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Belvedere, California
City of Belvedere
Belvedere around San Francisco Yacht Club
Belvedere around San Francisco Yacht Club
Location of Belvedere in Marin County, California.
Location of Belvedere in Marin County, California.
Belvedere, California is located in the United States
Belvedere, California
Belvedere, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Marin
Incorporated December 24, 1896
Government
 • Type Council–manager
 • Body
Area
 • Total 2.41 sq mi (6.23 km2)
 • Land 0.52 sq mi (1.35 km2)
 • Water 1.89 sq mi (4.89 km2)  78.42%
Elevation
36 ft (11 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,126
 • Density 4,096.34/sq mi (1,580.46/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
94920
Area codes 415/628
FIPS code 06-05164
GNIS feature IDs 1658031, 2409829

Belvedere is a residential incorporated city located on the San Francisco Bay in Marin County, California, United States. Consisting of two islands and a lagoon, it is connected to the Tiburon Peninsula by two causeways. At the 2020 census, the population was 2,126. The per-capita (per person) income of Belvedere residents in the year 2000 was $250,000, but currently the average income is $283,000, making it one of the highest-income cities in California and the eighth highest-income community in the United States (highest with a population of over 1,000 residents). Belvedere and Tiburon share a post office and the 94920 ZIP code.

Location

Belvedere, California in 2010
Belvedere
San Francisco Bay from the air in May 2010 04
Aerial view of Belvedere and the Tiburon Peninsula

Belvedere is located at 37°52′22″N 122°27′52″W / 37.87278°N 122.46444°W / 37.87278; -122.46444, about 4 mi (6 km) north of San Francisco.

Situated on the Tiburon Peninsula about 3 miles south/southeast of Ring Mountain, between Richardson Bay and the Town of Tiburon, Belvedere consists of two "islands" and the lagoon (Belvedere Lagoon) between them. The larger of the two islands is Belvedere Island, and the smaller one is Corinthian Island, which is shared with Tiburon. The area of Ring Mountain is notable for its archaeological resources of extant Native American petroglyphs as well as considerable biodiversity of California native plants.

Belvedere Lagoon is owned and maintained by the Belvedere Lagoon Property Owners' Association. The lagoon is not accessible by boat from San Francisco Bay, and no public access is provided. Until somewhat late in the 20th century, houseboats were present in Belvedere Lagoon.

The city has a total area of 2.42 sq mi (6.3 km2), of which 0.54 sq mi (1.4 km2) is land and 1.89 sq mi (4.9 km2) (78%) is water.

History

The first settlers arrived in the late 19th century, then the railroad came and Tiburon was the last stop for passengers and cargo destined for San Francisco and beyond.

Belvedere incorporated in 1896. The first post office opened in 1897.

The City Hall was formerly a Presbyterian Church. It was moved to its present location on San Rafael Avenue in 1949.

Actress Vivian Vance, who played Ethel on I Love Lucy, died in Belvedere in 1979 at the age of 70.

Built on a tradition of volunteerism and caring for the community, the Belvedere Community Foundation was founded in 1990 by a group of residents who avidly appreciated their good fortune in living in magnificent Belvedere. Giving back to the community and providing a catalyst to move it forward are goals of the Foundation's grant program. As its endowment grows, the Foundation aspires to offer substantial assistance to projects which protect and enhance the quality of life in Belvedere.

Houses

Belvedere sits on the south side of the tip of Tiburon Peninsula, a small peninsula that extends into San Francisco Bay. Many Belvedere properties are renowned for their spectacular views of the Bay Area, Angel Island, San Francisco, Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais. As a result, land values are extremely high. In 2000, 87.6% of the city's owner-occupied housing units cost more than $1,000,000, compared with 2.3% for California as a whole.

Many houses in Belvedere are in the Victorian style of architecture. Some Belvedere homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, such as the Valentine Rey House designed by Willis Polk and built in 1893. Other notable architects include Albert Farr, who designed the Belevdere Land Company Building and cottages, Henry Gutterson, and Charles Callister. With a recent flood of attention and demand for housing in Belvedere, housing and building has become a contentious issue as older members of the community have increasingly become frustrated with the large construction projects being developed.

San Francisco Yacht Club House c 1894
San Francisco Yacht Club House c 1894

No restaurants or stores are allowed in Belvedere, and the city enforces strict rules regarding house design and setbacks in order to preserve trees, views and the town's spacious, wooded character. The adjacent town of Tiburon, however, is home to a wide range of services, shops and eateries.

Originally a fishing-based community,

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 434
1910 481 10.8%
1920 616 28.1%
1930 500 −18.8%
1940 457 −8.6%
1950 800 75.1%
1960 2,148 168.5%
1970 2,599 21.0%
1980 2,401 −7.6%
1990 2,147 −10.6%
2000 2,125 −1.0%
2010 2,068 −2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Belvedere had a population of 2,068. Population density was 859.2 people per square mile (331.7 per km2). 1,940 residents (93.8%) were White, 3 (0.1%) African-American, 58 (2.8%) Asian, 7 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 18 (0.9%) from other races, and 42 (2.0%) from two or more races. 72 residents (3.5%) were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 928 households. 228 (24.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 542 (58.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 54 (5.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 15 (1.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 27 (2.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 6 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships.

276 households (29.7%) were made up of individuals, and 187 (20.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23. There were 611 families (65.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.76.

443 residents (21.4%) were under the age of 18, 45 (2.2%) were aged 18 to 24, 277 13.4%) were aged 25 to 44, 650 (31.4%) were aged 45 to 64, and 653 (31.6%) were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males.

There were 1,045 housing units, with an average density of 434.2 units per square mile (167.6 per km2), of which 695 (74.9%) were owner-occupied and 233 (25.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.5%. 1,614 residents (78.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units, and 454 residents (22.0%) lived in rental housing units.

Education

Belvedere is in Reed Union School District.

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