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Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood

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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Fairview Plaza historic neighborhood

Fairview Plaza historic neighborhood

Fairview Plaza feels like a step back in time – and in many ways, it is. This little neighborhood is so quaint and unique that it seems perfect for a movie set. Located close to downtown and equally close to huge expanses of open space, it enjoys its own park, has an interesting history and is enough off the beaten path that it goes largely undisturbed.

Fairview Plaza home and park strip

 

In 1880, Frank McCullough came to Los Gatos and bought 166 acres of prime real estate. From that land, in 1915 he donated a parcel to become a park, now Fairview Plaza Park. At one time it included playground equipment and a bird sanctuary too. Today it’s a little more congested with cars on the street, but it’s still quite pleasant. This little park is the heart of the neighborhood.

Have a look at the video that Clair and I did in 2014 to get a feel for the area, then continue reading for more info on this corner of Los Gatos.

 

(And if you liked this video, please see http://www.YouTube.com/popehandy for more videos of Los Gatos neighborhoods.)

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Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood

Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood

The Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood of Los Gatos is one of the most scenic residential areas anywhere in Silicon Valley. It features beautiful, custom, mostly historic homes on meandering streets.

Set just above the Almond Grove neighborhood on a gentle hill it, too, is close to town but with a little more altitude and better vistas. The other nearby neighbor is the Fairview Plaza.  So much history in such a close area!

These are really two separate neighborhoods or districts, but they are similar in many ways and are directly adjacent to each other, so we are covering them together.

Bachman Park is set in in the middle of this area and includes several acres alongside a creek. The park offers picnic tables, a playground, basketball courts and a large grassy field for picnics or play. A paved path follows the creek on one side of it – making a wonderful place just for strolling. (Bachman Park refers to both the park and its immediate neighborhood.)

 

Where is the Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood?

This charming older Los Gatos neighborhood is set just up the hill from the Almond Grove Historic District and adjacent to Fairview Plaza. (more…)

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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National and Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood

National and Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood

Today I visited a friend in the convenient National and Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood and wanted to write about it as it is super convenient, particularly for medical workers wanting a short commute to Good Samaritan Hospital or the many offices nearby.

Honestly I didn’t know what to call that residential area (and not every part of town has a name). Often we Realtors refer to neighborhoods by their major roads or cross streets, so when I saw it named Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood on the Nextdoor site, I thought it was as good a name as could be found.

 

Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood - Street view on Mary Alice Drive, Los Gatos

 

There are a lot of things to love about this area. First, it has highly prized schools (more on that below), second it’s a great commute location (both Highway 17 and 880 are easily accessed, and if someone is working in the nearby hospitals or medical offices, it’s pretty quick!), and third, there are loads of wonderful things within a short ride or even by bike or on foot.

Very close by is the Live Oak Manor Park, which can be entered at the end of Blackwell Drive. It’s also a short jaunt to Vasona Lake County Park, downtown Los Gatos, Campbell, and many other areas. Shopping venues abound.

 

Where is the National and Los Gatos-Almaden neighborhood?

Generally, this area is fairly close to Good Samaritan Hospital and even closer to its branch, Mission Oaks. It’s very close to the border with Cambrian Park (and also abuts against the school district border between Union and Los Gatos School Districts.
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