots are large. “We enjoy the space,” Mr. Huberty says. While he has plenty of neighbors, they are far enough apart to give each home a sense of privacy. Mr. Huberty is the treasurer and on the board

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of the Woodside Hills Homes Association. He replaced Perry Vartanian, who retired this year after 28 years on the association’s board. Mr. Vartanian has lived in the Hills for 50 years, since 1961, and has seen it grow around him. The area was developed by David Bohannon who bought over 300 acres and developed it in phases beginning in the 1930s. “When I moved in here it was a bare acre,” Mr. Vartanian says of his lot. He designed and built the home where he and his wife raised five children. Now there are oak trees everywhere, and many wild animals. “We’ve got deer, we’ve got coyotes,” he says. The neighborhood must have suited Mr. Bohannon, who lived there until his death. Two of his children, Scott Bohannon and Frances Nelson, still live in Woodside Hills, Mr. Vartanian says. It’s not unusual for more than one generation to live in the Hills, Mr. Vartanian says, and he knows of at least one family where a home now has a third generation making it their own. The Woodside Hills Homes Association sponsors a big social event for all the neighbors each year, and holds an annual meeting. Association dues are less than $100 per year and go toward maintaining the landscaping of the formal entry and 25 traffic islands in the neighborhood.

FACTS

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 Woodside Road and Interstate 280 between Canada College and Menlo Country Club to Las Pulgas Road NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: www. woodsidehills.org PARK: Huddart County Park. 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Redwood City School District — Henry Ford School, 2498 Massachusetts, Redwood City; Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Ave., Redwood City; plus magnet schools Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside, Woodside Plaza, Redwood City MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $1,712,500 ($1,175,000-$3,869,000) HOMES SOLD: 14

The association also has an architectural board that must approve any new home or remodeling plans in addition to the town of Woodside. — Barbara Wood


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Neighborhoods 2012