U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Unread 11-06-2009, 10:20 PM
 
35 posts, read 85,277 times
Reputation: 15
Default Castro Valley neighborhood tour

Can anyone give me a description of Castro Valley neighborhoods? I have figured this out for most cities that interest me, but not for Castro Valley. I am trying to figure out the character of the different areas, but am pretty clueless. Which are the most family friendly, friendly to newcomers, have the most character, have a strong sense of community/cohesion, yet are still near some of the best elementary schools?

I have heard of Palomares hills, Five Canyons, Seven Hills. What other neighborhoods do you recommend in Castro Valley?

I do not like the look of most master planned communities, and prefer areas with character, yet it seems like the neighborhoods people speak most highly of are this type of development. Is it because they have the highest scoring schools? Because they are in the hills? Are there other Castro Valley neighborhoods worth looking at? It also seems like it is a much longer commute if you live in the hills. The traffic seems pretty bad in Castro Valley, from the few times I have driven through there.

I am trying to give the city a chance because it has some of the right characteristics on paper - it has good schools, seems family friendly overall (slower paced at least), cheaper housing.

One more thing - are there plans to revamp the downtown? It would make a world of difference if they could just give the downtown some kind of facelift - maybe some cafes, and nice restaurants. What do you think?

Thanks in advance....

Last edited by leapfelt; 11-06-2009 at 10:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Unread 11-06-2009, 11:51 PM
 
12,572 posts, read 21,901,468 times
Reputation: 6928
First thing to know is there is Castro Valley is not a city... it is unincorporated county... police services are Sheriff and Highway Patrol.

Building has traditionally been more tolerant because the county does not have or had the same restrictions as found in most Bay Area Cities.

Generally, elevation equates with price... and yes, many do buy neighborhood for schools...

A lot depends on what you are looking for and your price range...

I have friends that can walk to the Blvd and like being close... others have very nice homes in the hills... some with horses... there is quite a mix.

There are several times a year when the Blvd is closed to traffic... the Rodeo Parade has a big draw... as well as the car shows... it does help give the area a small town feeling.

Youth sports are very big... especially soccer... lots of parental involvement from what I've seen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 11-07-2009, 08:31 PM
 
35 posts, read 85,277 times
Reputation: 15
Price range we are looking for is 500-620,000, with 3/2 bed/bath, and a decent size yard, We are looking for a neighborhood with good schools (doesn't have to be the absolute top scoring school, but a school with strong scores, quality teachers, and some hands on learning). Would love a neighborhood that is very family friendly, and has a pretty strong community (kids play together in the neighborhood, block party?). Don't know if this exists, but this is what I would hope for.

I think we do not prefer the hills, because it would make the commute over the San Mateo Bridge so much longer. But I am curious if living in the hills is so much nicer, that it would be worth the commute. A neighborhood with some character is ideal, but it doesn't seem like this exists in Castro Valley? Thanks for any ideas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 11-24-2009, 10:20 AM
 
36 posts, read 101,983 times
Reputation: 13
The character of Castro Valley is consistently small town with all the benefits of living near the city. Many see it as a small family town, but we have numerous residents without children who are just as happy. You really can make of this town what you like.
There's BART, if you don't want to drive.
There are ranches out on Crow Canyon.
Lake Chabot is beautiful.
The sports life of CV is phenomenal.
The new Library, walking distance from BART, just opened.
And, yes, there are plans to rehab CV Blvd; check out this site for more info about the plan-
Castro Valley Strategic Plan - Redevelopment - Alameda County (http://www.acgov.org/cda/redevelop/projects/cv/index.htm - broken link)
One of my favorite aspects of CV is the fact that I know people everywhere I go. I think that it's humbling to live, work and play all in the same space; you begin to really understand the community.
In your question you refer to housing areas. The areas you mentioned are newer areas of CV in the 94552 zip (within the last 20 years or so). In the 94546, the older part of CV, there are really cute homes on relatively flat land between Somerset Ave. and Seven Hills Rd. North of Seven Hills the homes get larger, but still retain character some character. Keep in mind that because CV is unincorporated zoning over the years has left some strange set ups with housing. That being said, we have lower taxes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 11-24-2009, 12:03 PM
 
35 posts, read 85,277 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you for your comments, "Thank you"!. It is not easy to find out information aside from the ones in the hills, so the feedback is appreciated. A few more questions come to mind:

-Does that older neigbhorhood you mentioned have a name? What is that neighborhood community like? (lots of kids, older population, transplants from other cities vs. long standing residents, etc., lots of professionals? artists? blue collar?) Is there any downside to living in that older part of Castro Valley? Just trying to get a sense of the area.
-Are there any downsides to living in Castro Valley in general that are good to be aware of?
-How bad is the traffic when getting to the San Mateo bridge in the morning?
-I have heard the Hayward fault runs through the Castro Valley hills - is this true?

Thank you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thank You View Post
The character of Castro Valley is consistently small town with all the benefits of living near the city. Many see it as a small family town, but we have numerous residents without children who are just as happy. You really can make of this town what you like.
There's BART, if you don't want to drive.
There are ranches out on Crow Canyon.
Lake Chabot is beautiful.
The sports life of CV is phenomenal.
The new Library, walking distance from BART, just opened.
And, yes, there are plans to rehab CV Blvd; check out this site for more info about the plan-
Castro Valley Strategic Plan - Redevelopment - Alameda County (http://www.acgov.org/cda/redevelop/projects/cv/index.htm - broken link)
One of my favorite aspects of CV is the fact that I know people everywhere I go. I think that it's humbling to live, work and play all in the same space; you begin to really understand the community.
In your question you refer to housing areas. The areas you mentioned are newer areas of CV in the 94552 zip (within the last 20 years or so). In the 94546, the older part of CV, there are really cute homes on relatively flat land between Somerset Ave. and Seven Hills Rd. North of Seven Hills the homes get larger, but still retain character some character. Keep in mind that because CV is unincorporated zoning over the years has left some strange set ups with housing. That being said, we have lower taxes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 11-24-2009, 12:50 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,130 times
Reputation: 12
I grew up in one of the "hills" neighborhoods of CV, so I'm probably giving you a biased (or perhaps a hill-oriented) view of CV. In my mind, CV can be broken up until three areas: the hills area (including Greenridge/Briar Ridge/Cold Water, Columbia, Palomares Hills, and 5 Canyons), the part of CV that is south of 580 (your kids would go to Hayward schools), and "everywhere else". The "everywhere else" consists of a lot of the flatland parts of CV. In my biased opinion, I would avoid the part of CV that is south of 580 unless you want or are okay with your kids going to Hayward schools. In my biased opinion, I like the hills areas the best, and I personally would be fine living in any of the the hills areas that I mentioned. The "everywhere else" area is probably safe and a fine place to live, but I personally wouldn't want to live there, because a lot of the "hills area" people seem to think that the flat area isn't as nice as the hills areas. I'm sure that many in CV, such as the those who live in the flat area, wouldn't agree with me, but I think that many of the people that live in the hills area would. I group the Proctor, Stanton, and Seven Hills areas into the "everywhere else" area. In my opinion, most or all of CV (north of 580) is safer and nicer than most of San Leandro, Oakland, Hayward, Union City, Richmond, etc. One thing I really dislike about CV is that the downtown area (CV Blvd) is bad, old, run down, and needs to be revitalized. CV nightlive is pretty much non-existent. In general, you'd have to do most of your shopping in other cities (e.g. no costco, no wal mart, no mall, etc). There are some okay restaurants in CV, but most of the time you'd have to commute to other areas for good restaurants. Now, since you said you didn't like master planned communities, you probably won't like 5 Canyons, Palomares Hills, or Columbia. However, you might like the Greenridge/Briar Ridge/Coldwater area. Greenridge has Eiekler homes, which are 60s homes designed by a famous architect, and many people like those style homes but many other people also think they're ugly. Yes, the fault probably runs through Castro Valley, but anywhere in the Bay Area, you are vulnerable to a major earthquake. Most of the neighborhoods in CV don't really have an official neighborhood designation (e.g. we don't have something like Rockridge, Fruitvale, etc), but we do have neighborhoods, and we do tend to think of them being named after their major street names or elementary schools (themselves usually being named after street names, e.g. Proctor area, Vannoy area, etc).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 11-24-2009, 07:04 PM
 
12,572 posts, read 21,901,468 times
Reputation: 6928
Some areas of Castro Valley are not in the Castro Valley School District

Many areas do not have sidewalks... I told a friend about a home that was for sale a few years ago and she was shocked there were no sidewalks

Taxes are less than in most incorporated areas...

The County Sheriff and Highway Patrol enforce laws... no city police department.

You can find a very expensive upscale home next to a 1930's cottage...

In my opinion, parents tend to be more involved in the elementry school their child attends than in other areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 12-08-2009, 09:33 PM
 
35 posts, read 85,277 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for everyone's input on Castro Valley. I had the chance to drive around yesterday and see a few of the neighborhoods that were mentioned. The trip led to yet more questions! There are lots of questions below, but if you feel like answering any of them, it would be much appreciated!

-How can I find out more about the types of community for some of these developments. For example I particularly liked the look of Columbia (aside from the architecture). I am also curious about Five Canyons. Are the areas super family oriented, friendly or everyone drives into their garage and stays inside. Do children play on the front lawns? Is it artsy, yuppie, sports oriented, conservative, liberal. It is hard to get a sense of this (as opposed to many other bay areas cities).

-Can anyone tell me about the Parsons Estates and Lake Chabot neighborhoods, as well as the neighborhood around Palomares school (maybe easiest to compare them to Five Canyons and Columbia). Is the Lake Chabot area safe?

-To asdfasdfafd, why do you say the flat areas of Castro Valley are less desireable than the hill areas? It may be obvious if you live there, but as an outsider, I am not sure if it is safer in the hills, wealthier, more white collar, better view, newer? In many California cities, the less desireable areas have bad api scores, but Castro Valley seems to have pretty good scores in most areas of town.
Also, I wish I liked Eichler homes, but I really don't. I love cape cod, craftsman, tudor, and victorian style homes, so all the 70's and 80's architecture in Castro Valley will take a lot of getting used to.

-Does anyone know how long it takes to commute to the San Mateo Bridge from the hill areas like Five Canyons and Columbia? I hear there are a lot of clogged streets when trying to get through town.

-To "thank you", that is great that there are plans to create more of a "main street". Do you know what the timeline is for this plan, or is it just a vision at this point. That would be a huge deal to me if the downtown was going to change in the next couple of years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 12-09-2009, 12:26 AM
 
12,572 posts, read 21,901,468 times
Reputation: 6928
I owned an Eichler home near Vannoy School at one time...

I don't care for the Eichler style, but I did like the space... It was 4 bedrooms upstairs, 3 full baths, two fireplaces and the family room downstairs had a bonus room and kitchenette... the home had a extra deep garage and large yard...

It was very livable...

I know people that live in all the neighborhoods you mentioned... I don't really think any of them are the type to find lots of kids playing in the front yards like 1960's suburbia...

Being that Castro Valley is not a city... I doubt you will see much change on the boulevard... for some being county is a plus and for others it is a minus...

If you are looking for newer, more uniform homes with less lot to landscape and maintain than one of the newer subdivisions would be more appealing... just be aware that the CC&R's do not suit everyone...

Getting dinged for planting the wrong plant in the front yard or leaving a car too long in your driveway do happen... for some it is heaven and others I know have sold because of this...

Good your doing your research...

Have you looked at any open homes and met some of the neighbors?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 12-09-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Oakland CA
6,667 posts, read 8,620,164 times
Reputation: 6466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I owned an Eichler home near Vannoy School at one time...
Eichler... excuse me I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard....

I just ADORE those houses.

Anyhow, to the OP -- I don't see a lot of kids playing in yards anywhere anymore.

Newer developments are often CC&R'ed -- which means restrictions and home owners dues. Make sure you get a copy of the CC&Rs before you buy -- you might not like them.

As to artsy and liberal or conservative? I'm going to show my anti-homeowner's association bias, but if you're paying them, chances are good you live in a more conservative environment, with people policing each other and reporting each other over teeny infractions.

The people I've met who really love that sort of environment, love the rules. The rules are there so every one conforms to the rules. And so that nothing is offensive to anyone else. (Of course they all get offended anyway)

I once had a very pro HOA guy tell me he loves living in an HOA because it means his neighbors can't paint their homes purple or orange. This was a month after my neighbor had finished painting her house "Peach" that went too dark and I had painted my house this odd ball shade of pale gray that can look purple. Frankly -- I prefer my crazy quilt neighborhood over Beigeville anytime.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $74,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top