There are a number of issues that may need the assistance of the Homeowner’s Association or information on who to contact. Below are details for dealing with some of the more prevalent issues we see:
Street Easement Right-of-Way
Santa Clara County’s Street Easement Right-of Way In order for Santa Clara County to maintain the streets in San Antonio Hills (SAH), a street easement right of way was required. Excluding a few private streets, most streets in SAH are forty (40) feet wide. The center of the road divides the street into twenty (20) foot sections. All these streets, from the center of the road to twenty (20) of all properties is the County’s right of way. Private streets are maintained by the property owner. Exceptions to the Width of the Easement 1400 to 1600 Arbor Avenue is 50 feet wide; therefore the right of way is 25 feet from the center of the road. The right of way for properties along Magdalena, a small portion of Country Club and Frontero Avenues is fifty feet (50).
New Construction or Remodeling
New construction and remodeling must comply to County Codes and related CC&R’s. If new construction is taking place on your street, it could inpact the value of adjacent property. Setbacks, height and square footage are critical elements. If you are concerned, contact the county planning department. Information on CC&R’s has been added to the History page.
The Board reminds those who are doing construction that it is you or your contractors’ responsibility to keep the trash inside the fence and under control.
We also remind property owners that the street area, which may be outside of their fence, needs to be maintained to prevent the spread of weeds and to control erosion. A warning has been given as to this being a high fire danger season due to the early drying of weeds and grasses. Several properties in the community are also in dire need of repair and an effort is being made to contact these owners to inform them of their responsibility.
The intersection of the Northbound off ramp from Interstate 280 onto Magdalena is a safety concern of our residents. If you would like to share your thoughts on improving the existing configuration, please contact John Thomas of Caltrans at 1-510-286-4603.
The CHP reminds us that after stopping at a stop sign, you may continue only when it’s safe to do so. It is important at all intersections, but especially where the stop signs are placed back from the road, like at Country Club, Arbor and Loyola.
Refuse and Recycle Containers
The following protocol is from the Santa Clara County Solid Waste Program Ordinance, Section B11-189 Refuse Container Requirements; item g.
Containers must be placed for collection not more than 24 hours preceding the scheduled collection time. Placement times and collection locations also apply to uncontained wasters such as yard waste, cardboard and other recyclable wastes. It is the responsibility of the occupant of the premises producing the refuse to remove all containers from the curb, roadside or collection station within 24 hours after collection. Following removal, containers must be stored in a less conspicuous area of the premises so not to create a nuisance to the occupants of neighboring premises.
Share the Road
Share the Road is more than a phrase. In our narrow San Antonio Hills roads, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists all share the same roads. Good safety practices by all are necessary. Pedestrians are encouraged to walk near the side of the road, (not in the middle of the lane), facing traffic. To be readily seen by others at dusk and night hours, wearing light colored or reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight, moving it from side to side, is important.
It is necessary that bicyclists follow the rules of the road, and ride with traffic in the same lanes used by motorists. During the night hours, wearing light colored or reflective clothing is advisable. Bikes need to have operating head and tail lights.
Some roads have a white stripe which marks the edge of the road. This is not a path or a bike lane unless so designated by signage. It is there to help in foggy conditions and during night hours.
Motorists need to be aware of others sharing the road, adhere to the speed limits as posted, and drive cautiously. Driving defensively will help to avoid incidents. Radar may be used from time to time and may result in traffic tickets.
Safety and Security
San Antonio hills is patrolled by both the California Highway Patrol and Santa Clara County Sheriffs. Both entities can and do write tickets for speeding, failing to stop etc. 911 calls from land lines go to the CPH. For emergency calls by cell phone dial 1-408-299-3233. Non-emergency calls can be made to 1-408-299-2311. For general information from the sheriff’s department, call 1-408-868-6600 between the hours of 8-5 daily.
Sheriff’s “Check on Property”
Residents of Santa Clara County, including those in unincorporated areas, can request the sheriff’s department “to check on their property” while they are away on vacation or business. Log on to the site below and fill out the form. The department will notify the area deputies on patrol to periodically check your property during the defined period.
Neighborhood Watch (NHW) Teams against Crime
Crime is a continuing problem in our San Antonio Hills Neighborhoods. Criminals are more brazen, with break-ins occurring during daylight hours. The Board is working with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department to establish Neighborhood Watch Teams. Captain Sung believes Watch Teams are a good idea. He said there’s a huge difference between simply being more vigilant versus a formal neighborhood watch program. A Watch Team consists of neighbors who know each other and watch out for each other’s property and homes, working to make their neighborhood safer.
Each Team will need a leader (or better yet co-leaders) to collect emergency contact information from each household. This information is not shared with anyone outside of the Team. Once a team has been established, a Deputy Sheriff will meet with the Team, providing a presentation detailing how the NHW program works. The team leaders will maintain a close relationship and communication with the Sheriff Department’s staff, so regular meetings can be held to share information and conduct training to promote safety. NWH signs can be purchased and be installed for the residents by County Roads Department. Nick Hansen will be the Board Coordinator. A resident, Ed Cohen has agreed to serve on the committee as well. If you are interested in being a part of this program, please contact Nick Hansen at (650)941-5406.
We are very interested in maintaining a safe road environment for the community. Should you find a pothole or a dangerous road situation there are two ways it can be reported. One is to report it directly to the county web site listed below. The second is to go to the Association.
If reporting to the Association, go to Contact Us and choose a method of communication, letter, e-mail or phone. Provide us with the address of the concern, giving specific details of the location. For example, you might list Crestview at Loyola or the house number and street name. The map below is provided for your convenience should you not know the name of the street. We thank you for your help.
If reporting directly to the county, go to the web site www.countyroads.org and click on Service Request. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Roadway Service Request. Fill in the details as required in the form and submit the request as indicated on the bottom of the page.
Storm Drain Backup and Sand Bags
Issues of storm drain backup can be addressed by contacting SCC Roads and Airports at 1-408-573-2400 between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM for most areas of SAH or after hours call 1-408-299-3233 (County Sheriff). In areas above 280 which are part of Los Altos Hills, call 650-941-7222 M-F from 8am-12pm & 1-2pm or after hours at 1-408-299-3233 (County Sheriff) Sand bags can be obtained at the SCC Municipal Service Center at 707 Fremont Ave. Los Altos. There are sandbag sites around the area during storm season.
Street lights in the area are controlled by dusk to dawn sensors. In the summer, lights may not come on until after 9:30 PM and will go off by 5 AM. We are in the Loyola (CLSA) County Lighting Service Area with the exception of Hoffman Terrace and Thorson Court. To report lights being out, you should contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 or use the following url with the first being for a single light being out and the second for multiple lights. You will need the number located on the pole to fill out the request. If you can’t find it on the pole, use the CLSA url and enter an address in the search box and a map will appear showing lights. Click on the light which is out and you will get the pole number.
Hoffman Terrace and Thorson Court lights are maintained by Santa Clara County. Call Santa Clara Roads and Airports at 1-408-573-2400 or use the URL http://www.sccgov.org/sites/rda/info/Pages/request.aspx and scroll to the bottom of the page where there is a request for light service.
A map of the CLSA can be found at the URL below.
Street lights are paid for as Special Assessment Taxes on our property tax bill.
PG&E’s general phone number is 1-800-743-5000. Outages can be reported, and information about outages can be obtained at 1-800-743-5002
Tree Maintenance for Street Lights
County roads maintains trees which are covered by easements in the road right of way. If a tree is overgrown and blocks the light from a street light, roads will prune the area which falls within the easement area. (See the Right of Way topic below for a definition.) Fill out a request form at http://www.countyroads.org to have the tree pruned. This request can also be made by phone at 408-494-2700 or by using the Mobile Citizens App and your smart phone.
Wireless Communications Ordinance
On May 1, 2018, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance NS-1200-366, Appendix 1, which modified its Zoning Ordinance pertaining to the Wireless Telecommunication Facilities regulation as follows:
- Modifying the permitting requirement for different types of wireless telecommunication facilities
- Updating applicable standards and findings to be consistent with State and Federal requirements such as:
- Incorporating definition of “substantial change,” and
- Implementing “shot-clock provision.”
Tree Preservation and Removal Ordinance Revisions
Santa Clara County is proposing the following modifications to its Tree Preservation and Removal Ordinance as follows:
- Tree removal located in Urban Residential Zoning districts (R1, R1E, R2, R3, and RHS) to require an administrative tree removal permit
- A Woodland Clearance Permit to be required for the removal of 10% or ½ acre of tree canopy coverage (whichever is less) in Agricultural Ranchlands and Hillside Zoning districts
- Proposed fee for administrative tree removal permits
- Tree removals on County property require noticing to the Clerk of the Board 60 days prior to proposed tree removal
Community Preservation Ordinance
On December 18, 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved adding Division B38, number NS-300-932, to the ordinance code relating to community preservation to require a minimum level of maintenance to private property of the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County, which includes our area. The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the public from health and safety hazards and from harm to property values that result from the neglect and deterioration of property, and to preserve the livability and appearance of the unincorporated areas.
The ordinance addresses urban property blight to privately owned properties in Urban Residential or Commercial base districts. Following are some conditions identified as property blight: unsecured or abandoned buildings and structures; abandoned construction; building in state of disrepair; overgrown or decayed trees or vegetation; graffiti; garbage and refuse; vehicles.
If you want more information on any ordinance or are concerned about an apparent violation of an ordinance, please call the Santa Clara County Planning Department at 408-299-5770, and ask to speak to someone in Code Enforcement.
Loyola Avenue Intersection Changes
Residents have expressed their frustration about the merging traffic where Loyola, Country Club, Arbor and Terrace meet. After discussion with our Board, County Traffic will implement a few changes to improve the flow. You will see white barrier stripes along with a Stop painted on the cross street near the base of the triangle and a Merge at the point of the triangle where Country Club traffic enters the intersection.
Rules of the Road in a controlled (stop signs) and uncontrolled area (merging streets) state “that you must yield to the vehicle on your right.” A Yield sign will be added to refresh everyone’s memory. A similar rule applies to stopping at a stop sign and proceeding only when it is clear and safe to do so. Where Stop Signs are present on all streets entering the area, vehicles which have stopped must yield to the through traffic. Drive carefully. These changes have been implemented and should increase the safety at this intersection.
Water and Sewer
Water issues are handled by California Water Service Company (CWS)located at 949 B Street Los Altos (Loyola Corners area) phone 650-917-0152. Service connects and disconnects and main line repairs are done by California Water Service. The home owner is responsible for pipe between the meter and the house. If repairs are needed on the homeowners property which cannot be turned off after the meter, it is best to have California Water Service come and shut the water off. This typically requires a few days notice (unless and emergency) to have the water turned off and an hours notice to have it turned back on. If the homeowner turns off the water at the meter, they may be responsible for any damage which might occur. In addition to the bill from California Water Service, we pay a fee to Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) for clean water as part of our property tax bill.
Sewer is handled by the City of Los Altos for new connections. Sewer is paid for as part of our property tax bill under Special Assessment Taxes.
Santa Clara County’s Street Easement Right- of Way
In order for Santa Clara County to maintain the streets in San Antonio Hills (SAH), a street easement right of way was required. Excluding a few private streets, most streets in SAH are forty (40) feet wide. The center of the road divides the street into twenty (20) foot sections. All these streets, from the center of the road to twenty (20) of all properties is the County’s right of way. Private streets are maintained by the property owner. Exceptions to the Width of the Easement 1400 to 1600 Arbor Avenue is 50 feet wide; therefore the right of way is 25 feet from the center of the road. The right of way for properties along Magdalena, a small portion of Country Club and Frontero Avenues is fifty feet (50).
Tree Maintenance in the County’s Right-of Way
There are many trees along the side of our streets. If the tree sits less than twenty (20) feet from the middle of the road, the tree usually is in the easement. Generally, the County has the responsibility to maintain the trees that it owns. However, in certain areas, tree maintenance has been transferred to a third party by means of a Landscape Maintenance Agreement, (LMA), which is supervised by the County.If a tree or tree branch has fallen, possibly causing damage to property, the County must examine each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not the County is responsible for removal of the fallen tree and/or damage to property..In the event of a fallen tree or tree branch in the County right-of-way, the first step is to submit a Service Request on Roads and Airports Department website, http://www.countyroads.org or call the West Maintenance Yard 408-366-3100. Upon receipt, the system will automatically generate a Work Order for a tree crew to respond to the site as soon as practical to determine responsibility and best way to proceed. If a property owner incurs damage from the fallen tree or tree branch, a claim can be filed through the County of Santa Clara Clerk of the Board. You can access the claim form at the following link: www.sccgov.org/sites/bos/cob/Claim-Against-the County/Pages/default.aspx.
Wildland Urban Interface Preparedness
San Antonio Hills falls within the fire protection area of the Los Altos Hills County Fire District (LAHCFD) and as such is included in the planning area for Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Preparedness.
This is all about protecting private property in the event of a fire in areas where there is a high concentration of highly flammable vegetation as is likely in developments on hills with dense trees and shrubs.
If your home is surrounded by vegetation, you might want to get a free inspection review.
Information can be found on www.sccfd.org under Community Outreach, Safety and Education, WUI Preparedness, or by calling the Fire Protection Division at 408-378-4010.
San Antonio Hills is an area of known habitat for predators. Over the years neighbors have lost cats and small dogs to encounters with them. It is essential to secure pets and livestock in properly designated enclosures to keep them from succumbing to natural predators including mountain lions, coyotes and raccoons. They are ranging farther and wider. Please take care with small children, small dogs and all cats; be especially watchful at dawn and dusk
Mountain Lion Safety Tips:
Supervise children at all times, and educate them about mountain lions and other wildlife they might encounter. Never run past or from a mountain lion. This may trigger their instinct to chase. Make eye contact, and stand your ground. Keep pets secure, especially at night. Landscape for Safety: Remove vegetation that provides cover for mountain lions, and plants that attract their prey (deer, raccoons, etc.). Do not feed wildlife nor leave pet food outside.
If you see a mountain lion, please call 911 or from a cell phone 408-299-2311. Please do not call the news media. For tracking and reporting purposes, please also call the Regional Office of the Department of Fish & Game at 707-944-5531. For more information, please visit www.mountainlion.org.
Coyotes are another predator that lives in our area and their presence is vital to a healthy ecosystem. Their main source of food is small rodents. Unfortunately, small pets are easy prey for them. Some of the mountain lion safety tips apply to coyotes. More information is available at www.projectcoyote.org.
To insure the safety of our children and pets as well as the survival of the wildlife, it’s important to learn to coexist with them.
Small Creatures and Poison
We share our neighborhood with a variety of small creatures: squirrels, mice, roof rats. Along with the creatures, there are a variety of issue as such as disease, lice and ticks. Avoid the problem by getting rid of trash and plugging up holes where the rodents might enter your house. Beyond that there are several means of getting rid of the unwanted guests, such as repellents, traps and poison. Before using any method, it should be researched to avoid unintended side-affects. With some poisons, animals may not die right away and may find ways into your house where they will decay causing an odor. There is also a secondary kill with some poisons which means that if another animal eats the dead animal, they might die also. Traps are effective but can’t be used around children and pets as well as handling the dead animal. If you have questions, please check with County Vector control or a pest exterminator.
Avenidas Center for Seniors
Avenidas Village is a private, non-profit agency helping mid-peninsula seniors live well and maintain their independence. Founded in 2007, it is one of approximately 150 senior villages that have developed during the last decade in the U.S. It provides a combination of professional and volunteer services to meet health, housing, and social needs of its members. For more information call 650-289-5405 or visit their website: https://www.avenidas.org/village-overview/
This is your organization. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a concern.