|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Monday, February 1, 2010, 2:35 PM
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013, 2:53 PM
|On a Friday afternoon in the Blue Oaks neighborhood, three male deer graze on a hillside next to the appropriately named Buck Meadow Drive.
"The nature aspect of it is the most unique part," said 16-year-old Joey Putnam, commenting on the Portola Valley neighborhood where he grew up.
Located in the southern tip of Portola Valley, the town's newest development is overlooked by Coal Mine Ridge and surrounded by open space.
Residents regularly see coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and other wildlife roaming the area.
Putnam credited his childhood setting for his and his brother's love of nature.
"I know if we didn't grow up here, we wouldn't be as into it," he said.
The development's first homes were constructed in the early 2000s, and more than half of its 34 two-acre lots are now filled.
Jim Pollock was one of the original land buyers and headed the Blue Oaks Homeowners Association for its first 10 years. He said he was intimately involved with finalizing the plans for the neighborhood.
"The density .... the type of architecture, and the amount of landscaping were issues that I think worked out fine," he said.
Pollock built his home to accommodate large groups of frequent houseguests: He and his wife have five kids and 11 grandchildren.
"The house often houses all or some of them," he said.
Pollock has lived in Portola Valley since 1973. He said residents of Blue Oaks are like other residents of the town, and that over the years the type hasn't changed.
"They're largely successful combined with being down to earth, i.e., no flaunting their wealth," he said.
Pollock is founder of Portola Valley-based Pollock Financial Group. He started the company in 196,0 and now two sons of his sons work with him.
"It's about 85 percent good," he said with a smile. "It's important for me to listen to what they say because they can bring new ideas to the company."
Located on a private road with no through traffic, the quiet of a Friday afternoon was only broken by the sounds of birds, frogs and the occasional jet and prop plane flying high overhead.
Long driveways and large properties give residents a degree of seclusion.
"It's an interesting combination of retaining your privacy and having relationships with your neighbors," said Pollock.
The younger Putnam experienced the private vibe of the neighborhood while growing up.
"In the suburbs, you grow up with kids around you. But here you don't really get that," he said.
But Putnam said he enjoyed the flexibility of living in an area that is relatively remote, but only a 20-minute drive from densely populated Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
"It's just far enough away that you can be isolated if you want to be, but you're not too far away," he said.
Putnam said that while growing, he took advantage of the area's location and the walking paths that criss-cross and surround it.
"When I was younger, every day I'd go up on these trails," he said.
-- Bryce Druzin
CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS (NEARBY): Windmill Preschool, 4141 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; New Horizons School-Age Center (after school care), 200 Shawnee Pass, Portola Valley; Carillon Pre-School at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road, Portola Valley; Woodside Priory School, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley
FIRE STATION: Woodside Fire Protection District, Portola Valley Station, 135 Portola Road, Portola Valley
LOCATION: Redberry road, Buck Meadow Drive, Blue Oaks Court, between Los Trancos Road and Alpine Road
PARKS: Rosotti's Field, 3915 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, 544 Portola Road, Portola Valley; Foothills Park, Palo Alto
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 2012 HOME PRICE:$4,137,500 ($4,125,000-$4,150,000)
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