Palo Alto Weekly

Real Estate - February 28, 2014

Green Acres

Quiet, friendly and close to schools

by Tre'vell Anderson

When Catherine Shen moved into her Green Acres home in 2008, she was welcomed with open arms by the other residents who she described as "polite and courteous." The block and potluck parties held by the neighborhood association have played a big part in the development of community and a sense of belonging.

For Eva Gal, the best part about living in Green Acres is getting to know her neighbors. The occasional parties and Easter egg hunts have been integral.

"People I met 35 years ago are still here," she said. "We're all respectful of privacy, but caring and concerned."

Both Shen and Gal speak highly of their neighbors. As a group, they are constantly meeting to "(think) of more activities to bring people together and get to know each other better," Shen said.

This congenial spirit has been ever-present for residents despite the unique construction of the Green Acres neighborhood. Separated by Arastradero Road, Green Acres is divided into two: Green Acres I, on the south end, was built in the early 1950s followed by Green Acres II to the north.

Shen describes Green Acres as a distance away from Downtown Palo Alto and other city fixtures, a facet she sees as a benefit.

"Being in this location, though it is away from Palo Alto, is still very convenient," she said. "We have more choices (for shopping). We can go (downtown) or to the San Antonio Center in Mountain View or wherever."

Other residents sing the praises of having Juana Briones Elementary, Terman Middle and Gunn High schools within close proximity as another community attraction.

The three schools attracted Nancy Mott and her family, who moved to the area in 1985 because she said such an occurrence was "unusual."

Gal has noticed a cycle within the neighborhood where the prevalence of children rises and falls as a result of the schools being a hot selling point. When she first moved to her home in 1971, she said there were "lots of children" and the number has gone up and down, beginning to rise once more. There also was an orchard in the neighborhood that she recalls, a time she said, "There weren't many cars present."

Traffic can now be "bothersome," according to Gal, but the area is still "very much quiet."

"Very quiet is a good way to put it," Mott said. "We can walk and jog comfortably."

Joe Hirsh described the neighborhood slightly differently, calling it "safe and steady."

He came to Green Acres in 1974 as a single parent with three children and a dog.

"I wouldn't stay here for (over) 40 years if I didn't think (it was safe,)" he said.

Hirsh described Green Acres as being full "of working, intelligent and interesting people, people who are very interested in their community." He's seen a surge in community spirit as they have become more politically active as a group concerned about the increase in development of the area.

Green Acres residents also love that their utilities are underground. Mott calls the area "very pretty" as a result. The neighborhood was the city's pilot project for undergrounding utilities and has since been the model for other areas.

"I hope to live here for many many more years," Hirsch said.


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CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Palo Alto Montessori School, 575 Arastradero Road; Whistlestop Child Development Center, 3801 Miranda Ave. No. T6B; Young Life Christian Pre-School, 687 Arastradero Road

FIRE STATION: No. 5, 600 Arastradero Road

LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road (after summer 2014)

LOCATION: Green Acres I: Arastradero Road to Glenbrook Drive, Los Palos to Pomona avenues; Green Acres II: Maybell Avenue to Arastradero Road, Coulombe Drive to Georgia Avenue

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: (Green Acres I) Alice Sklar,; (Green Acres II) Betsy Allyn, 650-493-8859

PARKS: Juana Briones Park, 609 Maybell Ave.; Terman Park, 655 Arastradero Road

POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.

PRIVATE SCHOOL: Bowman International School, 4000 Terman Drive

PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Juana Briones Elementary School, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School

SHOPPING: El Camino Real, San Antonio Shopping Center, Downtown Los Altos

Editorial Intern Tre'vell Anderson can be emailed at


Posted by Pro Undergrounding, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

I'm not surprised that the residents love their underground utilities. I wonder why the city never moved forward with that pilot project. I would be all for it.

Posted by Town Square Moderator, a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

The following comment was removed from a duplicate Town Square post:

Posted by Jerry Underdal, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:32 am
Jerry Underdal is a registered user.
Weekly error or Green Acres annexationism?

"One of the questions that came up often during the Maybell/Clemo affordable housing project debate was whose neighborhood it was in. It was generally believed to be in Barron Park. But one of the photos accompanying this article identifies a lovely two-story Maybell home on a narrow lot as being in Green Acres. This home lies several lots towards El Camino from the Maybell/Clemo site.

If correct, this would mean that everything between Maybell and Arastradero, including the proposed project site, is in Green Acres, not Barron Park.

Some of the loudest voices for blocking the project came from Green Acres, which argued that proximity, appreciation of the orchard's fine qualities and reliance on Maybell to get in and out when Arastradero traffic was tied up gave it special standing to claim that the project was being imposed on their neighborhood.

Is Green Acres now annexing the Barron Park territory that it cares so much about?"

Posted by Corky, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Old PA sure is snotty, never welcomes anyone with open arms-- not even St e Jobs or Larry Page when they first bought homes here. This neighborhood seems to hate newcomers. Beats me as to why

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