Tree-lined streets and a small village atmosphere characterize Los Altos, which is located in the heart of world famous Silicon Valley. Just 40 miles south of San Francisco, Los Altos is a residential community served by seven small retail districts. The seven square mile City is developed with small businesses, schools, libraries and churches.The history of modern Los Altos dates back to 1906, when Paul Shoup, a Southern Pacific Railroad executive, formed the Altos Land Co. with friends. The group purchased 140 acres of land between Palo Alto and Mountain View owned by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. The company planned a new town to serve the new Southern Pacific Railroad cutoff between Mayfield and Los Gatos and named it “Los Altos” (Spanish for “the heights”) because the land was the highest on that cutoff.
Incorporated in 1952, Los Altos is a general law city with five elected council members who serve four-year terms. City Council meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Appointed commissions and committees assist the Council in an advisory capacity. The Council appointed city manager is responsible for financial and operational management of the city’s 130 employees.
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