Foothills Park in Palo Alto is open to everyone, regardless of residency, following a policy change introduced by Palo Alto City Council on December 17th, 2020.
The lifting of admission restrictions has resulted in increased visitor numbers and the park gate closes if capacity limits are reached. Dogs are only permitted in Foothills Park on weekdays and must be on a leash at all times.
Previously, Foothills Park was open only to Palo Alto residents and city employees, an ordinance dating back the sale of the land to the City of Palo Alto in 1959 by Doctor Russel Lee, founder of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, with a condition that it be preserved as open space. When a proposal that the neighboring communities of Portola Valley and Los Altos Hills contribute towards the purchase was rejected, Palo Alto imposed a residents-only policy when the park was opened in 1965.