La Selva Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California. La Selva Beach sits at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m). The 2010 United States census reported La Selva Beach’s population was 2,843.
La Selva Beach is one of the several small communities located in and around Aptos. It neighbors Seascape to the north, Corralitos to the east, andWatsonville to the south. The name “La Selva” is Spanish for “the jungle”, or, in temperate regions, “the forest”. When founded, the small beach community was surrounded by dense conifer woods.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 5.3 square miles (13.7 km²), all of it land.
In 1925 it was founded as Rob Roy by real estate developer David Batchelor. The now-defunct (since 2000) Rob Roy Video Store was the only business in the area to make note of this heritage. In 1935 the name was changed to La Selva Beach by the new developer, Edward Burghard. Most of the existing houses were built in the early 1960s. In the 1970s the residents convinced state government to remove “Beach” from the direction signs. Officially the name is still La Selva Beach.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Selva Beach had a population of 2,843. The population density was 536.8 people per square mile (207.2/km²). The racial makeup of La Selva Beach was 2,399 (84.4%) White, 27 (0.9%) African American, 23 (0.8%) Native American, 116 (4.1%) Asian, 3 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 146 (5.1%) from other races, and 129 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 372 persons (13.1%).
The Census reported that 2,592 people (91.2% of the population) lived in households, 245 (8.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 6 (0.2%) were institutionalized.
There were 1,076 households, out of which 289 (26.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 592 (55.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 86 (8.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 56 (5.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 67 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 13 (1.2%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 251 households (23.3%) were made up of individuals and 91 (8.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41. There were 734 families (68.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.80.
The population was spread out with 612 people (21.5%) under the age of 18, 228 people (8.0%) aged 18 to 24, 528 people (18.6%) aged 25 to 44, 1,049 people (36.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 426 people (15.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.5 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.
There were 1,376 housing units at an average density of 259.8 per square mile (100.3/km²), of which 727 (67.6%) were owner-occupied, and 349 (32.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.7%. 1,723 people (60.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 869 people (30.6%) lived in rental housing units.
Parks and recreation
La Selva Beach is home to both La Selva Beach and adjacent to Manresa State Beach where one can fish, surf, and boogie board. These breaks are not as popular as others in Santa Cruz County. La Selva Beach does not have direct public access, although residents of the neighborhood can get a key that allows them to open an otherwise-locked gate so that they can drive down to a parking lot near the beach (the parking lot is under the trestle). For years surfers have parked at the top of the nearby cliffs in La Selva to check the waves, then hiked down the steep hillside, crossing the railroad tracks and descending a second hillside to get to the water. In an attempt to curb this practice (presumably for soil erosion reasons), a chain-link fence was erected in the early 2000s on the near side of the railroad tracks. Many surfers still access the beach via the cliffs, easily scaling the fence.
The central park of La Selva Beach is Triangle Park. The park is triangular in form and enhanced by a triangular structure with the flags of the world. There is also a horseshoe pit.
In the summer, one can witness small girls practicing their baton-twirling/hurling skills in preparation for the La Selva Beach 4th of July Parade. This parade is shorter but less known than the so-called “World’s Shortest Parade” which takes place concurrently in Aptos, California.
In winter, one can view the painted-wood Christmas-themed display and lights of “Candlelight Lane.” Candlelight Lane is what Playa Boulevard is transformed into during the month of December from its intersection of San Andreas Boulevard its with Estrella Boulevard. Multi-colored lights are placed upon the pine trees and palm trees.
- Aaron Bates, professional baseball player.
- Lisa Leuschner, American Idol TV show semi-finalist.
- Jason Jessee, professional skateboarder.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia