Los Altos Hills, California: Wikis


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Town of Los Altos Hills
—  Town  —
Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°22′17″N 122°8′15″W / 37.37139°N 122.1375°W / 37.37139; -122.1375
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
 - Mayor Dean Warshawsky
 - Total 8.6 sq mi (22.3 km2)
 - Land 8.6 sq mi (22.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 292 ft (89 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 7,902
 - Density 917.2/sq mi (353.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94022, 94024
Area code(s) 650
FIPS code 06-43294
GNIS feature ID 1659746
Website http://www.losaltoshills.ca.gov/

Los Altos Hills (pronounced /lɑːs ˈæltoʊs ˈhɪlz/) is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,902 at the 2000 census. It is one of the wealthiest places in the United States.


Strictly Residential

The town has no commercial or industrial zones. The town government contracts with Santa Clara County for police and fire services (making it a so-called "contract city" under California law). The town's only retail commercial operation is the book store on the campus of Foothill College. The town also does not have a post office, telephone exchange, or library. Mail delivery and telephone service are provided from nearby Los Altos, so the town shares ZIP codes and telephone exchange numbers with Los Altos. Town residents desiring library services must visit county-operated libraries in nearby Los Altos or Cupertino.

The town's zoning regulations are among the strictest in California, requiring a minimum lot size of one acre (4,000 m²), setbacks from the property boundary, and easements for public pathways.[1][2] Landowners are limited to one primary dwelling per lot, which effectively bans multifamily housing; this ban and the minimum lot size were upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1974.[3] The ban on commercial zones was upheld by the California Court of Appeal (First District) in 1973.[4] The town is set in hilly terrain offering commanding views of the San Francisco Bay Area. The median home price in 2009, according to MLS data was $2,435,000.

In 2000, the largest house in Silicon Valley at that time was built in the town. Larger ones have since been built elsewhere. The building was officially assessed by the county government as having 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of interior space[5]. The home is actually considerably larger due to below ground area that is not part of the official assessment. In reality, it remains one of largest homes in the area. Currently (2007) a home not a mile away is under construction that when finished will most likely retake the official honor of largest home in Santa Clara County. Estimates put its size at approximately 28,000 square feet (2,600 m2).

The town is also home to a convent of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. In 2002, seven profitable hospitals in the Catholic Healthcare West system formed their own system, the Daughters of Charity Health System, under the control of the Los Altos Hills convent.

Geography And Environment

Los Altos Hills is located at 37°22′17″N 122°8′15″W / 37.37139°N 122.1375°W / 37.37139; -122.1375 (37.371390, -122.137605)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.3 km²), all of it land.

Both the Altamont and Monte Vista Faults pass through the town.

As its name states, the town is located in a group of small hills. The town is also noted for being rather dry and hot in the summer, as the prevailing winds are blocked by the hills.

Water consumption in the town is also substantially higher than in the rest of the county due to the minimum lot size of one acre.

School Debate

In the last few years, there was a dispute over the school system in the area. The local Bullis-Purrissima School was closed at the end of the 2003-2004 school year to cut costs, outraging many families, who did not like having the last school in the Hills closed. As a result, a rival charter school, Bullis Charter School, was founded. However, the local school district, the Los Altos School District, refused to allow the charter school's request for usage of the original Bullis-Purrissima campus, instead moving them to portables on the Egan Jr. High School Campus, which is not actually inside Los Altos Hills. Bullis Charter School sued the district, but later withdrew their lawsuit after demands, including additional funding, were granted.

More recently, Gardner Bullis School was opened at the original Bullis campus for the current 2008-2009 school year. Some in the School District have recently begun complaints stating that now that Gardner Bullis is open, Bullis Charter School has no reason to exist. However, Bullis Charter School continues to draw record numbers of applications from Los Altos Hills and currently has more students from Los Altos Hills than the new Gardner Bullis school.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 7,902 people, 2,740 households, and 2,339 families residing in the town. The population density was 917.2 people per square mile (353.9/km²). There were 2,816 housing units at an average density of 326.9/sq mi (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.94% White, 0.59% African American, 0.09% Native American, 21.10% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 2.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.15% of the population.

There were 2,740 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.0% were married couples living together, 4.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.6% were non-families. 10.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 19.6% from 25 to 44, 35.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $173,570, and the median income for a family was $181,865. Males had a median income of $200,000+ versus $178,288 for females. The per capita income for the town was $92,840. About 1.2% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, Los Altos Hills was ranked by CNN Money as having the 3rd highest median household income in the country.


In the state legislature Los Altos Hills is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ira Ruskin. Federally, Los Altos Hills is located in California's 14th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +18[8] and is represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo.

The Town of Los Altos Hills has a politically active citizenry and a 5 member elected City Council. The Town has several volunteer committees reporting to the City Council covering issues such as Open Space, Pathways, Environmental Initiatives, Education, Historical, Parks and Recreation,Community Relations Committee,Emergency Communications Committee, Environmental Design and Protection, Finance and Investment, Westwind Community Barn. Political issues that have been prominent in recent years include the return of public education to the Town, expansion of parks and recreation services, adding cell phone towers, the management and financing of a historic horse barn, and several environmental issues, including greater recycling of trash.



  1. ^ Peraino, Kevin. "Gold in Them Thar Hills: Money isn't new to Los Altos. But this much new money is." Newsweek, 4 September 2000, p. 55.
  2. ^ Los Altos Hills pathways map shows trails that dead-end or don't exist April 20, 2005
  3. ^ Ybarra v. Town of Los Altos Hills, 503 F.2d 250, 254 (9th Cir. 1974).
  4. ^ Town of Los Altos Hills v. Adobe Creek Properties, Inc., 32 Cal.App.3d 488 (1973).
  5. ^ Kaplan, Tracey. "Be It Ever So Humble: The Biggest Of Santa Clara County's Homes." San Jose Mercury News, 26 October 2000, sec. A, p. 1.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  8. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. http://www.clcblog.org/blog_item-85.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10.  

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