A creek may separate Adobe Meadow and Meadow Park, but recent concerns about traffic generated by new residential development and the nearly completed Campus for Jewish Life are bringing neighbors together.
On the surface, the two adjacent neighborhoods are quite different. Much of Adobe Meadow — edged by Middlefield Road, East Meadow Drive, Louis Road and Adobe Creek — was built in the mid-1950s. Strolling down the quiet streets, one can easily spot the Brown and Kauffman developments, with a small smattering of Eichlers. City-owned trees are integrated into the front lawns, rather than sitting at the curb. Many of the homes were remodeled, often converting a garage to a room and adding a carport, or adding a second story over the garage.
The biggest anomaly is Ortega Court, once the home of Ortega Elementary School, now a block of larger, pricier homes. On some blocks, homes are hidden away on flag lots.
According to Arthur Keller, founder and past president of the Adobe Meadow Neighborhood Association, who has lived in the area since 1988, a Corina Way block party has morphed into an annual neighborhood event on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend at Ramos Park. About two-thirds of the 300 homeowners are active members of the association, many serving as block captains who create block-by-block rosters, welcome new neighbors and help with emergency preparedness.
Just across the creek, in an area bounded by Bibbits Drive, the north side of Charleston Road, Grove Avenue and the creek, Meadow Park also sprang up in the mid-1950s as a Brown and Kauffman enclave, with affordable luxury homes "value priced" under $17,000 and aimed at the average working family. Soon Joseph Eichler built 44 homes there as well. A single-story overlay is strictly enforced (imposed after a few second stories were added, according to Meadow Park Residents Association President Mike McMahon, who has lived there since 1975). Two outlying cul-de-sacs, Charleston Court and Ensign Way, which were developed in the 1960s and 1970s, are outside the single-story zone.
Because of the non-through streets, neighbors are more likely to meet up at the nearby Charleston Center, Mitchell Park Library or walking the dog near Don Ramos Park.
Faith Hastings, who serves as secretary to the Meadow Park Residents Association, found her Eichler in 1965, moving from Mountain View for the Palo Alto schools and utilities. After raising two boys with her husband, Al, she's still happy with the convenient location and easy access to the freeway. She's also glad to see turnover. "We're starting to see families with children move in. It's a nice mix — old-time residents and new people," she added.
Ilse Schultz, who moved to Adobe Meadow in fall 2005 with her husband, Tony Holzhey, and son, isn't concerned about additional traffic generated by new developments. While the family was attracted to Palo Alto for the schools, what drew them to their neighborhood was the modern, open architecture of their Eichler-like Mackay home.
But what really sold them was the convenience.
"I'm able to take a bicycle or push a stroller to day care. It's super, super convenient to the park, daycare and grocery store. And, it's close to the freeway," she said.
"We plan to be here for at least 20 years — it's a long-term plan for us," she added.
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS (NEARBY): Covenant Children's Center, 670 East Meadow Drive; Sunshine Preschool Montessori, 3711 Ross Road
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 3600 Middlefield Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Meadow Park Residents Association, Mike McMahon, president, 650-493-7392, www.geocities.com/meadowparkpa/; Adobe Meadow Neighborhood Association, Ceci Kettendorf, president, 650-493-0804
PARKS: Don Jesus Ramos Park, 800 E. Meadow Drive; Mitchell Park, 650 E. Meadow Drive
POST OFFICE: Main, 2085 E. Bayshore Road
PRIVATE SCHOOL: Challenger School, 3880 Middlefield Road
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Fairmeadow Elementary School, J.L. Stanford Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: Charleston Center, Midtown Shopping Center
MEDIAN 2008 HOME PRICE: $1,377,500 ($1,250,000-$2,000,000)
HOMES SOLD: 8