A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

east Los Gatos

Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates

Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates are adjoining upscale residential neighborhoods in east Los Gatos, both along Kennedy Road and just a little further from the downtown area than the Surrey Farm subdivision. Below, please find the approximate boundaries that I mapped out.

Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates in east Los Gatos

Kennedy Meadows is a small subdivision on Kennedy Court. It consists 10 of homes built between 1995 and 1997. The average lot size is just under a half acre, and the average home size is  about 4000 SF. This is a very scenic area as the hills are nearby. Properties there sell upwards of $3 million, often $4 million (if not much, much more).

Kennedy Meadows subdivision in east Los Gatos Open Space at Kennedy Meadows Home on Kennedy Court, Los Gatos

Kennedy Estates sign Kennedy Estates consists about two dozen large, estate quality homes primarily along Forrester Road or just off of it on Leotar Court. Most of the houses are 2 story and were built in the 1980s or 1990s, but a few are newer or older than that. There’s a broad range of home size, from 3500 SF to over 8,000 SF, but the majority of houses are between 4,000 SF and 6,000 SF. Most lots are 1-2 acres, and most are hillside (as Forrester runs at the bottom of a little valley). Because it’s a small valley, this area can get quite toasty in summer, as few of the coastal breezes make it through. These luxury properties all enjoy central air conditioning, of course. If you want to live in Kennedy Estates, you’ll probably need to budget $4 million or more to purchase a house there.

Sign for Kennedy Estates - Forrester Road, Los Gatos Entrance to Kennedy Estates Kennedy Estates - Forrester Road, Los Gatos Attractive homes in Kennedy Estates, Los Gatos Forrester Road is mostly in a little valley Beautiful paths and private driveways

 

Why are Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates in east Los Gatos neighborhoods so popular?

First, of course, they are not far from “town” and they enjoy the highly regarded Los Gatos Union School District Continue reading

Loma Vista, El Gato Terrace, Rancho Padre subdivisions

El Gato Terrace, Loma Vista and Rancho Padre areasIn East Los Gatos, between Ross Creek and Los Gatos-Almaden Road sits a county pocket with a very unique neighborhood. This scenic area has a little bit of everything.

Where is it?

This area is the combination of three adjacent subdivisions, built between the 1940s into the mid 1950s. As seen on the map below, these are:

  • El Gato Terrace
  • The Loma Vista Tract
  • Rancho Padre (Rancho Padre is the only one to touch Ross creek).

Addresses in these subdivisions include Loma Vista Avenue, Linda Avenue, El Gato Lane and part of Escobar Avenue. To the West of this pocket is the Blossom Hill Manor area, which begins at Longwood Drive (the Manor is in a different school district – Los Gatos Unified Schools).

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Learn more about the area by clicking through to the rest of the article!

Continue reading

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

View of Hills from Strathmore neighborhood in Los GatosTake in a view of the hills from the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos. Beside Blossom Hill with the coastal range rising behind it, homes here enjoy a beautiful backdrop and nature close by with plenty of access to parks and trails. But the beauty and nature is only one part of the wonderful neighborhood.

Despite itss quiet charm, this neighborhood is anything but rural. Access to the freeway and shopping are within a mile, and to east Los Gatos shopping on The Boulevard is a little farther. A pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, Strathmore is a popular spot for locals to stroll, jog, bike or otherwise enjoy a little sunshine and shade.

Residents also have the opportunity to benefit from a community pool with a neighborhood youth swim team. But perhaps the biggest draw for Strathmore residents, especially for families with young children, is that it lies within the bounds of a prestigious public school system.

What’s not to love about Strathmore?!

Strathmore neighborhood in Los Gatos Panorama Way Strathmore 2 story house Strathmore 1 story house Briarwood and Cambrian View Way Anne Way near Union Pool gate Anne Way near Kensington and School View of Blossom Hill

Where is the Strathmore neighborhood?

Map of Strathmore neighborhood area - please click to go to live Google map

Please click this link to go to a live Google map for the Strathmore neighborhood.

Strathmore is considered to be in East Los Gatos. Entrance into the neighborhood is generally through Anne Way off of Union Avenue, or by Meadowbrook Drive off of Blossom Hill Road. Anne Way is the main road through Strathmore and is home to the community pool.

Local amenities include Howes Play Lot, Strathmore School, and the Downing Center on Union Avenue, with a Safeway, Chase Bank, restaurants, and the ever popular icecream shop, Sweet Retreat. Freeway access is only a mile North on Union Avenue to the ramp to Highway 85. Vasona Lake County Park is only 2.5 miles West on Blossom Hill, and just a little further to downtown Los Gatos. Southeast from Blossom Hill, in the nearby hills, is access to Belgatos Park and the Hines Open Space Preserve with miles of trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian activities.

In other words, the location is wonderfully convenient. Continue reading

Heritage Grove in Los Gatos

Heritage Grove is a younger east Los Gatos neighborhood which was developed by Summerhill Homes, a very highly regarded builder in Silicon Valley, in about the year 2000. It sits between the beautiful Heintz Open Space Preserve (with trails to nearby Belgatos Park and other open space) and a mini orchard along Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues. Recently I videotaped the community and think it’s a pretty good introduction to the neighborhood.

A few years back, I wrote about this area extensively, and included a map and slideshow, on another of my blogs (SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com).  If you’d like more real estate information on the homes there, or the open space trails, please continue to learn more here:

The Heritage Grove Neighborhood in Los Gatos and the Heintz Open Space Preserve

Shannon Valley open space

Los Gatos Neighborhoods - a list of residential areas with links to articles about them (with maps, photos and videos in many cases) written by Mary Pope-Handy of Sereno Group, Los Gatos CA (Silicon Valley) https://www.realtown.com/LiveInLosGatos/blog/los-gatos-neighborhoods/los-gatos-neighborhoods    Coming soon – info on the Shannon Valley Ranch neighborhood. For now, though, here are some photos of the Shannon Valley open space and trail – a lovely area with fantastic views.

These photos date back almost two years, to January 2013 (a dry, pleasant winter day!) so views of the housing that was going in then will be quite different looking now.

On the right: in the distance, see the Guadalupe Landfill, also known simply as “the dump” locally, which is accessed off of Guadalupe Mines Road. Below it , see the Brookside Development in Almaden (with Los Gatos schools) getting ready for building. Those homes are in now – at least many are!

Same photo – The Shannon Valley Ranch neighborhood is off to the right, in Los Gatos at the far eastern edge. The dividing line between Almaden and Los Gatos is the Guadalupe Creek – though the school district does not stop at the creek boundary, oddly enough.

Shannon Valley Ranch open space trail The next image, seen on the left, is of the Shannon Valley Ranch Open Space Trail. This connects to a network of trails in east Los Gatos though you have to cross Santa Rosa Drive to go from one to the next. Even so, from here you can reach the Santa Rosa Open Space, Heinz Open Space, and also Belgatos Park trails – whether you are walking, mountain biking, or riding horseback, it’s possible to go and go with only a very short patch on asphalt as you traverse Santa Rosa Drive.

The views are gorgeous from the Shannon Open Space trails, which is situated on the back side of Blossom Hill (the actual hill, not the road). Looking across, you see the coastal foothills and local landmarks such as Loma Prieta. To the east, you can enjoy views of Almaden and the east foothills, depending on your vantage point. The hill is not too steep – though I’m the first to admit that I’d rather be walking down than up!

Something to be aware of is that with all this open space there also comes wildlife such as coyotes, bobcats, deer, mountain lions, skunks, possums, racoons, rats, mice and snakes. Rattlesnakes are indigenous to this area and they sometimes like to come out on the trails to sun themselves, so please be careful when walking, running, or hiking or otherwise moving across these spaces. You don’t want to find a rattler with your foot!

Shannon Valley open space snake caution signHere’s a sign that I found both disturbing and amusing regarding the presence of snakes (and also who’s got the right of way on the trail). I never knew who was supposed to yield to whom vis-a-vis horses, pedestrians and bicyclists – did you? But according to this sign, folks riding horseback are to give way to those on foot or bikes.

This upcoming winter it is expected (and frankly, after the prolonged drought, HOPED) that we will have an El Nino year with abundant rain. If you have never been out to the Shannon Valley Open Space area – do it sooner rather than later.

My better half, Jim Handy, used to be a volunteer Los Gatos Parks Commissioner (for about 7 years) and he created a map of the trails which you can see on Google for this part of town. Here’s the link to the Shannon Open Space and nearby trail areas.

But do watch for snakes!

 

Shannon Valley Open Space Trail Map Los Gatos

East Los Gatos, West Los Gatos

Regions of Los Gatos: East, West , North, Civic Center, HistoricLos Gatos is very spread out, and includes a strange shape, weaving in and out with county pockets, San Jose, Campbell, and Saratoga. Often, one hears of “Downtown Los Gatos”, “East Los Gatos”, and at times also “West Los Gatos” and much more infrequently, “North Los Gatos”. It should be noted that not every home or street fits into a neat category of what part of town is being discussed. Even so, the question of broad categories arises with the basic question being “where are these places?”

East Los Gatos is generally the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though many Los Gatans refer to it as east of Highway 17. (Some folks may consider it as relating to school boundaries.) Some of the neighborhoods found in east Los Gatos include these:

  • Blossom Manor
  • Surrey Farms
  • Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont (a contiguous group of subdivisions that stretch from Westhill to Harwood Road)
  • Strathmore
  • Heritage Grove
  • Santa Rosa Heights and Aztec Ridge
  • Shannon Valley Ranch
  • Homes along Shannon and Kennedy out to Hicks
  • Alta Vista area
  • Loma Vista, El Gato Terrace, and Rancho El Padre neighborhood of Los Gatos-Almaden Road
  • Vista del Monte
  • Hillbrook

West Los Gatos is the part of town closest to Quito and Pollard Roads. Some of the neighborhoods include:

  • Rinconada Hills (gated community)
  • Arroyo Rinconada
  • Old Adobe area
  • Saratoga Highland
  • Rio Rinconada
  • English Oaks
  • Oakwood
  • Wedgewood Manor
  • Cameo Park West (LG mailing address, but actually in Campbell)

North Los Gatos is the area close to but north of Lark Avenue. Did you know that the Town of Los Gatos used to have a public school there? It was sold years ago – that land is now part of the lovely JCC.

Downtown Los Gatos usually designated a few areas – those included are the Downtown Historic Districts, the Civic Center, and areas close to North Santa Cruz Avenue between Highway 9 and Blossom Hill Road. As with everything, this is unofficial! Major roads in this part of town are North Santa Cruz Avenue, University Avenue, Main Street, and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, also known as Highway 9.

The Downtown Historic Districts are lovely!

  • Broadway Historic District
  • Fairview Plaza Historic District
  • Downtown Historic District
  • Almond Grove Historic District
  • Glenridge – not designated as an historic district, but many historic homes may be found there

The Civic Center area

  • Civic Center area (hills behind also) – Alpine Avenue, Foster Road, Jackson Street, Central Avenue, Oak Hill Way and nearby areas up in the hills behind Main
  • Areas close to Forbes Mill and Los Gatos High
  • Possibly also the Loma Alta area (and likely also Blackberry Hill and Aztec Ridge, though they are anything but close to downtown)

Not all areas or neighborhoods of Los Gatos are named or labeled

There are many other areas without specific names. Real estate agents tend to dub them by local landmarks (such as “Vasona Park area”) or major roads or hill names (“Jones Road area” or “Blackberry Hill” area). Sometimes there’s a small compound that’s not quite big enough to be called a neighborhood, like Creffield Heights in the San Benito (road area) section of town, which we could probably label as “Central Los Gatos” if we wanted to create a new way of describing some areas of town!

The confusion over the location of Surmont and Heritage Grove, Belwood and Belgatos subdivisions

Bing Maps incorrect labeling of east Los Gatos neighborhoodsToo often, we think that the search engines know it all, and that includes the maps and names for neighborhoods or subdivisions and where they’re located. Real estate agents or Los Gatos Realtors who want to get ahead sometimes begin by using Bing maps (since Bing has been volunteering subdivision names for awhile now) and create searches of homes for sale based on them, and articles reliant on these mislabeled maps, so getting it all wrong. Surmont and Heritage Grove in east Los Gatos are prime examples!

What’s the matter?

Bing has Heritage Grove north of Blossom Hill Road and set between Leigh and Union. It has Surmont spanning both where it belongs and where Heritage Grove actually sits. Bing doesn’t know what to do with Belgatos and Belwood, so put one slightly north of the other.

No, no, no, no.

For the record, I did submit a “ticket” to Bing to alert the good folks there to the problem. Not a peep back so far, though.

The divider between Belwood of Los Gatos and the Belgatos area is Belgatos Road (think east-west, not north-south). Surmont is to the west of them…but only the area which is contiguous with Belgatos and Belwood. The part that isn’t contiguous (that you have to reach via Blossom Hill Road) is the much, much younger Heritage Grove.

I mapped it out myself based on plat maps from preliminary title reports. I know it’s not elegant looking but it is pretty accurate overall.

Heritage Grove, Surmont, Belgatos, Belwood of Los Gatos map of subdivision areas - east Los Gatos

Sometimes it is really not clear where one subdivision or neighborhood ends and another begins. That’s when it is especially handy to be able to look at a plat map, which sets forth all kinds of very cool information.

Not sure what a plat map is or does? Have a read at my Valley of Hearts Delight blog:

http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/what-is-a-plat-map-and-what-can-you-learn-from-it/

Want more information on the beautiful Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos or Surmont areas? Check out the mini blog for this corner of east Los Gatos:

http://BelwoodOfLosGatos.com

Starbucks coming to east Los Gatos in the Walgreen's Shopping Center

July 23, 2013

Starbucks will be moving into the space formerly occupied by Gallo’s Restaurant in the Walgreen’s Shopping Center in east Los Gatos, at the corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood Roads, probably in October or close to that time.  The popular coffee shop will take up about two-thirds of the building, the part closest to Blossom Hill Road, with the remainder likely turning into a Subway sandwich shop. 

Right now there is no space for outside dining, but the plan is to rework some of the landscaping so that this can be incorporated.  The patio and tables will be a hit not just for those who like the outdoors, but for the many Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and nearby neighbors who will walk over to the establishment with pooches in tow. 

This should be a very nice enhancement for neighbors, who right now do not have anyplace in walking distance which offers patio dining of any kind.  

Belgatos Park in East Los Gatos – a Great Place to Hike, Ride Horses, Picnic, Play or Just Spend Time

September 03, 2008

My family and I live in the east Los Gatos neighborhood called Belwood of Los Gatos, and the nearby park is Belgatos Park. We tend to visit it several times a week and spend a lot of time there. I confess, this isn’t my first post about the park, but it is my first using video. (Recently I got a flip video so am learning how to work this new medium.)

This park is unique for a Town of Los Gatos park in many regards. First, it is one of the only parks in town which can accomodate horses, joggers and mountain bikers. (Joggers and mountain bikers, don’t zone out! Horses may have gone before you.) Second, in addition to the niceties of a larger park, which include several grassy meadows, a playground, and a restroom, there are a myriad of trails that interconnect with Belgatos. If you are so inclined, you can spend hours chasing down the paths that wind through the Sierra Azule foothills.  Finally, it is one of the only town parks which, with a little effort on the visitor’s part, can provide stunning valley views.

With that introduction, I’ll share with you some video clips I took recently. It’s now the end of summer and Silicon Valley is dry and so are our parks. Below the video clip I will include other pics, from other seasons, of our beautiful Belgatos Park in Los Gatos.

 

Here’s a link to a prior post about Belgatos Park in this Live in Los Gatos blog: A Hike and a Photo Tour Through Belgatos Park.

And here’s a slideshow of Belgatos Park done through Real Estate Shows. I took the photos of Belgatos Park in spring, so it’s all very, very green and lush.

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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