Taking to the Hills - Page 2

Small-town feeling and informal ties set the stage for natural friendships among the Eichlers of Terra Linda
Taking to the Hills
  Taking to the Hills  

  Taking to the Hills
Three views of Michael and Heidi Hazelrigg's Eichler in Terra Linda South. Top: Their Eichler exterior. Middle: Michael and Heidi relax in their family room with their dog, Monty, surrounded by guitars and music. Above: The couple's dining room.

Several main roads, including Manuel T. Freitas Parkway, are broad boulevards, originally intended to be through roads that would take motorists up and over the now-open hillsides to Fairfax, San Anselmo, and the West Marin coast.

Those plans died in the 1970s when Terra Linda residents pushed for a bond measure that paid for the hills to become parkland.

The Eichlers of Terra Linda, after the San Mateo Highlands, make up Joe's largest tract—though in some ways Terra Linda is actually two tracts, or even three.

There is Terra Linda North, as people call it, about 630 homes on windy, sometimes hilly streets surrounded by open space. These are compact pre-atrium models from 1955 and '56. There is also one hilly area that has about a dozen original two-story Eichlers.

You'll find Terra Linda South a mile away, on a thoroughfare that accommodates Terra Linda High School and on smaller lanes and cul-de-sacs surrounded by hills. These homes, from 1958 to 1960, include atrium models.

Realtor Renee Adelmann, who lived in Terra Linda South for several years before moving to Lucas Valley, sees a third tract—the later homes, circa 1960-'61, in Terra Linda North built further into the canyon, near Santa Margarita Park.

  Taking to the Hills
One of Terra Linda's many hidden pedestrian pathways. This one connects to Montecillo Road.

Adelmann calls these "the Santa Margarita Eichlers," and adds, "Those are the best ones in Terra Linda," citing their proximity to open space, and the use of sheetrock (among other improvements not found in earlier models).

Few residents, though, make such fine distinctions. "They all feel like slightly different neighborhoods within one Terra Linda community," says Caitlin McShane, who lives with her husband, Scott Wagner, and two daughters in the north. "But it's all Terra Linda."

Although a few houses have been badly altered, on the whole the architecture of Terra Linda appears intact from the street. In part this is because a zoning overlay in 2004, spurred by neighbors' outrage, banned second-story additions.

"There were two homes that went up [a story] at the same time," says Greg Knell, current and past president of the Santa Margarita Neighborhood Association, who has led beautification and other community efforts over the decades.

"They call it the great Eichler rebellion. It created a spontaneous outburst in the community."