Known as the City of Blue Lagoons, Foster City’s lagoons were built to resolve an engineer problem when the city was first being developed. Foster City is located on land originally known as Brewer’s Island, which was originally marshland that had dried out after dikes and levees were constructed near the turn of the 19th
Century. It was then a diary farm for several decades.
In 1958, developer T. Jack Foster purchased the land with the idea of creating a planned community, a popular idea at the time. However, the silty clay mud sat at sea level. The Army Corps of Engineers estimated it would take 45 million cubic yards of fill to raise the land to bring it up to eight to twelve feet needed to build on. But a local engineering firm came up with a novel solution – raise the land four or five feet and create a central drainage basin to impound the water before it was pumped back into the bay. The concept worked and Foster City now has, as its centerpiece, a 218 acre lagoon that winds its way through the city. The drainage basin still works perfectly even with severe storms battering the area some winters.
The city is home to about 30,000 residents. This was the first planned community in the western United States. There are single family houses, townhouses, condominiums, and apartments running in various
areas of the city and many sit along side the water.
The city sits half way between San Francisco and San Jose making it a great place to live if one commutes. The San Mateo Bridge is at the eastern part of the city and when the bridge first opened the 12-miles span was the longest bridge in the world.
The schools belong to the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary District and the three elementary and one middle school test high. There is no high school in the city so students have their choice of any of the San Mateo Union High School schools nearby.
There are parks everywhere and several with beaches allowing for water play. Boating on the lagoons
is only done with electric power, sail boats or paddle boats. The Bay Trail wanders along the shoreline of
the bay and is well used all year long.
Foster City is a great place for families with much to do outdoors.