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Pleasant Hill, California facts for kids

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City of Pleasant Hill
City Hall
City Hall
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
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Country  United States
State  California
County Contra Costa
Incorporated November 14, 1961
 • Total 7.08 sq mi (18.33 km2)
 • Land 7.08 sq mi (18.32 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
52 ft (16 m)
 • Total 34,613
 • Density 4,889/sq mi (1,888.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 925
FIPS code 06-57764
GNIS feature IDs 1659406, 2411439

Pleasant Hill is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 34,613 at the 2020 census. It was incorporated in 1961. Pleasant Hill is the home of College Park High School, Diablo Valley College, the Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library system, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km2). Pleasant Hill has a varied landscape with some valleys and rolling hills. In undisturbed wilderness, oak woodlands and mixed woods can be found. It is located in the central East San Francisco Bay.


This region has warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Pleasant Hill has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. Winter daytime temperatures tend to be in the fifties and sixties, and summers range in the high seventies to upper eighties, occasionally reaching the low nineties. On very rare occasions, the temperatures can reach the one hundred degree range during extreme heat waves. Freezing in winter is rare, but it does happen. Summer fog is occasional but winter fog is very common.

History and architecture

This area began to be developed more in the 1920s, as former agricultural land was subdivided for housing. Monument Boulevard was named after the Soldiers Memorial Monument to commemorate soldiers of the Great War. It was erected on December 11, 1927. The monument depicts one black and three white soldiers. It is 45 feet (14 metres) tall, constructed of formed concrete, and weighs 150 tons. In 1954 the monument was moved to its current site at Boyd Road and Contra Costa Boulevard to make way for upcoming highway construction.

Developed largely in the years following World War II, this area did not have a post office until 1948. The city incorporated in 1961.

Dome Theater - Pleasant Hill, California
CinéArts "Dome" Theater, 2013

On February 21, 1967, Century 21 Theaters opened an 895-seat dome theater between Monument Boulevard and Hookston Road (I-680 was later constructed passing west of here). Visible from the freeway after it was constructed, the futuristic dome-topped cinema became an iconic landmark for the newly incorporated city. The theater was designed by prolific Bay Area architect Vincent G. Raney. It had a distinctive 50-foot-high domed ceiling and oversized curved screen. The theater was initially built to showcase the Cinerama widescreen process developed in the 1950s. The screen was later updated to standard flat-screen. In 1973, four additional single-screen auditoriums were added to the front of the building. Renamed as Century 5 Theatres, it continued to be known familiarly as the Dome.

The city hall of Pleasant Hill, completed in the late 20th century, has won several awards for architectural design.

For most of its history, Pleasant Hill did not have a true downtown or Main Street. In 1991, the city began planning the redevelopment of the area around the intersection of Monument and Contra Costa boulevards. In July 2000, Downtown Pleasant Hill finally opened. The privately owned and operated outdoor shopping center was designed to resemble a typical small Main Street.

Dome Theater Interior - Pleasant Hill, California
Interior of the CinéArts "Dome" Theater on its last night of operation – April 21, 2013

Starting in 2003, CinéArts operated the former Century 5 Theatres, screening primarily independent and foreign films. Due to changes in viewing habits, as many people screened movies at home, business continued to decline. The theater's property owner, SyWest Development, closed the Dome on April 21, 2013. On its last night of operation, CinéArts screened Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Sywest gained approval by the Pleasant Hill City Council for its proposal to tear down the theater and redevelop the property for a two-story, 73,000+ square-foot building to house a Dick's Sporting Goods. Supporters of the theater submitted two separate appeals to overturn the approval of demolition: one by a resident of Pleasant Hill, and one by Save the Pleasant Hill Dome (SPHD) organization. Both appeals were voted down by a majority of the city council; Mayor Michael G. Harris and councilmember Ken Carlson voted in favor of the appeal. SyWest had the Dome demolished on May 8, 2013, precluding any further court action.

Parks and recreation

Parks in Pleasant Hill are maintained and managed by the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District. The district is a separate entity from the City of Pleasant Hill.

  • Brookwood Park
  • Chilpancingo Park
  • Dinosaur Hill Park
  • Paso Nogal Park
  • Pleasant Hill Aquatic Park
  • Pleasant Hill Education Center Pool
  • Pleasant Hill Park
  • Pleasant Oaks Park
  • Rogers-Smith Park
  • Soldiers Memorial Park


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 5,686
1960 23,844 319.3%
1970 24,610 3.2%
1980 25,547 3.8%
1990 31,585 23.6%
2000 32,837 4.0%
2010 33,152 1.0%
2020 34,613 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Pleasant Hill had a population of 33,152. The population density was 4,688.1 people per square mile (1,810.1/km2). The racial makeup of Pleasant Hill was 24,846 (74.9%) White, 686 (2.1%) African American, 127 (0.4%) Native American, 4,516 (13.6%) Asian, 66 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,079 (3.3%) from other races, and 1,832 (5.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,009 persons (12.1%).

The Census reported that 32,689 people (98.6 percent of the population) lived in households, 151 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 312 (0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 13,708 households, out of which 3,892 (28.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,329 (46.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,359 (9.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 597 (4.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 789 (5.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 152 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,929 households (28.7%) were made up of individuals, and 1,431 (10.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38. There were 8,285 families (60.4 percent of all households); the average family size was 2.96.

The population was spread out, with 6,563 people (19.8%) under the age of 18, 3,180 people (9.6%) aged 18 to 24, 8,901 people (26.8%) aged 25 to 44, 9,902 people (29.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,606 people (13.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.

There were 14,321 housing units at an average density of 2,025.2 per square mile (781.9/km2), of which 13,708 were occupied, of which 8,470 (61.8%) were owner-occupied, and 5,238 (38.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3 percent; the rental vacancy rate was 5.1 percent. 21,253 people (64.1 percent of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 11,436 people (34.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile 2010
Total Population 33,152 – 100.0%
One Race 31,320 – 94.5%
Not Hispanic or Latino 29,143 – 87.9%
White alone 22,498 – 67.9%
Black or African American alone 656 – 2.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 68 – 0.2%
Asian alone 4,447 – 13.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 62 – 0.2%
Some other race alone 46 – 0.1%
Two or more races alone 1,366 – 4.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 4,009 – 12.1%

Planning and environmental factors

The Gregory Gardens subdivision developed in 1950 required purchasers of new homes to accept a Covenant that restricted ownership to Caucasians (such provisions have since been ruled as unconstitutional). The Covenant also limited the structures that could be built, animals allowed on premises, and commercial activities.

Pleasant Hill used a system of environmental planning at a relatively early stage of its modern growth. Notably the city authorized a study in the 1980s of hillside development, which included detailed mapping of biota, geotechnical hazards, sound levels and other environmental constraints. These studies were used to establish appropriate zoning and development densities for all the principal undeveloped hillside areas within the city.

Sister Cities

Pleasant Hill, California has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:


Soldiers Monument Pleasant Hill California at Boyd Road 1927
Soldiers Monument

Top employers

According to the city's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), as of 2009 the city's principal employers were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Mount Diablo Unified School District 659
2 Contra Costa County Fire Protection 450
3 Safeway 255
4 Target 250
5 Yandell Truckaway 250
6 Nightingale of Contra Costa 200
7 John F. Kennedy University 185
8 Contra Costa County Office of Education 165
9 Hospice of the East Bay 150
10 Irvin Deutscher Family YMCA 150


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Elementary schools

  • Fair Oaks Elementary School
  • Gregory Gardens Elementary School
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary School
  • Sequoia Elementary School
  • Strandwood Elementary School
  • Valhalla Elementary School

Middle schools

  • Pleasant Hill Middle School
  • Sequoia Middle School
  • Valley View Middle School

High schools

  • College Park High School

Private schools

  • Christ the King Catholic School
  • Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy

Colleges and universities

  • Diablo Valley College
  • John F. Kennedy University

Public libraries

The Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Pleasant Hill. The library system was headquartered in Pleasant Hill before relocating to Martinez in preparation for the construction of a new Pleasant Hill Library.

Notable people

  • Tom Hanks: Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor who grew up and spent his early childhood in Pleasant Hill, CA (IMSA)
  • Mike Guasch: professional race car driver (IMSA)
  • Leslie Smith: professional mixed martial artist
  • Bob Roll: Professional Cyclist, TV Personality, Cyclist Commentator, Writer
  • Bob Wilson: singer, songwriter, guitarist and Era label recording artist
  • Ron Wotus: Bench Coach for the San Francisco Giants (coach who is second-in-command to the manager). Ron resides with his wife Laurie in Pleasant Hill, California.
  • Julie Strain: Model and actress in over 100 movies. Attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA
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