An island of Redwood City inside San Carlos.

June 23, 2009


Strange Boundaries…

Here's a question for you…What do the listings at 2654 Eaton Avenue, 30 Eaton Villa Place, and 105 De Anza Avenue have in common?

Answer:  They're not in San Carlos.

Even though they sure sound like familiar San Carlos streets, and their neighbors are most certainly in San Carlos, these homes are actually in… Redwood City. If you've been shopping for a home up in the Alder Manor district of San Carlos (west of Alameda de las Pulgas, and south of Brittan) you've undoubtedly come across this confusing scenario.  So what's up with this?

Annexation and Incorporation.

The answer lies in the arrowhead shaped section in the map above.  Around 1922, the area around Hilltop Drive was apparently a large farm with a single farmhouse.  A subdivision titled “Carmelita Manor Near Redwood City, California” was recorded in 1927, and a few additional homes were built on Hilltop Drive in '29 and '30.  Sometime around 1936, the pasture area of this farm that was along Eaton Avenue was subdivided into eight lots (Eaton street numbers 2604 through 2656) and homes were built on these lots.*

How the surrounding areas were annexed by both San Carlos and Redwood City isn't totally clear, but it appears the while the area around Clifford School was annexed by Redwood City in the 1950's,  the area that surrounded the “Carmelita Manor” boundary remained unincorporated.   When San Carlos annexed that surrounding area in the 1960's, it was not possible to “de-annex” that little pocket of what was now part of Redwood City. **

So the end result is that there's a little “island” of Redwood City that is almost totally surrounded by San Carlos.    It's confusing, and it's a big reason why the boundary between San Carlos and Redwood City is so peculiar in that area.

I'm sure this explanation clears things up 😉

Uncommon Cities, Common School.

One thing that these neighborhoods do share regardless of whether they're in San Carlos or Redwood City, is the school district.  As I wrote about in a previous post, the part of San Carlos that's west of the Alameda all the way up to Brittan Avenue actually feeds into Clifford School, which is in the Redwood City School District.


*courtesy of the Redwood City Planning Department

** courtesy of the City of San Carlos Planning Department.

Thanks to the folks in both departments for their contributions to this post…


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  1. transient on June 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    What about the areas of San Carlos that are unincorporated? What difference does that make to the homes in that area?

  2. Chuck on June 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    The only other area that I’m aware of in San Carlos that’s not officially incorporated is Devonshire Canyon. As far as a difference, I believe it falls under the same police jurisdiction as other unincorporated areas of SM County (SM County Sheriff.) I don’t see any difference in home values because of the fact that it’s not incorporated.

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