Los Altos Hills, California

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Los Altos Hills (pronounced /lɔːs 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 with an upper-class demographic.


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).

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