Real Estate

Neighborhood Snapshot: Green Acres

Its name evokes a pastoral TV show and its location is loved by residents

Jim Colton stands outside his home in the Green Acres neighborhood in Palo Alto. Photo by Veronica Weber.

The name may be reminiscent of the pastoral 1960s TV show, but Green Acres in Palo Alto is better known for its close proximity to three top-ranking public schools: Juana Briones Elementary School, Terman Middle School and Gunn High School.

"The schools are excellent, and the bonus of having kids able to walk to school independently from grades K-12 is priceless," said resident Susan Pines, who has three school-aged children. "The location of the neighborhood is great, for schools, for walking on the bike path to Bol Park and biking to Stanford. Another bonus is the underground utilities."

Green Acres consists of two sections: Green Acres I, which covers the small area from Arastradero Road to Glenbrook Drive and from Los Palos to Pomona avenues; and Green Acres II, which is larger, and stretches from Maybell Avenue to Arastradero Road and from Coulombe Drive to Georgia Avenue.

Ruth Satterthwaite, one of the leaders of the Green Acres II Neighborhood Association, said she has seen many changes in the area since moving there with her husband in 1985.

"There has been a fair amount of turnover, especially recently, as some of the original owners have moved away ... new families with younger children are moving into the neighborhood," Satterthwaite said.

Jim Colton, who has lived in the Green Acres neighborhood for more than four decades, said he also has seen the demographic changes.

"What hasn't changed though is three schools within walking distance and the quiet of the neighborhood," Colton said.

The biggest complaint residents said they have about the neighborhood is the lack of retail stores.

"When we moved here, there was the All American Market on El Camino at Los Robles. Now the small Barron Park Market is the closest option when you run out of essentials. Walgreens just has snack food. We are used to planning our grocery trips with the car," Pines said.

Satterthwaite and Colton also pointed out that Green Acres II has no stores in it.

"The closest store is Walgreens on El Camino, about a mile away, with a few more small stores a bit further north on El Camino. But for major grocery shopping, either Los Altos or Piazza's on Charleston and Middlefield are much more practical; likewise, most other shopping needs or errands unfortunately generally require driving to another area," Satterthwaite said.

Residents Lorie and Eric Englhardt make do with closer options. They often buy milk at Walgreens, deli sandwiches at Driftwood Market and tea drinks at Teaspoon in Los Altos, Lorie said. The couple and their four children have lived in Green Acres II for 16 years.

"Our four kids have gone through Juana Briones," she said. "We still have one at Terman and one at Gunn. We love having the schools so close. We have enjoyed getting to know our neighbors and have liked the annual summer block party. Our two daughters babysit and enjoy working for families in the neighborhood."

Just like Green Acres II, Green Acres I is a purely residential neighborhood dominated by single-family homes and in walking distance to schools.

Vidya Maharajah, a Green Acres I resident for 10 years, said she can walk or take a quick drive to stores she needs.

"I have no complaints about the neighborhood," said Maharajah. "It's a fantastic place, with lots of greenery, schools nearby, and a trail behind. The walkability score is high. You see kids playing around. Neighbors are close to each other and help each other out."

FACTS

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

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

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: (Green Acres I) Alice Sklar, a2sklar@aol.com; (Green Acres II); Jim Colton, 650-464-1775.

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

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