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Winterbrook Rochin area

Winterbrook Rochin area

A handful of streets on and off Blossom Hill Road make up the Winterbrook Rochin area. Residents there enjoy the highly acclaimed Los Gatos Union School District and a close proximity to Blossom Hill Elementary School, Blossom Hill Park, and much more. Many properties can boast a view of the coastal range, too.

Not every neighborhood in Los Gatos has a name, and I could not locate one for residential part of town, either, so I’m calling it the Winterbrook Rochin area as those streets bookend these homes.

 

Willowbrook Rochin area - view from Linda Avenue looking toward the coastal mountain range

 

Where is the Winterbrook Rochin area?

This pocket sits just a little east of Blossom Manor in east Los Gatos, separated from the Manor by Ross Creek, and it hits the eastern boundary of the Los Gatos Union School district for this part of town (a snippet of Los Gatos schools can be found in Almaden Valley off of Camden and Coleman in the farther side of the Campagna subdivision – that is the very far east boundary!).

 

Map of the Winterbrook Rochin area in Los Gatos

 

The streets include Winterbrook Road, Stephanie Lane, Linda Avenue (south of Ross Creek), Costances Court, Rochin Terrace,  Rochin Court, and part of Blossom Hill Road.

 

What are homes and streets like in the Winterbrook Rochin area?

This area has a lot of variety in home age, size, style and more. I pulled the data up in Realist, which provides MLS members info from the county records, for the following statistics.

Quick stats:

  • There are 76 single family homes in this neighborhood.
  • 49 of them are single story, the rest are 2 story homes.
  • The most modest homes have 2 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms. The largest has 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.
  • The houses have living space square footage from 850 SF to 6828 SF. Most houses have between 2,000 and 3,000 SF. (Three homes are under 1,000 SF. The three largest have 3,951, 4,646, and 6828 SF.)
  • Lot sizes range from 7823 to 65,213 SF
  • The oldest house was built in 1925, and the newest in 2020. The two oldest homes are on Linda. The three youngest are tear downs that were built new.
  • The newest subdivision is on Constaces Court. There are 7 houses there, 6 built in 2014 and 1 constructed in 2018.

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Ramohs Pacific Railroad in East Los Gatos

Ramohs Pacific Railroad in East Los Gatos

Graphic with locomotive for the RM Heintz miniature train, the Ramohs Pacific RailroadThe Ramohs Pacific Railroad once ran through the foothills off of Blossom Hill Road in East Los Gatos. Today there are hiking trails in the Heintz Open Space Preserve (behind the Heritage Grove neighborhood put up by SummerHill Homes in about the year 2000).

Recommended reading on the Ramohs Pacific Railroad

If you enjoy Los Gatos history, you will love this in depth look at the Ramohs Pacific Railroad by Derek Whaley on his Santa Cruz Trains website:

RM Heintz Miniature Railroad on the Santa Cruz Trains site.

 

Related reading on Los Gatos history

Cheeky Los Gatos article from 1892 (on this website)

Los Gatos and the 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic: Part 1 (this site)

Hooker Gulch in the Los Gatos Mountains (this site)

Ming Quong: a Los Gatos Monument (this site)

The Los Gatos History Project (NUMU)

 

 

North 40

North 40

The North 40 communities are filling in the land once full of orchards in the corridor between Highway 17, Highway 85, Los Gatos Boulevard, and Lark Avenue. The project is being built by two companies, including SummerHill, which is doing the first phase, Bellaterra. off Lark and Los Gatos Blvd. This area has the Los Gatos Union School District and the Saratoga Los Gatos Joint Union High School District (Los Gatos High).

Grosvenor also will be building, and Eden Housing, which works on affordable homes, is partnering with SummerHill on less expensive senior housing referenced below.

 

Map of the North 40 area in Los Gatos

 

Bellaterra is providing 253 new housing units in Los Gatos. Per their website, 120 units have been sold so far. SummerHill is a highly regarded and well known name in Los Gatos.

• The Towns – 97 Rowhomes – 2-3 Beds, 1,508-1,974 sq.ft. approx.
• The Flats – 80 Condos – 1-3 Beds, 1,039-2,089 sq.ft. approx.
• The Bungalows – 76 Urban Homes with Yard per Plan – 1-3 Beds, 910-1,999 sq.ft. approx.

 

North 40 is underway - some of the completed homes

 

Yesterday we took a quick drive through some of the accessible area in Phase 1, Bellaterra,  to see how it looks so far. The photos above and below are of the same area in the North 40 but from different positions.

 

Bellaterra in the North 40 area of Los Gatos - construction by Summerhill Homes

 

Typical of new construction, we saw many attached homes of 2 and 3 stories. The three story units that we glimpsed did not appear to have any outdoor space, and the rowhouses or townhouses we saw had some balconies, but otherwise we did not see private outdoor space. The website says otherwise, though, so I presume we didn’t see it all.

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Los Gatos Commons

Los Gatos Commons

Los Gatos Commons signThe Los Gatos Commons is a popular senior condominium community off of Alberto Way in Los Gatos, very close to the downtown shopping and dining district (see map, below). This complex was developed in 1978, so is 44 years old as of this writing in 2022.

There are 110 condo units, at The Los Gatos Commons, ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms. Most units have carports, but there are a few with 1 car garages available. A plus for many residents is that it is gated – a rarely found amenity in Silicon Valley.

Like other senior communities, of which there are very few in Santa Clara County, properties are more affordable here than what you might find in non age-restricted condominiums nearby.

Homes share a clubhouse, pool, spa, and fitness room, as well as beautifully maintained landscaping. Units have covered parking.

Nearby amenities include easy access to highways 9 and 17, a close proximity to downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment, such as the public library and parks. The location is hard to beat!

 

Los Gatos Commons Map

What do HOA Dues cost at The Los Gatos Commons?

The Los Gatos Commons home owner association dues start at about $425 – $600 and are more for larger units. Two recent 2 bed sales have had $507 monthly fees, and one had a $520 monthly fee. The fee covers things like common area maintenance, cable/dish services, and water.

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Harwood Farms horse boarding

While south county has many equestrian centers, Harwood Farms horse boarding is right in Los Gatos and conveniently close to trails – and home!

 

View from Harwood Court - Harwood Farms Horse Boarding

 

Where is the Harwood Farms horse boarding?

Harwood Farms horse boarding is located at the corner of Harwood Road and Alerche Road in Los Gatos. (Alerche is a loop road, and this stable is at the upper one, further from Blossom Hill Road.)

This location is excellent for accessing the trails at Belgatos Park, which in turn lead to a network of trails: Heintz, Shannon Valley open space, and Santa Rosa open space.

 

Los Gatos - Harwood Farms horse boarding - trails noted

 

Equestrian land in a residential setting with many nearby trails

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Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood

The Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood in east Los Gatos is a tidy community at the base of the hills and close to beautiful Belgatos Park. It includes 4 subdivisions which all share access to the Belwood of Los Gatos cabana. They include:

  • Surmont, the oldest section of the neighborhood, with semi custom homes (“Class D” optional cabana membership)
  • Belgatos, which was built next and is on the west side of Belgatos Road (“Class D” optional cabana membership)
  • Belwood of Los Gatos, a large tract neighborhood with the cabana at its heart (mandatory cabana membership, many homes now extensively remodeled or rebuilt)
  • A small subdivision with 14 homes built between 1977 and 1979 that wasn’t given a name, unfortunately: Tract 5921 (10 homes) and Lots A – D. (“Class D” optional cabana membership)

 

Where is the Belwoood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood?

The community is located on the south side of Blossom Hill Road, generally between Westhill Drive and Harwood Road.

Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), with a Mountain Mike’s Pizza and a newly added cake shop.

 

Belwood Belgatos Surmont Heritage Grove neighborhoods map

 

There’s a fair amount of confusion about what is or isn’t in this neighborhood or who can use or join the pool. Adding to the location confusion, The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.

What are the schools for this neighborhood?

The public schools for this area are Noddin Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High School.

What’s the neighborhood like?

The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.

With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses as a rule (there are only a very few exceptions). It is a very attractive neighborhood overall.

Some streets have sidewalks, but many do not. There are not a lot of street lamps, which makes for wonderful night sky viewing.

Park and trails

At the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)

One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.

The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option. There are 2 nearby places for horse boarding, too.

 

Aerial view of Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood 2016

 

For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.

What are homes like in this part of town?

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