|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Monday, February 1, 2010, 11:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 1:08 PM
|Hiding 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 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 a bit further.
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.
-- Nick Veronin
FIRE STATION: 4101 Fair Oaks Ave., 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
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; Marsh Manor
MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $647,500 ($286,000-$2,225,000)
HOMES SOLD: 34
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