los gatos

Controlled burn near Morgan Hill creates smokey skies in Silicon Valley

Yesterday Jim and I attended the Los Gatos Creekside Sports Park kickoff celebration (will nearly touch Vasona Lake County Park and is just off of University Avenue) and as we often do, drove east on Blossom Hill Road to get home.  Straight ahead of us, hanging over south San Jose and Santa Teresa and extending north, was a huge and darkened cloud.  Smoke? Smog? Rainclouds?

We drove up Harwood Road and to the top of Harwood Court to get a better view of it.  It did look like it started in south San Jose or further south than that.  Some hikers were trekking up the challenging hill and we asked them if they knew if it were a fire. “Can’t smell it,” one replied “so it must be smog – just awful!”  Smog, though, tends to dissipate from side to side and not hang together so tightly as what we saw.

Controlled burn east of Morgan Hill on Oct 18 2011 created smoggy skies in San Jose

View from Harwood Court in Los Gatos of the smokey skies created by the Cal Fire "controlled burn" in south county

 

We flipped on KLIV, the San Jose based AM radio station (channel 1590) that best covers local news & traffic, and learned right away that it was a controlled burn.  This morning I googled the fire and learned that it’s a 2 day burn at part of Henry Coe State Park, overseen by Cal Fire, with more scheduled for today.

The Morgan Hill Times reports that “The prescribed burn is part of the ‘Western Zone Complex’ controlled fire in the remote area of the park. The fire will take place on the Middle Ridge Trail off Hobbs Road, about eight miles northeast of Morgan Hill, according to Calfire fire prevention specialist Chris Morgan. “

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Downtown Los Gatos

The annual St. Mary’s Country Fair is next weekend, Oct 7 – 9th, 2011 (beginning Friday at 5pm and ending Sunday at 5pm).  It’s always the 2nd weekend in October and is a huge fundraiser for both the school and parish programs. All are welcome!  Free admission, great food, entertainment, dancing on Saturday night to live music and of course rides and activities too. Click on the link above to get more information.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is located at 219 Bean Avenue in downtown Los Gatos (a block or two in from North Santa Cruz).  The fair can be accessed via Bean or by Lyndon (off of Main).

Cardboard Hill in Belgatos Park: Remember to Clean Up After You Play!

“Cardboard Hill” is a much beloved spot in Belgatos Park, but sometimes it looks more like “big trash hill” when the cardboard sledders neglect to clean up after themselves.  Pack it in, pack it out! This is true for all the wonderful parks and trails in Los Gatos.

Here are a few shots from a couple days ago – typical fun on a sunny September afternoon.

About a half dozen kids gather to slide down "cardboard hill" at Belgatos Park in Los Gatos

About a half dozen kids gather to slide down “cardboard hill” at Belgatos Park in Los Gatos.

What goes up with some work comes down with some fun at Cardboard Hill.

What goes up with some work comes down with some fun at Cardboard Hill.

Sliding down "cardboard hill" at Belgatos Park in the Belwood neighborhood of Los Gatos.

Sliding down “cardboard hill” at Belgatos Park in the Belwood neighborhood of Los Gatos. Continue reading

Meeting for Belwood Gateway between Harwood and Bacigalupi to further discuss speed hump and its location

Two speed bumps for Belwood Gateway were planned to be installed after the August Los Gatos Town Council Meeting (which followed a May 11th traffic calming meeting at the Belwood Cabaña and a vote of the affected neighbors).

The first speed hump, which was not contested, will be placed fairly close to the community pool in the area between Belblossom and Bacigalupi on Belwood Gateway.  It appears that this has the resounding endorsement of the folks who live nearby.

The second speed hump did not seem to enjoy the same unanimous approval (despite the vote).  The next one, along the stretch of Belwood Gateway between Bacigalupi Drive and Harwood Road, left some Belwood of Los Gatos homeowners feeling that the process wasn’t done right, that the voting should have been teased out a little differently, and that perhaps a better resolution to the speeding and volume of traffic could be found.  That resulted in another meeting, which happened earlier this evening.

Speed hump meeting on Belwood Gateway

Todd Capurso, the Los Gatos Director of Parks and Public Works, is very good about meeting with residents to discuss concerns, ideas, feedback etc. and this was no exception.  Residents who live along the block of Belwood Gateway where the second speed bump or hump was to go (about 15 households in all) were notified of a meeting that took place tonight at 7pm in front of one of the homes. (I was notified so that I could keep the rest of the community updated via this and my other blog, LiveInLosGatos.com. Jim and Bella, our aging black lab, walked me over and then after meeting a few neighbors, continued on their walk while I stayed back to see what was decided.)

Only about half of the households had members show up for this informal discussion.  One neighbor who was in favor of the traffic calming speed hump asked a couple of times why the meeting was even called since the vote was clearly in favor of this measure.

Speed hump meeting question: "why are we discussing this when we already voted?" Continue reading

How’s the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont real estate market?

How’s the local real estate market in east Los Gatos?    Homes here are in a very active price point for Los Gatos generally, as well as for Los Gatos with Union schools.  (You can also view homes for sale in our area here on BelwoodOfLosGatos.com under the “real estate” tab – or just use this link.)

Homes for sale, pending and sold/closed in the last 30 days in Belwood, Surmont and Belgatos neighborhoods:

Right now there are 5 houses for sale in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont.  Of them there are 4 “regular sale” properties available and one short sale in the neighborhood (2 on Westhill, 1 on Belhaven, 1 on Belblossom and the short sale on Belwood Gateway).  One home, which was very affordably listed at $875,000, is sale pending.  Additionally, a bank owned property or REO (real estate owned by the bank) is under contract.

How long have they been listed for sale?  The two on Westhill just came on the market within the last few days.  Two of the five have been available for about 60-70 days.

You can read the MLS info on each of them on my ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog.

How are prices?  Four neighborhood homes have closed escrow in the last 30 days, with prices ranging from $975,000 to just under 1.2 million.

Months supply of inventory: To figure the months of inventory, you simply divide the actives by the solds (from the last month).  We have 5 available and  4 which have closed – so 1.25 months of inventory.  That looks pretty good but if you live in the area you know that these things tend to come in waves and just a month ago we had “infinite” months of inventory. So don’t get over excited about this and price your home too high – if houses are priced appropriately, they are selling.  If not, they are sitting.

Below are live charts and graphs from Altos research for the 95032 zip code. They will automatically update themselves each week, so even if this post appears “old”, the info below will always be current!

Information on the 95032 Zip Code Area Real Estate Market

Charts and graphs by Altos Research using active listings

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of June 29, 2018
Median List Price:$2,768,910Average List Price:$3,000,144
Total Inventory:30Price per Square Foot:$920
Average Home Size:3,064Median Lot Size:14,242
Average # Beds:4.24Average # Baths:3.73
Homes Absorbed:5Newly Listed:7
Days on Market:35Average Age:45

Continue reading

Beware of rattlesnakes, especially in Belgatos Park and trails!

Caution in the grassSummer time and the rattlesnakes are out, so be cautious when walking or hiking – especially in Belgatos Park or in the nearby east Los Gatos trails of the Heintz Open Space Preserve or Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. Someone reported to the Belwood Facebook group that there have been 3 sightings in the last 2 days alone.

These rattlers sometimes crawl out from under the brush to sun themselves in an open space. Unsuspecting joggers can land on one and catch its furry in return if not looking.

Stick to the paths! You’ll be less likely to run into not only rattlesnakes, but ticks, poison oak and other unpleasant reminders of your day communing with nature.

Want to learn more about rattlesnakes? The San Diego Zoo’s website has lots of cool facts and photos.

View of Belwood of Los Gatos Neighborhood from Harwood Court in Los Gatos

A couple of days ago I was visiting a beautiful home for sale on Harwood Court during the Realtor tour or “broker’s open house”.  We have hiked the trail from Belgatos Park up to the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve, which goes just past this house, and I’d always been curious about it.  Also, we live not too far below that area in Belwood, so it’s fun to see the neighborhood view from way up top.  I took a photograph off one of the back balconies (the view was stunning) and thought my Belwood & Belgatos neighbors might enjoy seeing it too.

Can you make out any landmarks?

View of Belwood of Los Gatos from Harwood Court, Los Gatos

Near the top, just left of center, you can see a whitish splotch – those are the buildings in the Wallgreen’s Shopping Center.  A little to the right of them and a little closer to where the pic was taken you might be able to distinguish some tall vertical green lines.  Those are some Italian Cypress trees growing across the back and side yards of a home on Jamie Court, just off Harwood Road.

And here’s a view over the top of Belwood, downtown San Jose, the east foothills and into the rest of Silicon Valley. Unfortunately it was a little hazy/smoggy that day – but lovely nonetheless!
View from Harwood Ct Los Gatos

Of course, you don’t have to see an open house to enjoy a similar view. Go hiking in Belgatos Park or through the trails at the Heintz Open Space Preserve (or cheat and just drive to the top of Harwood Road or Harwood Court!) and take in the beautiful Santa Clara Valley.

Los Gatos Pizza has been remodeled

If you haven’t been to our neighborhood pizzeria, Los Gatos Pizza, the new remodel is a great reason to pop by (rather than get it by delivery)!

They’ve added a lot more flat screen TVs, improved the lighting and seating and de-cluttered the walls, making the restaurant more upscale feeling.

Remaining are, of course, the salad bar, the pool table and a few games.  The pizza is still the best around!

Los Gatos PizzaHere’s a photo I took last night but it doesn’t do it justice. The store’s website has the old look featured in a photo from a different angle (from the entry), if you want to compare it.

Details on location:

Los Gatos Pizza
in the Walgreen’s Shopping Center
Harwood Road and Blossom Hill Road
14080 Blossom Hill Road
Los Gatos, CA 95032
408 358-5545

Helicopters repeatedly flying over Belwood and Belgatos Park

Helicopters over Belwood and Belgatos Park on 6-24-2011

Helicopters over Belwood and Belgatos Park on 6-24-2011

My husband, Jim, likes to joke that “if you like helicopters, live in Los Gatos“.  We seem to be a chopper magnet, especially in the east Los Gatos areas near Belgatos Park.
 

Last Friday, and again yesterday, there was a helicopter apparently practicing something as it flew low over Belwood, Belgatos Park and the Santa Rosa Drive area in the hills at the end of Harwood Road.  What were they doing?

This is not a new problem for us (and in fact I blogged about it on my Live in Los Gatos blog in the spring of 2007) but there are times I just want to scream at them to knock it off.   I finally called the town of Los Gatos, was transferred to the non-emergency police line where a kindly officer said that he’d had a few complaints but no answers as to what was going on.  “We’re trying to find out,” he assured me.

Like many, I vented a little on Facebook.  One friend thought that the birds were there due to some sort of fencing project.  Another suggested that it was a practice run for firefighters pretending to grab water from Lexington Reservoir to put out fires on the Sierra Azule range.  Who knows.

Traffic Calming Vote

IMG-20110511-00178Traffic calming issues on Belwood Gateway which impact neighbors on nearby streets have been the recent conversation in this part of Los Gatos. As a followup to a recent traffic calming meeting meeting, residents on Belwood Gateway, Bacigalupi Drive and others were recently asked to vote on a proposal to block traffic from going through from Belwood Gateway to Almond Blossom. Homeowners on Bacigalupi Drive and Harwood Road are concerned that this would cause a tremendous increase in traffic and speeding, so are trying to prevent it.

We are awaiting the results of the vote. (Interestingly, it was “one vote per household” but certainly in some homes not all of the residents agreed on how to vote….)

This has been an eye-opening experience as many of us did not know, until recently, what the procedure was for getting the town’s attention regarding areas with too much speeding.

BelwoodOfLosGatos.com

This website is provided by Mary Pope-Handy, a Belwood resident and real estate agent.

*************************

For the HOA site,
and phone numbers for the Cabana or HOA, please visit
BelwoodHomes.org


************************* Mary Pope-Handy
Belwood area resident
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
BRE License #01153805

Valley of Heart's Delight fruit
Mary’s other sites & blogs

Live in Los Gatos Blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, homes & real estate, events, parks, photos, dining, community info

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog
Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics
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