by Mary Pope-Handy | Jul 25, 2022 | Maps of Los Gatos, About Los Gatos, Hazards
The risk of flooding from dam failure in Los Gatos appears to be mainly from four reservoirs, all tying into the Los Gatos Creek at some point or another. Recently Clair found a great resource for better understanding this risk, and we wanted to share it with our readers.
The usual home seller disclosures include a natural and environmental hazard report, but the info does not go into deep detail. For instance, it may state that a location is in a zone of potential flooding from dam failure, but it does not tell the reader which dam it is. At times I’ve sold homes that were in that designated area but wondered whether the dam was a smaller or larger one (my concern being how much water could come through).
Now, more of those questions can be answered by visiting the state of California’s Dam Breach Inundation Map Web Publisher.
This site is very easy to use and to understand. The dams are marked with colors to indicate the downstream risk. Larger dams that spill into more populated areas appear to be those at higher risk, but perhaps they have a different formula for that designation.
Once you zoom in to your desired area (most counties appear to be participating, and MOST dams appear to be included in this publication), just click on the colored box and wait for the information to populate. It is sometimes a little slow, but after a few seconds it will appear.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 23, 2020 | About Los Gatos, Fire
What is the Los Gatos fire risk? This morning a good friend of mine shared a map app that is very helpful for understanding any California property’s wildfire odds. Buildings are given a color code from blue (for low risk) to dark red (for very high risk). With the fires raging in the Diablo range on the east side (from about Fremont to Gilroy), the Santa Cruz Mountains, and many other areas of the Golden State, some folks are getting nervous – even if their particular property is not close to the infernos or in a particularly dangerous location.
If you do live in the Los Gatos or Santa Cruz Mountains, you do know that the chances of fire are elevated over more densely populated areas. If your home is close to the hills or large open space that stretches into the foothills, it’s not a surprise that your risk is increased over those in the flat lands. What is your Los Gatos fire risk? Have a look at the DefensibleApp website and see what it says about your California location.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Mar 14, 2020 | About Los Gatos
As is the case virtually everywhere else, Los Gatos has many coronavirus cancellations for upcoming events. In the last week, the number of cases of Covid-19, or the novel coronavirus, in Santa Clara County has tripled, and the county has responded by increasingly restricted the number of people who may assemble, from 1000 to 250 to 100 (under several strict conditions) over just a few days. The government, as well as business owners, religious leaders, educators, another others are cancelling all optional events. Doctors are telling us to postpone non essential surgeries. The message: as much as possible, do social distancing. Stay home, stay away from others – especially crowds where you cannot keep 3′ or better, 6′ away from everyone else.
To that end, most religious, educational, and secular gatherings are closed – part of a huge movement of coronavirus cancellations.
The Town of Los Gatos issued this Proclamation of Local Emergency and Event/Meeting Cancellations yesterday.
- The Library will be closed to the public beginning March 14, 2020 until further notice.
- Town administrative public counters will be available by appointment only beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice.
- All public meetings scheduled for the week of March 16 through March 20 (except for the Town Council meeting) are cancelled.
- The March 17, 2020 Town Council agenda has been updated to include only consent items on the agenda and the Town encourages the public to abide by Public Health guidance and avoid public gatherings.
Other coronavirus cancellations or schedule changes in Los Gatos this season
- The Great Race – cancelled
- The Los Gatos Wine Walk – spring Wine Walk cancelled (see you in October?)
- Mountain Winery Crab Dinner (Mar 15) – cancelled
- Cat’s Hill Bicycle Race (Mar 21) – cancelled
- Generally, groups of 100 are more are prohibited, but all large gatherings are discouraged, so most events will be cancelled. Please check whichever event it is you are interested in with that host.
Los Gatos school closings and online learning due to the coronavirus
This situation is changing daily, so please check with whichever district or private school applies for your child. Overall, schools are closed for anywhere from 2-4 weeks as of this writing. Some are going to online learning.
For public schools, whether elementary, middle, or high school level, all are following the county’s requirement to shut the doors for the time being. Most appear to be closing school for 3 weeks, then continuing with the spring break, and re-opening on April 13th, after the break. It does not appear that public school students will have any distance learning or online education. (Many of the private schools will have distance learning employed.)
Los Gatos Union School District – current statement says that “the Los Gatos Union School District schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. The closure will continue through the end of the regularly scheduled spring break (April 10, 2020).” Los Gatos High is on the same schedule – see the Los Gatos Saratoga Joint Union High School District page.
Campbell Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The County Superintendent of Schools announced today that all public schools in the county will close from March 16 – April 3. Consequently, Campbell Union School District will close schools to students until April 13. This includes our week of spring break.”
Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools and all county district superintendents have decided to close schools for three weeks from Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020….At this time we will adhere to our current calendar for spring break, which is the week of April 6, 2020, with an anticipated return date of April 13, 2020.”
Loma Prieta Joint Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) Same schedule as above, 3 week closure of the school per the county, followed by normal spring break before classes are anticipated to resume.
St. Mary’s (Catholic school) – The Catholic Diocese of San Jose is closing all schools from March 13 through Friday March 27. The schools throughout the diocese, including St. Mary’s in Los Gatos, will be implementing “distance learning” beginning Monday March 16. (The school’s website says nothing, but I did know to check the DSJ site.)
Hillbrook School (private) – Hillbrook will be implementing a distance learning program also (per popup on the website) “Hillbrook School campus will close and in-person classes will be suspended starting Monday, March 16. Our distance learning program will begin Tuesday, March 17 and continue through Friday, April 3. We plan to reopen campus and resume on-campus learning on Monday, April 13.”
Stratford School in Los Gatos – I don’t see anything on either this site or the site for all of Stratford’s schools on this topic.
Los Gatos Christian School – I don’t see anything on the school’s website regarding cancellation of classes (or distance learning). However, it’s attached to Venture Christian Church, and on that site it did mention the school being closed. “LGCS will not hold classes on campus during this time. Visit lgcs.org for pertinent details and specific information related to the school.” (But the website says nothing as of this writing.)
JCC or Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos – (link to COVID-19 statement) “The JCC has shut down for two weeks, starting March 13, in an effort to protect against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At the end of March we will evaluate the situation and determine whether to re-open at that time. ”
I know that there are other educational institutions, from pre-school to high school, not listed here. Please check your particular institution or district, especially if you did not get correspondence from your own school on this matter.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jul 30, 2019 | About Los Gatos, Safety
Where are the gas transmission lines in Los Gatos? Ever since the San Bruno fire, caused by a faulty PG & E gas transmission pipe line, the location of those pipes has been a concern. The power company now provides a map with that information for the major gas transmission lines. The map actually outlines info for all of Silicon Valley – and the state of California as a whole!
In Los Gatos, those lines are along Winchester Boulevard, Blossom Hill Road, University Avenue, and Roberts Road (on both sides of 17).
Gas transmission lines in Los Gatos
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jul 13, 2019 | About Los Gatos, Great Places in Los Gatos
Just watched this short video from San Jose Water on where our water here in Los Gatos comes from. It’s a beautiful, short film, and informative. I encourage you to watch it “full screen”.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Feb 18, 2019 | About Los Gatos
If you are new to Silicon Valley, you may be wondering “where is Los Gatos California?” I’ll give you a quick answer and some visual cues via a map on the town’s location:
- In the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area, Los Gatos is located within Santa Clara County, which is considered the “South Bay” region
- Santa Clara County’s largest city is San Jose (a city of about 1 million people, in the county of about 1.9 million residents), which Los Gatos borders on the southwest side (San Jose touches the bay at Alviso). Los Gatos is small by comparison, with about 30,000 inhabitants.
- Los Gatos is nestled into the base of the coastal foothills, also known as the Santa Cruz Mountains. With the backdrop of the hills, it’s quite scenic.
- In town, the zip codes are 95030 and 95032, both of which are shared with the city of Monte Sereno. The Los Gatos Mountains area is unincorporated and is the 95033 zip code (not shown on the map below).
- Los Gatos California includes about 10 square miles for the incorporated area (and many, many more if you are talking about the mountains and zip code 95033). Where is Los Gatos California? Really depends on what you mean, in town, or in the mountains!
- Downtown Los Gatos is about 30 minutes from the beach at Santa Cruz, depending on traffic.
The Civic Center for the town of Los Gatos is marked in the map below with the white star in the red circle:
Obviously, the town encompasses far more than the Civic Center location! Here’s a map of Los Gatos by region – sweeping generalizations intended only to provide an overall sense of where to find what.
Downtown Los Gatos runs primarily along Main Street, N Santa Cruz Avenue, and University Avenue, but also part of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (Highway 9).
Within the town, there are a number of districts and neighborhoods, many of which also have businesses, though they are largely residential.
In the downtown area, there are a number of historic districts in Los Gatos.
East Los Gatos & West Los Gatos: East Los Gatos is generally considered the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though some people attest that anything east of Highway 17 would be the east end of town. There are many popular neighborhoods within that area, including Blossom Manor, Vista Del Monte, the Alta Vista Area, Strathmore, and Belwood – Belgatos – Surmont, among others. Please navigate through the menu under “neighborhoods” to explore these and many other areas.
West Los Gatos is generally closer to the Campbell and Saratoga borders and includes Rinconada Hills, the Old Adobe Road area, Los Gatos Woods (townhouse community near Pollard Road) and many others.
North Los Gatos is not as well defined as other area, but generally is close to Lark Avenue.
The Los Gatos Mountains are an unincorporated place in Santa Clara County with a Los Gatos mailing address. This can be a bit confusing, especially since some of this region is over Saratoga or on the far side of the summit and in Santa Cruz County.