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Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,922 at the 2010 census. It is one of the wealthiest towns in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the country. In 2013, Forbes ranked Los Altos Hills as the 2nd most expensive zip code in America with a median home price of $5.4 million. As its name states, the town is located in a group of small hills.

The town has no commercial or industrial zones. The town government contracts with Santa Clara County for police and fire services (making it a so-called “contract city” under California law). The town’s only retail commercial operation is the book store on the campus of Foothill College. The town also does not have a post office, telephone exchange, or library. Mail delivery and telephone service are provided from nearby Los Altos, so the town shares ZIP codes and telephone exchange numbers with Los Altos. Town residents desiring library services must visit county-operated libraries in nearby Los Altos or Cupertino.

The town’s zoning regulations are among the strictest in California, requiring a minimum lot size of one acre, setbacks from the property boundary, and easements for public pathways. Landowners are limited to one primary dwelling per lot, which effectively bans multifamily housing; this ban and the minimum lot size were upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1974. The ban on commercial zones was upheld by the California Court of Appeal (First District) in 1973.

In 2000, the largest house in Silicon Valley at that time was built in the town. Larger ones have since been built elsewhere. The building was officially assessed by the county government as having 18,000 square feet of interior space. The home is actually considerably larger due to below ground area that is not part of the official assessment. In reality, it remains one of largest homes in the area. In 2011, Yuri Milner bought a house in Los Altos Hills for $100 million.

The town is also home to a convent of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. In 2002, seven profitable hospitals in the Catholic Healthcare West system formed their own system, the Daughters of Charity Health System, under the control of the Los Altos Hills convent.