Chemeketa Park Mutual Water Company

Chemeketa Park is an unincorporated community of approximately 150 homes located in Lexington Hills, in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County, California.


Chemeketa Park was developed in 1925 and 1926 by J.B. Balcomb, a civil engineer from Palo Alto who had acquired a 63-acre orchard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. An advertisement in the Sunday, June 20, 1926 edition of the San Jose Mercury Herald lists a "pre-opening sale" of lots "as low as $50.00."

Initially, lots were used for vacation cabins. The mountain communities of Chemeketa Park and Redwood Estates, etc., were considered too remote, and too difficult to access, for year-round living. Lots were advertised to Bay Area families as a summer retreat, far from the stress of city living in San Francisco or San Jose.

By the mid-1930s, with the improvement of roads and water systems, many residents began occupying their cabins year-round and combining smaller lots into larger parcels.

Name Derivation

Chemeketa is a Kalapuya Indian word with various meanings attributed to it, including "resting place," "meeting place," "old home," or "old camping ground." The Kalapuya lived in the area now known as the Willamette Valley. Chemeketa was an original name of Salem and still exists as the name of a community college, a library, and various parks and streets in the Salem and Portland areas.

When J.B. Balcomb and his wife emigrated from the mid-West to California, they first stopped through eastern Oregon where they most likely heard the name. The Native American theme is present throughout Chemeketa Park with street names including "Comanche Trail," "Ogallala Warpath," "Apache Trail," and "Navajo Trail." (source: wikipedia)

The Water Company

The Chemeketa Park Mutual Water Company was incorporated in 1929 as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation. Its primary purpose is to operate a water system, roads, and recreational facilities for its members. These services are provided at cost.

Membership in the Company is attached to ownership of land within the boundaries of the Park. The members own the Company and have ultimate responsibility for the corporation and the services it provides.

Chemeketa Parks primary water source is Moody Creek with the Los Gatos Creek used as a back up.

All roads within Chemeketa are private and maintained by CPMWC. Ogallala Warpath, which boarders land not included within the Chemeketa subdivision, is a public County road maintained by County Roads and Airports.


Unpaid residents volunteer their time to serve on the Board of Directors. The board meets the second Thursday of every month at the clubhouse, meetings are open to all members. The five-member Board of Directors is elected from the membership at an annual meeting each Spring. The Board of Directors oversees day to day operations in compliance with the bylaws.

Santa Clara County controls land use (such as number of living units that can occupy a parcel of land and tree removal) in Chemeketa Park. The zoning ordinance for Chemeketa Park can be found here.

The water system is operated by a contractor hired by the Board. The Department of Health Services regulates the operation of the water system, including operator certification requirements, water quality monitoring requirements, and reporting requirements.

Last Modified: December 6, 2019 9:26am