An affluent incorporated town in Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills, California, lies near San Jose, south of the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California and near the heart of Silicon Valley. It is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation, and is a strictly residential area with no commercial or industrial zones. It is one of the smallest incorporated communities in the county. The city has seen modest growth in recent years, with its population estimated to be more than 8,500 in July 2008, an increase of nearly 9% since the 2000 census. The city is made up of a total area of 8.6 square miles, all land, and is located in a group of hills, thus its name. It is located about 35 miles south of San Francisco and 17 miles north of San Jose.
The community was originally part of two Spanish-Mexican land grants, and it was a farming community full of orchards of apricots, plums and prunes, as well as cattle and vineyards. Before it was settled by Europeans, it was inhabited by the Ohlone Native Americans. It was Incorporated in 1956. Today, the city is a get-away from the hustle and bustle of the valley for its residents. It is quiet and quaint, with the only retail commercial operation the book store on Foothill College's campus. Its zoning ordinances are among the strictest in the state, leaving the city without a post office or a library (both of which can be found, however, in nearby Los Altos).
Los Altos Hills is home to very wealthy residents, and thus Los Altos Hills real estate tends to be at the top of the list in values in the region. In 2009, despite the struggles of the greater U.S. housing market, Los Altos Hills homes' median price was nearly $2.5 million. Its estimated median household income in 2008 was more than $207,000, and per capita income was more than $115,000. Many of the residents work in Silicon Valley, with about 30% of the population employed in the computer and electronic products industry. The city is also home to a convent of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Children in the community are served by more than one school district. Those who live the southern portion of the city attend schools in the Los Altos Elementary School and Mountain View-Los Altos Unified High School districts, while those in the northern part of town are zoned to the Palo Alto Unified School District. There is also a charter school at which residents may enroll their children, Bullis Charter School, and several private schools, both lower and upper, are located throughout the county. Foothill-DeAnza Community College District operates Foothill College in the city. Morgan Manor and Griffin House are official historical landmarks, and the city maintains attractions like Bicentennial Park, Juan Prado Mesa Preserve and Westwind Community Barn, a facility for boarding horses that is the site for many community events. Golf can be played at Fremont Hills Country Club.
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