In the middle of 1981, Patti and Phil Rose were driving around Los Altos, looking for a larger home for their family that then included two pre-schoolers.
They soon found Woodland Acres and The Highlands, two neighboring areas west of Foothill Expressway at the south end of town. They were especially drawn to Woodland Acres, an enclave of 123 homes on lots that ranged from 1/4 acre to an acre.
According to the history put together by J.L. Pritchard in 1963, the land was once part of Rancho San Antonio. Ultimately, about 100 acres were held by Edward Hohfeld from 1927 to 1948, when he sold 86 acres to Serra Development Co. Lots were sold and the original homes built between 1950 and 1957.
The name, Woodland Acres, wasn't blindly chosen. During his tenure, Hohfeld tried to rehabilitate an old orchard, but soon began planting (and caring for) hundreds of ornamental trees that joined the native oaks.
Patti Rose is now head of the Woodland Acres Association, which meets every three months to deal with current issues ranging from speeders, burglaries and barking dogs to repaving the streets.
"Our streets were a problem. The city of Los Altos and the association worked together to get them repaved, and that worked out really well," she said.
Neighbors used to get together for a "traveling dinner" potluck held at three different homes, but now there's an annual Christmas party. "Everybody brings something, it's held at different houses (each year)," Rose said, noting that there have been as many as 90 people and as few as 50 attending.
"It's a social function for everybody in the neighborhood. Some people come every year, some once in awhile. ... We've had lots of seniors, but now we have a real eclectic group. We have young, middle-aged and old.
"A committee organizes the setup and cleanup. It works like clockwork. It's fun to see people's houses," she added.
As in most mature neighborhoods, there's turnover, with new, younger families moving in. One way to get to know the newcomers is through block parties. One was held on Beechwood last September, with a potluck, tables with umbrellas set up in the street and kids riding their bikes, Rose said. Traffic cones slowed down any through traffic during the event.
"Old and young, people got to know one another," she added. People were contacted via email and with notices dropped in mailboxes.
Another source of social glue is the Woodland Vista Swim & Racquet Club, which draws its 83 members more from The Highlands, according to Rose. But some Woodland Acres neighbors are members, and the annual Christmas event is sometimes held there.
"Everybody who lives in this neighborhood feels very lucky that they live here. They like where they live, they enjoy the neighbors, the atmosphere. It's just a nice way of living," Rose said.
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS:
Children's Creative Learning Center, 2310 Homestead Road, Suite E, Los Altos
FIRE STATION: No. 16, 765 Fremont Ave.
LIBRARY: Woodland, 1975 Grant Road
LOCATION: between Foothill Expressway and Interstate 280, Beechwood Lane and Permanente Creek
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Patti Rose, president, Woodland Acres Association, 650-968-7211
PARKS: Montclaire Park, St. Joseph Ave.; (nearby) Grant Park, 1575 Holt Ave.; Rancho San Antonio Preserve, Cristo Rey Drive
POST OFFICE: Loyola Corners, 1525 Miramonte Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOL: St. Simon Catholic School, 1840 Grant Road
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Cupertino Union School District Montclaire Elementary School, Cupertino Middle School; Fremont Union High School District Homestead High School
SHOPPING: Foothill Crossing; Loyola Corners; Rancho Shopping Center; Woodland Plaza