|• County Board||District 1:|
|• State Senate||Nancy Skinner (D)|
|• State Assembly||Buffy Wicks (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||Mark DeSaulnier (D)|
|• Total||0.956 sq mi (2.48 km2)|
|• Land||0.947 sq mi (2.45 km2)|
|• Water||0.009 sq mi (0.02 km2) 0.97%|
|Elevation||587 ft (179 m)|
|• Density||5,300/sq mi (2,100/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|Area code||510, 341|
|GNIS ID||1658891, 2408472|
Kensington is an unincorporated community and census designated place located in the Berkeley Hills, in the East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County, California. Originally part of the territory of the Ohlone, the land was appropriated by the Republic of Mexico. In the 20th century it was considered part of Berkeley, although it is across the county line. House numbers follow the pattern used in Berkeley, and Kensington shares two zip codes with the Berkeley hills area.
The population was 5,077 at the 2010 census.
Kensington is an unincorporated community of Contra Costa County that borders Alameda County. Unlike many unincorporated communities, Kensington has local jurisdiction over its police department, park services, refuse collection and fire department. These are governed by two elected boards. The five-member Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District (KPPCSD) Board oversees the police department, park services, and refuse collection. The five-member Kensington Fire District Board oversees the fire department and emergency medical services, of which the day-to-day function is outsourced to the fire department of El Cerrito, a neighboring city. The Kensington Municipal Advisory Board (KMAC) is a commission whose members are appointed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. KMAC is charged with land-use and development review and provides recommendations to the county planning and public works departments.
The sewer system is maintained by the Stege Sanitary District, which also includes the city of El Cerrito and the Richmond Annex area of Richmond. The East Bay Municipal Utility District supplies water and wastewater treatment services.AC Transit operates local transit service.
The area that is now Kensington was originally the territory of the Huchiun band of the Ohlone Indigenous people who occupied much of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Pedro Fages mapping expedition passed through the area in 1772.
In 1823, the Republic of Mexico granted Rancho San Pablo, an extent of land lying north of Cerrito Creek and the Rancho San Antonio, including that portion of land that is now Kensington, to Francisco María Castro, a veteran of the Mexican Army and former alcalde of San José. In 1831 his youngest son, Victor Castro, inherited the southern portion of the rancho, including what is now Kensington.
In 1892, Anson Blake purchased a portion of Castro's land, most of which is now Kensington.
George Shima bought ten acres north of Cerrito Creek and east of the present day Arlington Avenue in about 1911, intending to build a home there. He hosted an annual community picnic on the property for some time.
Land development companies had bought most of the Kensington area by 1911, when it was first surveyed. The area was named "Kensington" that year by Robert Brousefield, a surveyor who had lived in the London borough of South Kensington at one time. the first subdivisions were Kensington Park and Berkeley Park west of Arlington Avenue, with most streets named for locations in England, and Berkeley Highlands, with most streets named for colleges and universities.
Farmers in Kensington resisted inclusion in the city of El Cerrito when it was incorporated in 1917, and local voters have rejected incorporation various times since then.
In the 1920s, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) constructed an aqueduct through the Berkeley Hills to transport water from the San Pablo Reservoir to a still-active pumping facility in Kensington, located just above the Colusa Circle. Some of the water received by this facility is pumped up the hill to the Summit Reservoir located at the top of Spruce Street. The rest is pumped to other reservoirs serving the East Bay.
The population of Kensington was 226 in 1920, 1,423 in 1930, 3,355 in 1940, and reached a peak of 6,601 in 1950.
During World War II, J. Robert Oppenheimer lived at 10 Kenilworth Court where he held meetings of the American Communist Party, while simultaneously working on top secret atomic bomb work, and denying any involvement with such political groups. The house is often mistakenly described as being in Berkeley. Later in his life, Oppenheimer lived at 1 Eagle Hill, also in Kensington.
Until 1948, streetcar line #7 of the Key System ran to Kensington from Berkeley along Arlington Avenue, terminating in the small commercial area at Amherst Avenue. The streetcar was then replaced by an AC Transit bus route of the same number, which continues to run along Arlington Avenue. The streetcar service played an important role in the development of Kensington, and was fed by a network of mid-block pedestrian paths, most of which persist to this day. The pathways, which traverse Kensington, were offered for dedication for public use to the County of Contra Costa at the time the various subdivision maps were recorded. The County never accepted the offer of dedication, and accordingly, the ownership of the pathways has been in a state of uncertainty. Some of the pathways are used by the public regularly, and some have fallen into disuse, are overgrown with foliage, or have been absorbed into neighboring properties.
The late local historian Louis Stein Jr. lived and worked in Kensington, maintaining a pharmacy on the corner of Amherst and Arlington Avenue. For many years, he kept one of the East Bay's oldest horsecars in his yard—one that had probably seen service between Temescal, Oakland and the University of California in Berkeley. The horsecar is now at the Western Railway Museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2).
Kensington borders Berkeley and Albany to the south, El Cerrito to its west and north, and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park and Tilden Regional Park to the east.
Kensington is mostly single-family residential, with two small shopping districts. One of these is located on Arlington Avenue, the other centered on the Colusa Circle.
Kensington's current demographics result from the historical trend of white flight. In the 1950s, many white residents of nearby Richmond, California moved to Kensington as the African American population of Richmond increased tenfold to meet the needs of its growing wartime and post-war industrial base.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2010 census 5,077 people, 2,199 households, and 1,417 families resided in the CDP. The population density was 5,361.1 people per square mile (2,069.7/km2). There were 2,305 housing units at an average density of 2,409.7 per square mile (930.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.1% White (74.8% non-Hispanic), 2.6% African American (2.5% non-Hispanic), 0.3% Native American, 12.0% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 5.9% from two or more races. 5.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The census reported that 100% of the population lived in households.
Of the 2,199 households 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 54.9% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.5% had a male householder with no wife present. 4.1% of households were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships and 2.0% were same-sex married couples or partnerships. 26.6% were one person and 12.5% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.76.
The age distribution was 18.4% under the age of 18, 3.2% aged 18 to 24, 20.9% aged 25 to 44, 35.2% aged 45 to 64, and 22.2% 65 or older. The median age was 49.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.
There were 2,305 housing units, of which 2,199 were occupied, of which 82.9% were owner-occupied and 17.1% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.0%. 83.8% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 16.2% lived in rental housing units.
At the 2000 census there were 4,936 people, 2,192 households, and 1,372 families in the CDP. The population density was 4,301.9 people per square mile (1,657.2/km2). There were 2,245 housing units at an average density of 1,956.6 per square mile (753.7/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 81.77% White, 2.55% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 10.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 3.93% from two or more races. 3.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.Of the 2,192 households 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 26.7% of households were one person and 12.5% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.69.
The age distribution was 17.7% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 22.1% 65 or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The median household income was $93,247 and the median family income was $102,601. Males had a median income of $71,278 versus $55,347 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $55,275. About 1.7% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
The Kensington Branch Library of the Contra Costa County Library enjoys one of the highest circulation per capita rates of any Contra Costa County Library.Kensington Hilltop Elementary School serves to educate Kindergarten to 6th grade. Kensington is served by the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Children may also attend private schools in other nearby cities.
There are two churches in Kensington, Arlington Community Church (United Church of Christ), completed and dedicated in 1948, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, which in 1961 moved from its original home in Berkeley to land in Kensington purchased from church member and architect Bernard Maybeck. There is also a Carmelite monastery adjacent to Blake Garden.
Albany is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northwestern Alameda County, California. The population was 18,539 at the 2010 census and was estimated to be 19,696 in 2019.
Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Alamo is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. It is a suburb located in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay region, approximately 28 miles (45 km) east of San Francisco. Alamo is equidistant between the city of Walnut Creek and the incorporated town of Danville. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,750. The community of Alamo is well known for its bucolic country feel, notable residents, and its affluent lifestyle with the median home price being $2.43 million.
Bay Point, formerly West Pittsburg and originally Bella Vista is a census-designated place located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in Contra Costa County, California. Bay Point is just west of Pittsburg, California, and northeast of Concord, California, on the southern shore of Suisun Bay. The population of Bay Point was 21,349 as of 2010. The Pittsburg/Bay Point Station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail system is located adjacent to Bay Point in Pittsburg. The community is traversed by a freeway, State Route 4, the California Delta Highway. Being unincorporated, Bay Point does not have its own police department. The community is policed by the California Highway Patrol and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. The ZIP code is 94565, and the area code is 925.
Bethel Island is a census-designated place (CDP) on Bethel Island in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 2,137 at the 2010 census. The community of Bethel Island is governed as a Special Act District created by the California State legislature and named the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District (BIMID). It is a popular destination for recreation seekers, especially hunters, fishermen and boaters.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Byron is a census designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States.
Discovery Bay is a census-designated place (CDP) in eastern Contra Costa County, California in the United States, about 60 miles (97 km) from San Francisco. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2010, its population was 13,352, a 48.7 percent gain from 8,981 at the 2000 census.
East Richmond Heights is an unincorporated and census-designated place (CDP) in western Contra Costa County, California, United States. Its population was 3,280 at the 2010 census. The community is locally referred to as Richmond View, especially in the context of real estate advertisements. The area also includes Tewksbury Heights, a subdivision created in 1909 and located within the East Richmond Heights CDP.
El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city.
El Sobrante is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 12,669 at the 2010 census.
Knightsen is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 1,568, up from 861 reported in the 2000 census.
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Port Costa is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 190 at the 2010 census.
Rodeo is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Contra Costa County, California, in the East Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area, on the eastern shore of San Pablo Bay, 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. The population was 8,679 at the 2010 census. The town is named for the livestock roundups common in the late 19th century. Cattle from the surrounding hills were regularly driven down through the old town to a loading dock on the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for shipment to slaughterhouses, a practice which continued through the early 20th century. The town of Rodeo is served by the Interstate 80 freeway and State Route 4. The Southern Pacific Railroad main line passes through Rodeo. Rodeo has not been a stop on the railroad since the 1950s.
San Pablo is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city of Richmond surrounds nearly the whole city. The population was 29,139 at the 2010 census. The current Mayor is Elizabeth Pabon-Alvarado. Currently, the City Council consists of Arturo Cruz, Rita Xavier, Abel Pineda and Patricia Ponce. Xavier is the Vice Mayor, and Cruz, Pineda, and Ponce are Council Members. Dorothy Gantt is the city Clerk. Viviana Toledo is the city Treasurer.
Tara Hills is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 5,126 at the 2010 census.
Waldon is a former census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 5,133 at the 2000 census. The Antioch–SFO/Millbrae line of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system serves the surrounding area using the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre Station with adjacent access to Interstate 680. The area has been undergoing a series of transit-oriented development projects under the auspices of the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village public/private partnership.
El Cerrito is a census-designated place (CDP) in Riverside County, California, United States. It is an unincorporated area mostly surrounded by the city of Corona. The population was 5,100 at the 2010 census, up from 4,590 at the 2000 census.
Contra Costa Centre is an unincorporated census-designated place in Contra Costa County, California. Contra Costa Centre sits at an elevation of 92 feet. The 2010 United States census reported Contra Costa Centre's population was 5,364. Contra Costa Centre is served by the Pleasant Hill / Contra Costa Centre BART station.