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.
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.
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?
You can view a Los Gatos terrain map online, without registering or logging in. What’s really amazing is that you can zoom in, click on any parcel, and obtain that particular elevation.
Here’s that link: Los Gatos topographic map, elevation, relief
Los Gatos terrain map – more than just interesting
In addition to the terrain label, this type of map is often called a relief map (meaning 3D), or an elevation map, or a topographical map.
Something helpful in our real estate practice is finding the slope between adjoining parcels. It’s good to know if your home is higher or lower than the neighbor’s so that you can address any water related or drainage issues that you may not have known existed.
Do you have a high water table? (on this site)
What To Consider When Buying a Hillside Home in Silicon Valley
Cracked Foundations, Adobe Clay Soils and Water in Silicon Valley
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.
Saratoga Highlands, Rio Rinconada, Granada Way and La Rinconada Park neighborhood are situated in west Los Gatos near the Campbell and Saratoga borders. As they are close to the large Safeway and surrounding shops along Pollard Road, this is a very convenient community.In this area you’ll find a beautiful park and tidy neighborhood with homes of varying sizes and price tags. From looking at the plat maps, I believe that originally this entire area was part of the Rinconada Hills tract of land, but today just part of the area, the gated community, bears that name. (Video below of a sampling of the area that I took from 2014!)
Please continue reading for much more information on the neighborhood!
Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce poster for the Promenade!
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce invites the community to celebrate summer together with free live music all summer!
Thursday Promenades in Downtown Los Gatos
There’s a party in downtown every Thursday Promenade beginning this week! Every Thursday evening, 3pm to 8pm from July 1st to August 12th, the stretch of North Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos between Main St and Bachman (that’s from Dolce Spazio to Andalé for the foodies) will transform into “the promenade.” The street will be open to foot traffic, and two stages will bookend the promenade with live musical entertainment!
Bands will begin performances at 4:30pm on the North Stage (Bachman), and at 5:30pm on the South Stage (Main), with entertainment from a different group each week. See the lineup (and any changes) on the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce calendar, the Thursday Promenades page linked above, or Camber of Commerce social media pages.
Drivers, plan to reroute around this stretch of N. Santa Cruz Ave on Thursday nights. While there is usually plenty of parking along the old rail line behind the shops, it tends to fill up with festival traffic, so schedule in some extra time for parking. If you’re coming for the event, consider traveling by bike, or using a ridesharing service if you plan on patronizing any of the bars or brewery!
As someone who regularly attends free summer concerts in Los Gatos, which were mostly canceled earlier this year (and the Fiesta de Arts / Wine Walk postponed until September), the Promenade is music to my ears!
So invite your friends to eat, drink, play, and stroll the night away!
Musical lineup, taken from the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Click to see the original post.
A combined fire map with evacuation zones is now available! As the various fire complexes engulf the San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey Bay Area, and much of the state, it’s been challenging to see regional maps since Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties were using Garmin Maps and Santa Clara and other counties were using Google map. Yesterday I found a new combined fire map with the evacuation zones published on Garmin and am happy to share that link with you here.
There are disclaimers, of course, as you log into the site. Because it is collecting info from several counties, that info may not be as updated as from the county in question. The CZU fire, though, now has warning zones in Santa Clara County (from the heights of Montebello Road in Cupertino down to Redwood Estates in Los Gatos), so creating a map that would include Santa Clara County makes sense.
For me, this is far more helpful than a list of roads and directions such as “east of xyz road” etc. It appears to be updated frequently