The northern parts of the city of Irvine in Orange County, California, are known as Northwood. It extends to include everything west of the Santa Ana Freeway, along Culver Drive, Portola Parkway, and Jeffrey Road.

Northwood, a neighborhood in Irvine, CA area that was first built in the early 1970s, is unique in that it was not created by the Irvine Company. Thus, it is the only neighborhood where a HOA does not exert total control. Park Paseo, Park Place, and Woodside are just a few examples of neighborhoods with HOAs with enviable amenities like swimming pools and hot tubs for residents.

Northwood was formerly a portion of the Irvine Ranch. As incentives and gifts to ranch foremen and other personnel, the Irvine family gifted or sold portions of the land. The area now known as Northwood was once comprised of 23 separate parcels of land owned by various individuals. More than 60% of Northwood’s houses were constructed between 1977 and 1979, and there were as many as 66 different types available across 18 different subdivisions at any given time. The Irvine Company created Northwood Pointe, a satellite community adjacent to Northwood, in the late 1990s.

The eucalyptus windrows that encircle homes and line important thoroughfares are a notable feature of Northwood, as they are in most of Irvine’s towns. These trees were originally planted when the land was cultivated to protect crops from the strong Santa Ana Winds. In the Northwood neighborhood of Irvine, these windrows are more common and spaced more closely than in any other region of the city.

The Santa Ana Mountains to the north and the prevalence of single-family homes, often on slightly bigger lots, are also defining features of the hamlet. Northwood Loop, an older two-lane neighborhood road in Woodbridge, predates Yale Loop and divides Northwood into four sections (Northwood, Southwood, Eastwood, and Westwood) that are crossed by Yale and Bryan Avenues in opposite directions.

The Irvine Unified School District serves Northwood. Northwood is home to several highly regarded primary education institutions, including Santiago Hills, Canyon View, Brywood, and Northwood Elementary Schools. Scores for elementary schools on the 2007 Academic Performance Index Base Report ranged from 889 to 951. The 2008 National Blue Ribbon School award went to Northwood Elementary.

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