4/20/1895-Homes in the hills

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4/20/1895-Homes in the hills - REDWOOD IS AWAKE. It Wants the Boulevard and...
REDWOOD IS AWAKE. It Wants the Boulevard and the Boom It Will Bring. HOMES IN THE HILLS. Great Enthusiasm in the Southern Section of the County. A SUDDEN THRILL OF LIFE. The Valley Road Makes a Lively Region That Needs New Homes. REDWOOD CITY, March 29. — The boulevard enterprise is just getting a firm hold on the favor and enthusiasm of the lower end of San Mateo County, and the leading men of Redwood City, Menlo Park, Belmont and San Carlos are giving the project their unqualified indorsement and are ready to work hard to help through to success the proposition to bond the county. A look at this lovely region, of which Redwood City is the center, reveals what the boulevard would mean to these pretty towns and the country around them and its stupendous benefits are being realized. At Belmont, four miles north of Red- Another Boulevard Map. [The heavy black line indicates the first proposed boulevard running south distinguished as the "Ridge" route. The heavy dotted line indicates the route proposed by Mayor Sutro.] wood City, the foothills run out to the bay and then they sweep backward and on south across the county line clear to Los Gatos, leaving between them and the bay a rich and magnificent stretch of valley plain. The valley, along the line of railroad and along the county road now holds nearly all of the population and it will soon hold a vastly increased number of people. The sweep of foothills offers as lovely and picturesque sites for homes as can be found in California, and is as attractive a region as the one that spreads far about San Mateo. But with the exception of Belmont and the canyons back of it, where Ralston's old home, Reed's School and other fine estates nestle unseen amid incomparable loveliness and the few magnificent estates back of San Carlos, a little to the south, notably those of Nat G. Brittan and Timothy Guy Phelps, this stretch of foothills is unoccupied. What the bay region of San Mateo County needs is people who will come to find homes. Its destiny is to be the greatest and finest suburban region of San Francisco, and its progress in wealth and development depends upon its homes rather than upon any form of industry. That is the keynote of the foundation arguments advanced here in favor of the boulevard. It would do more than anything else to bring people here to build homes in the quiet valley and dot the broken, oak-covered, sun-bathed foothills with the most beautiful homes on these western shores. The unoccupied foothills lie a mile and a half or more west of Redwood City, and whenever a tide of settlement sets in this way they will soon be peopled. Ease and convenience of access is what will people them. Redwood City and the rest of this region is just waking up to a vague, glad sense that a time of life and growth is at hand. Six months ago the big boulevard project would have been laughed at. But here the people have fully caught the fever of life and enterprise that has sprung up through the State. The valley road first waked them up, and now that it has just been assured to them they are jubilant and confident of the future. Great things are expected from the valley road, for it will give them the one great thing needed — quicker and more frequent trains and cheaper fares. Then in the last few days the real estate market has awakened with the sale of several large properties. Improvement is in the air all at once. This situation explains largely the prospects of success with the boulevard. Everybody is encouraged ; the spirit of enterprise is spreading, and everybody is ready to take hold of a great enterprise that will mean so much to them. The same general arguments are advanced by all the leading men who have taken hold of it. It would mearua rapid increase in desirable population, a great increase in property values and the greatest advertisement the county could receive. The increase in the tax rate consequent on issuing $100,000 or even $200,000 worth of bonds would be insignificant, while the consequent increase in values would soon, irf fact, lower it. So Redwood City people are anticipating the boulevard with almost as much certainty as the valley road ! The project has already been carried so far and been taken hold of so universally by the leading progressive citizens that the only important question which can raise a doubt of success is that of the result of the bond election that will probably be held within three or four months. Here, as at San Mateo, the main fears are of the western side of the county, but there is a growing belief that the scheme will be favored there if that part of the county is given its share of the money. Here and there common people who have not considered the proposition remark that it would be a rich man's road, and a part of the •educational work that will be done during the bond campaign will be to show that it would be directly and indirectly a poor man's road as well. There is confidence that when the proposition is fully canvassed before the public all classes will unite in its favor almost unanimously. Another promise for the boulevard is contained in the fact that the country press is doing vigorous work in its favor. The Democrat and Times-Gazette of Redwood City and the Leader of San Mateo are discussing it at length and putting in vigorous Mows. Althonjrithe region about Redwood City has been barely touched as a place of residence compared with its opportunities and attractions there are within five miles of it, in various directions, the homes of twenty millionaires alone. The multiplication of such places and pretty rose-embowered cottages and an era of general improvement and beautifying seems surely at hand. Two of the members of the preliminary committee of five, into whose hands the enterprise has been temporarily committed, live at Redwood City. One of them is George H. Buck, Superior Judge of San Mateo County, a respected citizen of much influence. To-day he expressed himself vigorously in favor of the boulevard, as follows: No other thing would help the entire county so much in every way. The people must be educated up to it, but I think the indications now are favorable to success and that they will be better a few weeks hence. Our population is now 10,000. In two years I believe it would increase the population of the county 5000. This is the fourth residence county in the State, and the whole bay side is easily reached. Our need is population, and one other thing -\ve want and will try to get to aid in securing population is lower fares. We have not the low suburban rates they have across the bay, but must have them. A piece of land near here which sold the other day for $150 an acre is fully as desirable for residence as the property about San Mateo, which sells for $1000 an acre. The boulevard and lower fares would make that land worth $5000 an acre at once. We have about here, from Belmont to the county line, a superb climate, a beautiful country, schools that are unexcelled, churches and all that may ufford a fine location for a home and surround it with beauty. Easier and cheaper communication would bring a vast number here to live. The bonds necessary to build this boulevard would not make a noticeable increase in the tax rate, and in two years valuations would be increased so much that the rate would be lower. The derelopment of Burlingame is adding largely to our taxable wealth, and the same thing would occur here. George C. Ross, the well-known and influential attorney, who is chairman of the committee of five, has this to say: I have confidence that the enterprise will succeed. Our ideas are somewhat indefinite as yet, because we lack information about the cost. As far as it has been discussed in a general way the, universal opinion down this side of the bay is in favor of it as far as I have been able to learn. Here about Redwood City and at Belmont, where I live, everybody favors it. Some who oppose all improvements will fight it, and some opposition may come from people living some distance from the route, but I believe the opposition can be carried. The boulevard would be an Immense benefit to the county in many ways and the increase in the tax rate would be almost unnotieeable. The increase in values would soon amount to a reduction of the rate. This is a residence region, and its growth and prosperity depends upon tbetiumber of people of means who come here to live more than upon production. For that reason the boulevard is especially Important to this side of the county. Our county road Is now in a bad state, but under the law we cannot spend on it enough at once to put it in fine condition. Ten years ago it was better than now, especially at the north end. In those days there was far more driving out of the city and down this way than now. The b'g vegetable wagons and the other heavy vehicles have cut up the road into the city so that it cannot be used for pleasure driving. The committee of five will first secure data about the cost and methodg of construction of such driveways, and we are looking for sources of information now. It will not be many days before w% will begin to form definite plans. E. F. Fitzpatrick, ex-Superior Judge of this county, is another of the influential backers of the enterprise in Redwood City. The large property-owners will give their unanimous support to the enterprise, and the feeling at Menlo Park has already become enthusiastic. Reports from the upper end of San Mateo

Clipped from
  1. The San Francisco Call,
  2. 30 Mar 1895, Sat,
  3. Page 2

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  • 4/20/1895-Homes in the hills

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