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Los Altos Information

Community Information for Los Altos 

Los Altos, is a city in the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula. Los Altos in Spanish means “the heights” or “Foothills”, apply named for a city that borders the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  The city resides next to Palo Alto and Mountain View.   Los Altos originated as a train stop in a mostly farming suburb on the Southern Pacific Railroad, but after World War II the city grew and eventually became a quiet residential enclave for Silicon Valley.   Los Altos is known for its outstanding schools, tree lined streets and a semi-rural atmosphere.   

 

 
History:

In 1908, Southern Pacific Railroad ran a steam train service through Los Altos, until operations were halted in 1964.  Much of the old railroad routes have been replaced by freeways and other major commute routes. This once, simple farmland community saw substantial growth into a commute town in the early 1950’s. Under the threat of being annexed from Palo Alto and Mountain View, in 1952 Los Altos became incorporated and began its journey for individuality. Unlike its neighboring towns, Los Altos has restricted businesses to only seven commercial areas, preserving the town from over-building and extensive modernization.    Los Altos’s claim to fame, in 1970 the city installed the first scientifically engineered sound baffle. The result of this scientifically engineered sound wall brought about a reduction of seven to ten decibels in noise pollution to the adjacent homes along busy Foothill Expressway. In 2007 Los Altos and its neighboring Los Altos Hills received number 24 and 28 in Forbes “Most Expensive ZIP Codes in America” list.  Today, Los Altos continues to grow and modernize while keeping a small town, semi-rural feel. 

 
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