The Town of Hillsborough is a residential community located in San Mateo County, California. It is west of Highway 101 and El Camino Real and east of Highway 280 within a short commute to San Francisco and minutes from San Francisco International Airport.
Hillsborough's landscape is dominated by large homes; the town zoning and subdivision ordinances require a 2,500-square-foot (230 m2) minimum house size and minimum lot size of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2). As a result, there are no apartments, condominiums or townhouses in the city limits. The town has no commercial zoning and thus no businesses within the town limits; the only non-residential properties are the town's four public and three private schools, town and county government facilities, a golf course, a country club, and a small park.
The area's considerably winding, hilly topography (unsurprising given the town's name), and impossibility of a grid layout, make Hillsborough notoriously challenging to navigate. Many lots include fairly steep slopes, particularly the western side of the town, with the landscape generally flattening to the east as it descends from the 280 freeway to El Camino Real and the towns of Burlingame and San Mateo.
Two prominent streams drain the mostly wooded slopes of Hillsborough: San Mateo Creek and Cherry Creek. In both cases the upper watersheds are closed-canopy California oak woodlands, with dominant trees of Coast Live Oak, Pacific Madrone and California Bay.
The upper drainage area of San Mateo Creek in Hillsborough contains significant serpentinite outcrops, which are known habitats for several rare plant species including the San Mateo woolly sunflower. Other common plants include toyon, gooseberry, lupine, monkeyflower and coffeeberry.
Type: City Umbrella Agency: San Mateo County
Updated 6.20.2011 clr / 12.18.2015 lb