Open Houses are a near weekly event in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont – and all of Los Gatos, really!
The town of Los Gatos has a sign ordinance (rule) that the open house signs are supposed to be of the "generic" variety. They may have simple arrows on them, or the words "Open House", but they are not to be personalized. Open House directional signs should not include the agent’s name, the brokerage’s name, or anything else. Additionally, they are not to be the large placard type signs – but the more minimalistic sized ones you see around town.
Each city near Los Gatos has different signage rules, so it can be confusing to agents as to what is allowed where. In Cupertino, NO signs are allowed except on the property itself!
Once I had a listing I was holding open in Cupertino. I was very aware of the sign restrictions, but my listing was a corner lot, so I figured I could put signs on both sides. I placed one directly on the main front lawn of the home (between the sidewalk and the house) and another on the side, between the sidewalk and the street.
To my utter amazement, a code enforcement officer drove up, while my clients looked on from the driveway, and took my sign to his truck and sped away. Apparently in Cupertino, what I did was wrong. The next day I had to go and pay $5 to get it out of hock. I was not a happy agent, and my sellers were very unhappy with their city too. (Wouldn’t he have been a good soul to have just told me to move it 3 feet?)
I wanted to relay this story because the Los Gatos rule about open house signs is really not all that strict. Signs can be green, black, maroon, blue – you name it. But the town doesn’t want a junky look. So no big ads for the agent or the brokerage within the town boundaries.
If you happen to visit an open house where the agent does not know of our ordinance, it’s not a bad thing to nicely let him or her know. It is confusing with each town having different rules, but Los Gatos is wise, I think, in wanting to de-commercialize the open house signage a bit. It makes a prettier town for all of us when the signs used here are the correct ones.
Today is Labor Day – it’s many things, but it’s also the end of summer. But it’s not the end of the dry season. In fact, the rains won’t really arrive until November. So between now and then, the fire danger will continue to rise in our hilly, rural areas.
A few days ago, the coastal hills near Stevens Creek Reservoir and the Montebello Ridge over Cupertino (just a little north of Los Gatos) burned fiercely. It took a couple of days and a lot of firefighters to extinguish it.
Now the hills by Mount Hamilton on the east side are ablaze too. We just took a quick drive to the top of Harwood Road to see the enormous plume of smoke rising over the hills by south San Jose.
What does this have to do with Belwood, Belgatos & Surmont? Earlier today, Bella and I took a walk down Bacigalupi Drive and into Belgatos Park, entering on the side, as we do most days. The grassy area there is parched. The path is covered in wood chips and tanbark. And to my horror, I saw two cigarette butts among the wood chips.
Smoking is not illegal in the park, as my husband (the volunteer parks commissioner) reminded me today. But it is very unwise to do it in the tinderbox areas which comprise most of the park.
Should we put a polite request at the entrance to the park that cigarettes are a great danger to the park, to Belwood and to Los Gatos as a whole, and that putting them out in the grassy areas is inadvisable???
To me it’s obvious: fire season and burning objects over dry grass don’t mix. But apparently it’s not obvious to everyone.
Fire season’s not over yet. Let’s hope that common sense prevails and we won’t have any more senseless fires.
Blog: Why Live in the Belwood, Belgatos, or Surmont areas in Los Gatos?
by Mary Pope-Handy, posted 8/22/2007
Jim and I bought our first home in Cambrian Park in 1989, and scrimped and saved, and fixed our fixer ’til we could make a move into a nicer home in a better area in 1999. As a Realtor, there were a couple of neighborhoods I had my eye on, but the one I really hoped we could live in was Belwood.
Luckily for us, a home that fit the budget and the needs came up on Bacigalupi Drive in Belwood of Los Gatos just as our starter home a mile and a half away sold. It had all the “right things wrong” (if everything had been “done”, we couldn’t have afforded it!) It had a great floorplan on a great street with all the rooms we needed (4 bedrooms plus an office, large family room, decent living room, open kitchen – and the dining room was small but has potential). It was not perfect, but no house is. I wished I could have had a larger dining room for our massive family parties (I have a scheme on how I can eventually expand it) and I wish our lot was one of the larger ones (it’s not, the home is newer than most here but also on a smaller lot). Compromise is a big part of home buying. We did, however, get 95% of what we wanted.
And we got great neighbors – fantastic, really. They are all nice, they are quiet, they are wonderful folks.
Why choose Belwood? I had wanted it for the same reason my buyers now want it. It’s close to the hills so is extraordinarily scenic, it has a huge, fabulous park, Belgatos Park. It enjoys a cabana. The streets meander (not straight grids). You see people out and about – walking, jogging, riding bikes, exercizing dogs, and sometimes you even see someone go by on horseback. It’s a real community and it has a nice feel to it.
Folks here take care of their homes. You don’t see a lot of dilapidated cars sitting around. Yards look nice. People are friendly.
In summer, neighbors gather to watch films at the cabana. Folks with little swimmers sign up to be a part of The Dolphins Swim Team.
There’s just a lotthat’s right here in this far corner of Los Gatos.
As for us, I think we’ll be here another couple of decades. We love it here in Belwood.
by Mary Pope-Handy, posted 8/23/2007
Is there a problem at Belgatos Park? Wondering whom to phone? Sometimes the gates are locked when they should be opened. The person to call is the Park Ranger, tel 408 399-5760
In this article, you will find important phone numbers, addresses and websites. Please check back often as the list grows, and feel free to make suggestions to me for more. Listed first are things which may be most urgent, if hopefully not needed most often.
Dial 911 in case of true emergency
Community Hospital of Los Gatos 815 Pollard Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (off Winchester Blvd between Lark and Camden) tel 408 378-6131
*Good Samaritan Hospital 2425 Samaritan Dr., San Jose, CA 95124 (off Los Gatos Blvd near Hwy 85) tel 408 559-2377
*Closest to Belwood/Belgatos/Surmont and east Los Gatos areas
Garbage: Waste Management/Green Valley Disposal Co.
(until March 2007) 408 354-2100
Power: Pacific Gas & Electric 800 743-5000
To order service 800 483-4000
Repair 800 483-1000
Billing 800 483-3000
Television: Cable TV: Comcast 800 945-2288 http://www.comcast.com
Television: Satellite TV: Direct TV 800 347-3288
Water: San Jose Water 408 277-4036
LOCAL GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC INFO:
Town of Los Gatos: Town Hall, 100 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030 tel 408 354-6834 Hours are M-F 8-5 The town website has a myriad of information, such as specific telephone numbers you may need or contacts within certain departments.
Los Gatos Public Library: Tel 408 354-6891 See webpage on town site for oodles of information: http://www.losgatosca.gov/index.asp?NID=831
In Walgreen’s Shopping Center
Los Gatos Pizza (lunch, dinner, parties for kids, sports)
14080 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
(408) 358-5545 ***Coupon on their website!***
Tea Garden Chinese Kitchen (lunch, dinner – take out)
14030 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos 356-0022
Open Mon.- Fri. 11:30 am-9 pm, Sat. 4-9 pm Closed Sunday. Call (408) 356-0022
Gallo’s Italian Restaurant (late afternoon, Dinner)
14180 Blossom Hill Rd Los Gatos CA408 358-3661
Open Sunday and Monday 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
4- 10 p.m. Call for catering specials and reservations (408) 358-3661
Kitty-corner from Walgreen’s Shopping Center:
Bangkok Taste Thai Restaurant
1769 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos. (lunch, dinner)
Open for lunch Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner daily until 9
p.m. Call for take-out. (408) 358-2525.
Ernies Wine & Liquor
14140 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos, CA
Phone: (408) 356-7661
14100 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos, CA 95032. Phone: (408) 356-2511
Extended Hours Walgreens
1376 Kooser Rd San Jose, CA 95118
(in triangular shopping center at Blossom Hill, Kooser and Meridian) – store faces Kooser
Store tel:(408) 448-0436
Pharmacy (408) 448-2503