Residents will tell you there is no shortage of space and peacefulness in West Atherton. The rural feel of the area, boasting big lots and lanes without sidewalks, has been preserved through a long history.
The Selby Lane corridor in West Atherton is home to grand historic estates that have been meticulously renovated to their original glory. A number of brand new luxury homes have also been recently built in this neighborhood. Homeowners on Selby Lane include prominent attorneys, scientists, inventors, financiers and other professionals and their families. The renowned Chantilly and Bentley’s restaurants are just around the corner, at Selby Lane and El Camino Real.
Atherton’s government encourages the preservation of the community’s country feel. Most of the town is zoned for one-acre lots and a town ordinance that protects the heritage trees in the area; oaks, redwoods, cedars, and pines.
Seemingly a world away, Atherton actually abuts the downtown Menlo Park shopping district and is a short drive from the bustling downtowns of Palo Alto and Redwood City. Several private schools call Atherton home and the private Menlo Circus Club provides a swim, tennis and equestrian venue for local residents. The Town of Atherton has preserved its character as a scenic, rural, thickly-wooded, residential area. Despite its small size, the town has abundant open space and has its own library and community facilities, including the beautiful Holbrook-Palmer Park.
Atherton real estate is strictly residential and very exclusive. Residential properties encompass large luxury estates and upscale homes. From the 1800’s, Atherton was home to a handful of large estates, the summer homes of wealthy San Francisco families. Early residents wanted a town that would not contain businesses. To this day, there is no commercial zoning in Atherton. The era of large estates ended in the 1940s and 1950s, when the extravagant country homes were divided into large parcels, with a minimum size of one acre.