|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Monday, February 1, 2010, 2:40 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 3:30 PM
|More 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 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 neighborhood.
"It's not just being in California. We love Woodside Highlands because it's rural and spread out," she says.
-- Kelly Jones
View the neighborhood map (PDF)
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
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
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