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City of Gilroy
Community Profile

Gilroy is centrally located within a short driving distance of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, the San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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About Gilroy

General Description
Gilroy is best known as the "Garlic Capital of the World," and home of the annual Garlic Festival in July. But the City is also known for its peaceful residential environment, its award-winning parks, golf course and recreation programs, and for its "urban forest," for which the City has won Tree City USA awards annually since 1979.

Community Resources
A variety of superior community facilities and resources have placed Gilroy high in recent surveys which have attempted to measure the "quality of life" in Bay Area cities.

Major community facilities unveiled in the last decade include St. Louise Regional Hospital along U.S. 101, Wheeler Manor (senior residence) and an expanded Senior Center complex at Sixth and Hanna streets. The Gilroy library is also newly refurbished and computerized. Gavilan Community College in Gilroy is known for the beauty of its campus, set in the foothills which surround the City. Downtown, new vitality and a healthy respect for history make for a lively and interesting town center. Mature neighborhoods blend with newer homes to create an ambient atmosphere for residential areas, served by nearby schools, parks and churches, and just the right combination of rural and suburban amenities.

Average home costs in the area are in the $410,000 range.

Street Plan
Gilroy is situated in South Santa Clara County at the crossing of U.S. Highway 101 and State Highway 152.

The 1.5 square mile rectangle known as "The Old Quad, " was laid out in the mid-1800's, and served as the City's original city limits from its incorporation in 1870 until the first annexation in 1948. The system of numbered streets was used for east-west streets, with First Street/Hecker Pass Highway at the north, and Eleventh Street at the South. East-West streets added in modern times have not been numbered, but have been named after trees, birds, presidents, historic Gilroy names, and old spanish or early American names.

Sixth Street was once the central road, with perpendicular streets being labeled, for example, "North Hanna" to the north of Sixth, and "South Hanna" to the south. The addressing scheme changed in 1969. Now Gilroy and Morgan Hill share a common numbering pattern for Monterey Road. East-West streets are labeled "East" and "West" as they cross Monterey.

Gilroy is a growing community with a population of about 48,821 (2010 U.S. Census), representing over 2.7 percent of Santa Clara County. Gilroy serves as the center of a rural area of about 50,000. Projections have shown a potential population growth of over 10% in the next five years.

The 2010 ethnic breakdown of the City's population is 31.4% Caucasion, 57.8% Hispanic, 6.7% Asian, 1.5% Black, .4% American Indian, and .2% other.

Gilroy, a charter city, is a center of government activity for the region. The Gilroy City Council is made up of seven members with four-year terms, including a separately elected mayor, who can serve any number of terms.

Gilroy's climate strikes a pleasant balance between hot and cold, wet and dry, making it perfect for agriculture and recreation. Nestled between the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountains in the Santa Clara Valley, Gilroy residents enjoy mild temperatures, while missing most of the coastal fog. A state climatology report says up to 70 percent of Gilroy's days are sunny, with average rainfall of about 19.11 inches. The proximity of the Pacific Ocean keeps temperatures uniform. The average annual temperature is 62.8 degrees, although it is not unusual for summer readings to top 100. The average July high temperature is near 90. Winter temperatures drop to an average of 57 degrees in January. All-time winter lows have plunged into the 20s, with the first freeze usually coming in November. The average date of the last freeze is around March 1.

The agricultural growing season ranges from 300 to 350 days a year. The average relative humidity readings reach 90 percent or more at night during the winter, but drop to around 60 percent during the day. In the summer and fall, humidity reaches 70 percent at night and 40 percent during the day. Winds out of the northwest are usually light to moderate, up to 20 miles an hour.

Earthquake activity is not uncommon, as Gilroy sits between two active faults. The Calaveras Fault runs through the eastern foothills, and the Sargent Fault runs along the western edge of the valley. The Loma Prieta quake in October 1989 was centered 15 miles northwest of Gilroy, registering 7 on the Richter Scale. A 6.2 quake hit Morgan Hill in April 1984.

Industry and Economy
Historically, Gilroy's economy has been based in agricultural products and processing. Over the years, prunes, tomatoes, flowers, onions and, of course, garlic, have contributed to the economic health of the agricultural industries. Food processing centers have also established themselves in Gilroy, and government centers also employ many local residents. The Outlets at Gilroy, a five-phase retail complex, draws shoppers from all over the Bay Area and Central Coast regions.

The modem era has also seen an increase in interest in Gilroy as a site for expansion of "Silicon Valley." About a thousand acres remain available for industrial growth.

There are 13 public schools in the Gilroy Unified School District. Enrollment in the district is about 8,900 students. The School Board, which sets policy, adopts the budget and hires personnel, is made up of seven members elected to four-year terms. The district has about 800 employees.

Five private schools serve an additional 400 students, and approximately 4,500 students attend Gavilan College.

Gilroy has 12 parks, from 1/8 to 125 acres in size. Gilroy has won more park design awards from the California Park and Recreation Society than any other city in California, including awards for Christmas Hill Park (home of the Garlic Festival), Las Animas Park, San Ysidro Park, and El Roble Park. New facilities include two neighborhood parks adjacent to Luigi Aprea School and Rod Kelley School.

A recent addition to the City's park system is the Uvas Creek Park Preserve. When complete, this 125-acre creek restoration project will enhance the City's quality of life with a beautiful natural riparian corridor, nature trails, and an interpretive center. Planning for this project began in the 1970s, and restoration of the Uvas Creek, formerly the site of a sand and gravel mining operation, began in 1995. The project was given a boost in the 1980s with a $1 million bequest to the city by former councilman and developer Dennis DeBell.

Santa Clara County

General Description
In the same way that the Tigris and Euphrates Valley is heralded as the cradle of civilization, Santa Clara County will be heralded as the birthplace of a new age: the age of computers and microchips. But along with its booming space-age economy, Santa Clara County also hosts a variety of other resources.

The county is home to Stanford University in Palo Alto, which, in the 1930s and 1940s nurtured the entrepreneurial visions of students like William Hewlett and David Packard, who later founded "Silicon Valley."

A generation ago, the area stood in the economic and cultural shadows of its northern neighbor, San Francisco. Then a surge of growth brought a half million new residents, along with their semiconductors and their cultural diversities, into the metropolitan mainstream. Today, with a population about 1.5 million, Santa Clara County holds its own.

San Jose, at almost 850,000 in population, is the state's third largest city, behind Los Angeles and San Diego. With a skyline of top-of-the line hotels and modern office complexes, along with the $116-million convention center and new sports/concert arena, San Jose is ready for the next century as an energetic modem metropolis.

Fourteen other cities complete the County's personality. Palo Alto marks the northern terminus of the urban/industrial chain known as Silicon Valley. In between are the urban and suburban communities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino and Campbell. To the northeast is Milpitas, and to the southwest are the charming hillside villages of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Monte Sereno. Crowning the agricultural South County are Morgan Hill, unincorporated San Martin, and, of course, Gilroy.

At the confluence of four major freeways (101, 280, 680 and 880), San Jose has long been the fortress of mighty freeway interchanges. But along with its new status as a truly metropolitan center, San Jose also now boasts a light rails system. Other modes of transportation in Santa Clara County include County Transit busses, vanpooling and bicycling and the CalTrain Peninsula Commuter train line, which moves thousands of workers each day up and down the peninsula, from Gilroy to San Francisco. San Jose International Airport completes the transportation picture.

Regional and State Parks in the Gilroy vicinity include Mt. Madonna Park (3,039 acres) to the west, Uvas Canyon Park (1,049 acres) to the north, and Coe State Park (32,000 acres) to the east. In addition, Anderson, Calero, Chesbro, Uvas and Coyote reservoirs are all nearby, offering a full complement of water-related sports and recreational activities.