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

Los Gatos

Water heater bracing requirements in Los Gatos

Water Heater straps too close to the controls

The lower strap is required to be at least 4 inches away from the controls. This is an example of one that is improperly done as the controls are closer than 4″.

The state of California has water heater bracing requirements for both gas and electric water heaters, but so do individual cities and towns. Some of those municipalities have rules that go beyond what is required by the state.  (Permits and finals are required everywhere, by the way.)

Recently I found the requirements for the town of Los Gatos, and a couple of them surprised me, so I’m sharing the link here in case I’m not the only one caught a little off guard by it:

TOWN OF LOS GATOS WATER HEATER BRACING REQUIREMENTS (link to the town’s page)

San Jose’s requirements can be found here (for comparison and because they are pretty thorough by comparison to ours):

City of San Jose requirements for water heater installation (strapping, bracing, anchoring, blocking, etc.)

One concept that seems to differ between Los Gatos and San Jose has to do with the pressure release valve.

Los Gatos requirements for the pressure release valve state:

“Pressure relieve valve shall terminate to the exterior, 6 in. to 24 in. above grade with a nothread fitting pointing downward. Minimum ¼ in. per foot downward slope shall be maintained at pressure relief drain line.”

San Jose requirements for the pressure release valve:

There is a full page, and 12 numbered requirements, for the temperature & pressure relief value (T & P). Item 6 conveys that if the water heater is in a garage, the T & P does not have to drain to the exterior: “When a water heater is located in a garage, the T&P drainpipe may terminate in the garage. The piping must extend from the valve to within 12 inches but not less than 6
inches above the floor and point downward.”

Los Gatos has no such exemption for water heaters located in the garage!

BOTTOM LINE:  if you are replacing your Los Gatos water heater, you might want to double check the town’s requirements to be sure that yours will be in line with the requirements of the town. There are a lot of odd water heater strapping cases around Santa Clara County, don’t let your home be one of them!

Willow Street Pizza in downtown Los Gatos

 Willow Street Pizza in downtown Los Gatos One of my favorite go-to eateries for lunch or dinner in Los Gatos is Willow Street Pizza. This casual, kid-friendly restaurant offers both indoor and patio dining, has a nicely varied menu, delicious food, good service, and decent prices for the heart of Los Gatos. It also enjoys an ideal location directly across the street from the Town Plaza Park.

Indoors

The dining area is large and provides large windows, comfortable booths as well as tables and chairs. Kids may find the TV a helpful distraction, and there is a children’s menu (though I’m not seeing it online). The room has good acoustics, so most of the time, even if the restaurant is full, the sound level is not bad. Restrooms are shared with other tenants at Lyndon Plaza, and you must go outside to access them (small warning: they can be cold in winter).

Outdoor seating

Patio dining is fun even if nothing else is going on. Should the weather get a little nippy, there are heat lamps.

In summer, many sponsors host Jazz on the Plazz on Wednesday evenings in the Town Plaza Park across the street. Smart diners arrive early enough to snag an outside table and enjoy their meal with live music.

On Sundays a year round farmer’s market takes places on the interior streets that line the park, Montebello Road and Broadway. It’s a great time to people watch, and the vantage from the patio dining area is hard to beat.

Willow Street Pizza menu

At Willow Street, pizza is king and there are many different types of pizza available. The menu is much broader, though, with some more typical dinner entrees (salmon and chicken), salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts. There’s also a coffee and tea service, soft drinks, craft beers, and a full bar.

While it’s most famous for its pizza, which is delicious, my favorite food there tends to be the salads, especially the warm Brussels Sprouts salad and some of the seasonal salads (in summer I’ve sometimes had steak salad with peaches or other fruits). They do mix it up a bit throughout the year.

I should mention that they also do take out, but I cannot comment on that as I haven’t tried it.

You can browse the Willow Street Pizza menu online here.

Where is Willow Street Pizza in Los Gatos?

Willow Street Pizza can be found in Lyndon Plaza, once the site of the Lyndon Hotel. It’s at the southeast corner of West Main Street and South Santa Cruz Avenue, directly across from the Town Park Plaza.  The address is 20 South Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos.

Parking is sometimes challenging in downtown Los Gatos, but there is valet parking on site and a public parking lot just across the street on West Main (behind Mountain Charlie’s). Additionally, there’s the Montebello parking lot which can be accessed from Montebello Road at Broadway (look for a driveway next to the post office).

Willow Street Pizza website (for this location and the original in Willow Glen, San Jose)

Comparing the Los Gatos real estate market to others

Market comparison_ Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los AltosSilicon Valley real estate market comparison: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Los Altos on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com

Today we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valley” communities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85.

Please hop on over to my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog to check out how the Los Gatos market is doing as compared to Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.

https://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/market-comparison-los-gatos-saratoga-cupertino-and-los-altos/

Arroyo Rinconada

Map of Arroyo Rinconada and Rinconada HillsIn the far northwest corner of the town of Los Gatos sits a small, picturesque community, Arroyo Rinconada (Cats Creek Corner), consisting of three streets and 41 homes: Casa Grande (Big House), Rio Visa (River View), and Sierra Linda (Beautiful Mountain Range).

What are homes like in Arroyo Rinconada?

The neighborhood features Spanish style architecture and red tiled roofs and gently curving roads with loads of nearby trees, making the area scenic and charming.

In Arroyo Rinconada there are 40 townhouses and one large house, built in 1935 (and later expanded). The townhouses are held in condominium ownership (not PUD).

The two story townhomes were all built in 1984, with square footage at 1280 SF (2 bed, 2 bath model), 2152 SF (3 bed 3 bath model), and 2319 SF (3 bed 3 bath model). Average square footage is 2131 SF. These homes all enjoy attached 2 car garages.  Lots range 1372 SF to 2427 SF, with the average land area being 2152 square feet.

The house is on Casa Grande (“Big House”). It was built in 1935 with about 2600 SF but has been expanded  to 3090 SF.  Sitting on top of a knoll with a 55,000 SF lot, it sold a couple of years ago for more than $2 million.

Where is Arroyo Rinconada?

Arroyo Rinconada is set next to the corner of Quito and Pollard Roads in the northeast end of the town of Los Gatos, which are the borders for Saratoga (Quito) and Campbell (Pollard).

The San Tomas Aquino Creek separates it from the larger Rinconada Hills community to the east. You can see a map of this area, and nearby subdivisions, on my Google MyMaps page for west Los Gatos.

Arroyo Rinconada Amenities

The community enjoys a pool with spa plus a clubhouse and tennis courts. There is a gate at the entrance along Pollard Road, but it does not appear to be in use anymore.

HOA fees vary depending on the home size, but are generally around $750 to $800 per month. The monthly cost covers the private roads as well as the amenities listed above, and more.

The home owners association has a website which includes a slideshow of the homes and grounds:  http://arroyorinconada.org

Arroyo Rinconada homes for sale or sold recently

Below please find a a list with photos and descriptions of Arroyo Rinconada homes for sale, pending, or sold in the last 24 months.

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Arroyo Rinconada in Los Gatos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 8/23/2019)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

Rinconada Hills

Rinconada Hills, which sits on the northwest side of Los Gatos, adjacent to Saratoga and Cambpell, is a resort-like community with many luxurious amenities. It is one of the few gated communities anywhere in Silicon Valley, and one of the largest in the greater San Jose area.

Built in stages between 1968 and 1981, the homes here were built by Brown & Kaufmann in 5 different sections. The campus is quite large, 107 acres (almost as big as Vasona Lake County Park) and includes 394 townhomes (see floorplans here) and 40 houses, or single family homes. Approximately 1,000 people live here (in a town of about 30,000). Most everyone in LG knows someone who lives at Rinconada Hills!

Rinconada Hills homes

 

The campus includes a remodeled clubhouse (Great Room, library alcove, commercial kitchen, lockers, showers), 10 pools (1 at the clubhouse), spa, and 3 tennis courts. The residents may utilize an extra parking lot for cars or the RV lot for boats/ trailers etc. – though there is a waiting list for that. Additonally, there are 3 ponds plus a lake,  and great views to be enjoyed while walking up the hill in the private grounds.

What are homes like at Rinconada Hills?

All of the homes, whether townhouses or single family homes, have stucco exteriors and tiled roofs, although there’s quite a bit of diversity within the areas and styles. Home sizes range from small 2 bedroom townhouses to large 3000 + SF homes on big lots with views. There’s a little bit of everything, but a typical residence might be an 1800 SF 2 story townhouse with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an attached 2 car garage. There are a few single story townhomes as well as single story houses, though.

Continue reading

Collord’s Peak

Although locals refer to the Santa Cruz Mountains as “the hill”, the coastal ranges have seemingly countless hills, peaks, valleys, and gluches winding between the Santa Clara Valley and the beach. Several of the hills and peaks have names (if they all do, I’m not aware of it), one of them being Collord’s Peak, which you can read about at the corner of East Main Street and High School Court.  In the image below, there’s a very tall peak, El Sombroso, with a nearer and lower peak in the foreground – that one is Collord’s peak.

 

Collord's Peak - plaque and hilltop

Plaque at the edge of Los Gatos High School which honors Victor R. Collord and names a peak in the Los Gatos Mountains after him.

It was not possible for me to show both the hills in the distance and the plaque equally well lit, so here’s a closeup of the plaque honoring Victor R. Collord.

Collord Peak Plaque closeup - Victor R Collord

Colord Peak Plaque closeup – Victor R Collord

And one more closeup of his good deeds named: Continue reading

Critically Low Inventory of Homes for Sale in Los Gatos

The inventory of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030, 95032, and 95033 (the mountains) has not been lower in recent memory. This morning I pulled the data and saw that we now have a critically low inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos. Here are the numbers so that you can see what a more typical month in the Gem City of the Foothills looks like.

Housing Inventory Los Gatos 95030 95032 95033 single family homes for sale Jan 2002 - April 2019

Of that low inventory of just 66 homes, which part of Los Gatos are they in?

Los Gatos 95030 (MLS area 16, excluding Monte Sereno) – 16 single family homes for sale

Los Gatos 95032 (MLS area 16, excluding Monte Sereno) – 34 single family homes for sale

Los Gatos Mountains 95033 (MLS area 23) – 13 single family homes for sale

PLUS one in the Morgan Hill / Gilroy area of the Los Gatos Mountains (MLS area 1) and 2 in the Saratoga area (MLS area 17)

Continue reading

Restaurants with patio dining in Los Gatos

The Wine Cellar in Old Town, Los Gatos

In Los Gatos, it may be possible to dine out of doors year round, but it is always a popular option between March and October in the scenic town once referred to as “the gem city of the foothills”.

Today I want to highlight these establishments for diners and give a nod to a number of the Los Gatos restaurants which offer dining al fresco; we are lucky to have so many choices!

Those listed below are some which I’ve patronized and especially like. It’s not a 100% comprehensive directory of Los Gatos eateries with patio dining, only those which I have enjoyed myself with a few exceptions of some which are on my “must try soon” list.

Finally, I should mention that these restaurants with outdoor seating offer varied selection and pricing, from super casual (Happy Hound, Classic Burgers and Los Gatos Meats are all low key) to much more costly and formal. Not every one of these businesses is in downtown Los Gatos either. I’m providing links so you can check them out yourself.

Did I miss one that should be mentioned? Feel free to email me any updates!

Bon appetit!

 

Andale http://andalemexican.com/
Campo di Bocce http://www.campodibocce.com/
Chicago Steak & Fish http://www.chicagosteakandfish.com/
Classic Burgers (no website, see review) http://tinyurl.com/ClassicBurgers
Dio Deka http://diodeka.com/
Forbes Mill Steakhouse http://www.forbesmillsteakhouse.com/
Happy Hound http://www.happyhound.com/
I Gatti http://www.igattirestaurant.com/
Lexington House http://www.thelexlg.com/
Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse http://www.losgatosmeats.com/
Oak & Rye http://www.oakandryepizza.com/
Pedro’s http://pedrosrestaurants.com/
Purple Onion http://purpleonionlg.com/
Shangri-La Chinese http://www.lgshangrila.com/
Sweet Pea’s http://www.sweetpeascrepes.com/
The Palms http://thepalmslosgatos.com/
Viva http://www.vivalosgatos.com/
Willow Street http://www.willowstreet.com/
Wine Cellar http://www.winecellarlosgatos.com/

Los Gatos Hippity Hop Hunt

The Los Gatos Kiwanis Club again hosts an egg hunt in Los Gatos this spring. The event is the “Hippity Hop Hunt ‘Til You Drop” and it’s free for Los Gatos kids aged 3-10, happening Saturday April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 11 am at Oak Meadow Park. It is a BYOB event – bring your own basket.  It starts right at 10 o’clock and is over fast – so be on time!

Read all the details here
https://www.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/hippity-hop-til-you-drop-egg-hunt-13587

 

Hippity Hop til you drop egg hunt

 

 

Cat’s Hill Classic Bicycle Race in Los Gatos

Cats Hill ClassicIf you took Driver’s Ed in Saratoga or Los Gatos, you were probably made to park on the steepest hill around – Nicholson Avenue with its 23 degree grade. Positively frightening! But local bicycle enthusiasts take on Nicholson not with motor vehicles, but on their bikes in a race that has become a Los Gatos classic – the Cat’s Hill Classic, which runs through the Almond Grove, Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhoods of Los Gatos Saturday, April 27th, 2019. There’s even a kid set too.

Please get the full scoop here on the organization’s website.

http://catshill.org/

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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

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley, with
special focus on
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and nearby areas,
including
Monte Sereno,
Saratoga,
Campbell,
and the San Jose areas of
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