The Stonybrook neighborhood of east Los Gatos, just off Kennedy Road, is particularly scenic with its large canopy of trees, big lots, gently curving roads, and mostly understated and sprawling ranch style homes. This area has a semi-rural feel as there are no sidewalks and only soft gutters. It’s also a close in Los Gatos neighborhood, which adds to its appeal.
In December, this area is especially festive with holiday lights, making it a fun part of the season for driving through.
Interestingly, the Stonybrook area is listed in the county’s list of subdivisions as Stony Brook. (Similarly, we refer to a nearby neighborhood as Surry Farms, but the official name is Surry Farm – in the singular. There was in fact just one ranch or farm there!)
Where is the Stonybrook neighborhood?
You’ll find the Stonybrook (Stony Brook) pocket Los Gatos east of Los Gatos Blvd and north of Kennedy. The streets are Stonybrook Road, Cardinal Lane, Robin Way, plus 3 homes on Kennedy just west of Cardinal. From here it’s a quick trip to downtown LG! All but the 3 with Kennedy addresses are part of tract # 1642.
The Kenwood Acres subdivision on the east side of Los Gatos was begun in 1947 and 1948 with smaller, ranch style homes on good sized lots.
This was a sleepier time, but the 1940 installation of Highway 17 through downtown Los Gatos had made Kenwood Acres a little less remote for those working in San Jose. Nearby Surry Farm was still a horse ranch at that time, with the stables up against Kennedy Road. The valley was still full of orchards then, too.
Even then, it was convenient, with schools only about a mile away and downtown Los Gatos only a mile or two away, depending on your destination.
Where is Kenwood Acres?
The Kenwood Acres runs along Marchmont between Kennedy and Hilow and includes all of Topping, most of Littlefield, and parts of Hilow, Kennedy, and Englewood.
A spacious 4 bed 3 bath open floorplan home on a deep lot
in a beautiful, convenient East Los Gatos cul de sac!
Spacious home featuring hardwood floors throughout. Large kitchen with abundant counter space and breakfast bar. Open living space overlooks the back yard. Four bedrooms, two with en suite baths. Deep back yard provided newer, heated lap pool with safety cover, large deck, and storage shed.
Highly regarded schools: Alta Vista Elementary (convenient access via pedestrian bridge), Union Middle, and Leigh High.
The Town of Los Gatos is about 11 square miles and is comprised of dozens of neighborhoods in various parts of town, with different schools, zip codes, price points, plusses and minuses. Here on the Live in Los Gatos blog there have been many, many real estate articles devoted Los Gatos neighborhoods. Below please find links to neighborhood posts with descriptions and photos, primarily on “Live in Los Gatos” but in some cases on one of my other sites.
(More neighborhoods to come as time permits – I have about 25 on my list. Want your subdivision included? Please email me and I will put it on the To Do list!)
Surrey Farm is located just off of Kennedy Road on a few streets behind a horse fence and gate: Longmeadow Drive, Blueberry Hill Drive, Clover Way, Olde Drive and Twin Oaks Drive. A number of real estate sites incorrectly include nearby streets, reaching as far as Short Road and including part of Marchmont and the Stoneybrook neighborhood. This is not correct.
Is it Surrey Farm or Surrey Farms?
Locally, people refer to this gated looking community as Surrey Farms. But a look at the county records reveals that local custom has morphed the name. The subdivision was originally dubbed in the singular: Surrey Farm, not Surrey Farms. It seems to have been one ranch or farm to start with – so the singular makes more sense. Either way – same neighborhood.
When were the homes built, how big are they, and how large are the lots in Surrey Farm?
Originally a horse ranch, Surrey Farm was built out with homes between about 1955 and 1960, and most began as ranch style homes between about 2000 and 3000 square feet, on lots of about 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre in most cases, though there are some homes larger than 4000 SF situated on parcels of more than one acre now. And over the years, many houses have been remodeled, expanded, or fully rebuilt.
What makes the Surrey Farm or Surrey Farms neighborhood so special?
Part of what is unique about Surrey Farm is the more rural feeling that the neighborhood has. Here you don’t find sidewalks or street lamps. But you do find that a number of the yards continue to use the horse fence as at least part of the landscaping. That’s very refreshing in Silicon Valley, where so many of the residential areas just feel like suburban sprawl. You can look around and imagine it being horse country not so long ago.
Also special is the fact that this area is actually close to downtown Los Gatos but only feels farther away. It’s incredibly quiet in most of the neighborhood. One area does back up to Hillbrook School, so of course the sounds of kids at play or school bells ringing will not reinforce the “out in the country” feel. Overall, though, you look around and see open space and the hills nearby – so you do not feel like this is any kind of urban setting.
What are some of the things to know if interested in Surrey Farm (or the Kennedy-Marchmont area of Los Gatos)?
In this area, you are close to a lot of open space and forested land, and that means wildlife is nearby: possums, skunks, racoons, deer, bobcats, and mountain lions all make their home not too far away. And with the forested land there’s also the danger of wildfire, so it’s important to have a plan and be ready — though quite honestly I have never heard of a fire in this “Kennedy Road area.” A bigger issue than fire is water…..
Water issues in and near Los Gatos
Throughout Los Gatos, Almaden, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, anytime you’re near or in a hilly area, water is an issue. Surrey Farm and the Kennedy Road and Marchmont area is no exception. This area is adjacent to larger hills but is a gently sloped area itself. Water flows down off of the hills, but at times it also flows under the hills, following some sort of impervious rock level, and when the ground flattens out, the water may pop up. Sometimes it’s a spring situation. Other times it’s a “high water table” that may come up during heavy rains, such as we have in an El Niño year. In some cases, the water can emerge under a house (like having it come off of downspouts isn’t a big enough challenge).
In winter, it is not at all unusual to find a wet or muddy crawl space if your home is on or near a hill. Less common, but perhaps more worrisome, is finding it in the middle of summer in a drought year.
Water issues can be mitigated with drainage work, so don’t let a little mud put you off – you just need to know about it going into home buying so that you are prepared and budget it in. It is important to not be surprised, and when house hunting, to be on the lookout for drainage work (and appreciate it when you see it) or the need for it if you see a slope.
Did you know that the Nob Hill grocery store in east Los Gatos offers free knife sharpening? You can pick up the safety sleeves and drop off up to 3 non serrated knives to the seafood or butcher part of the store, and they’ll have the knives sharpened and ready for pick up the next day. (There’s not a counter per se, but a button to push and someone will come out and talk with you.)
This no cost services is available at other shops in the same chain: Raley’s, Nob Hill, and Bel Aire markets.
Just west and south of the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Harwood Road sits a neighborhood of Los Gatos homes with three subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos & Surmont. 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 Starbucks coffee shop.
For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (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.)
The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. 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.)
Belgatos 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.
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 Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?