|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 11:22 AM
Updated: Monday, December 31, 2012, 1:45 PM
South Los Altos
|After living in South Los Altos since 1975, Steve Anderson says his favorite aspect is the friendly, quiet neighborhood.
"Around 1989 my wife and I thought of moving," Anderson said, "but after looking around we realized we wouldn't find a better neighborhood than the one we live in."
Snuggled into the borders of Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino, the South Los Altos community stretches between Grant Road and Stevens Creek. Some of the homes are built in the modern, two-story, Mediterranean look, while many are modeled after the classic ranch-style home, according to Laura Bajuk, executive director of the Los Altos History Museum.
"It's interesting to see what the imprint of a community is," Bajuk said.
Working at the Los Altos History Museum, Anderson educates visitors on the town's history, and its beginnings from a ranch community into a piece of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Since the rail company purchased the land in 1907, the town of Los Altos expanded further out, stretching towards South Los Altos.
Anderson describes South Los Altos as more affordable than the northern part of the town. He says parts of the neighborhood lack sidewalks, but the district has nice parks and an excellent school system. The neighborhoods maintain a rural feeling compared to North Los Altos and the downtown area.
Children in South Los Altos attend either Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District or the Cupertino Union School District, depending on their address. Both district's public schools are highly rated, but the dual district attendance doesn't lend itself to neighborhood cohesiveness.
Paul and Karen Van Buren have lived in South Los Altos for more than 35 years, and raised their family there.
Although she appreciates the quiet neighborhood, she "felt separated" when it came to her kids attending local schools. Due to school zoning their own children attended school in the Cupertino school district, which they felt distanced them from being more involved. Although they felt Homestead High School was a good school, they did not feel close enough to it.
In some ways the city has improved the neighborhood, according to the Van Burens. Added in 1975, the Woodland Library is an extension of the Los Altos Main Library, and is conveniently located on Grant Road for the readers of South Los Altos. The Van Burens also appreciate having grocery stores nearby, such as the Lucky Supermarket on Grant Road and the Trader Joe's found on Homestead Road.
The South Los Altos area does not hold any large events, but neighbors find other ways to get to know one another. When Jean Vecchiet and her husband moved into their neighborhood in 1996 they knew no one. But, they wanted to raise their children in a place where neighbors knew each other and looked out for one another.
"It was my husband's idea to go around to the neighbors and start a woman's book club," Vecchiet said.
Creating a flyer, Vecchiet introduced herself to her neighbors, to great success. After nine years the book club is still going, with about 15 active members meeting each month. The group chooses a book to read every other month, but still meets each month just to play board games or swap stories.
"It's more of a social group than a real book club," Vecchiet said.
The club is also connected through an online Yahoo! group, where neighbors share resources, such as where to find a good plumber.
According to Vecchiet the book club has helped create a friendly environment in their neighborhood. "I think everyone likes being able to drive down the street and wave to their neighbors, knowing who they are," she said.
Although South Los Altos is not often the center of community events, it is a central location with access to many larger communities and activities.
-- Kelly Jones
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: CCLC Preschool, 2310 Homestead Road; Enlighten School, 1919 Annette Lane; Mountain View Parents Nursery School, 1299 Bryant Ave., Mtn. View; St. Simon's Catholic Church Extended Day Care Center, 1860 Grant Road; YMCA -- Way to Grow Full-Day Preschool, 1501 Oak Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 16, 765 Fremont Ave.
LIBRARY: Woodland, 1975 Grant Road
LOCATION: between Grant Road, Homestead Road Stevens Creek, Joel Way, Harwalt Drive, Oak, Truman, Miravalle avenues
PARKS: Grant Park, 1575 Holt Ave.; (nearby) Marymeade Park, Fremont Avenue at Grant Road
POST OFFICE: Loyola Corners, 1525 Miramonte Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOL: St. Simon Catholic School, 1840 Grant Road
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Los Altos School District -- Oak Elementary School, Blach Intermediate School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Mountain View High School; or Cupertino Union School District -- Montclaire Elementary School, Cupertino Middle School; Fremont Union High School District -- Homestead High School
SHOPPING: Foothill Crossing, Homestead Road; Greenhaven Plaza, Grant Road
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $1,640,040 ($1,015,000-$2,575,000)
HOMES SOLD: 54
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