Pleasant Hill, California

Coordinates: 37°56′53″N 122°03′09″W / 37.94806°N 122.05250°W / 37.94806; -122.05250
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City of Pleasant Hill
City Hall
City Hall
Flag of City of Pleasant Hill
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
City of Pleasant Hill is located in the United States
City of Pleasant Hill
City of Pleasant Hill
Location in California
Coordinates: 37°56′53″N 122°03′09″W / 37.94806°N 122.05250°W / 37.94806; -122.05250
Country United States
CountyContra Costa
IncorporatedNovember 14, 1961[1]
 • City Council
 • City TreasurerAndrew Kalinowski[3]
 • City ClerkCarol Wu[4]
 • State Leg.Sen. Bill Dodd (D)[5]
Asm. Tim Grayson (D)[6]
 • U. S. CongressNancy Pelosi (D)[7]
 • Total7.08 sq mi (18.33 km2)
 • Land7.08 sq mi (18.32 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
52 ft (16 m)
 • Total34,613
 • Density4,900/sq mi (1,900/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code925
FIPS code06-57764
GNIS feature IDs1659406, 2411439
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Pleasant Hill is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 34,613 at the 2020 census. It was incorporated in 1961. Pleasant Hill is the home of College Park High School, Diablo Valley College, the Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library system, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.

History and architecture[edit]

Before colonization the area was inhabited by members of the Bay Miwok people. The San Ramon Valley Branch Line of the Southern Pacific entered service in 1891 with two flag stops in the area that would become the City of Pleasant Hill: Hookston, located today where the Iron Horse Regional Trail crosses Hookston Road, and Sparkle, where the Southern Pacific and Sacramento Northern Railway intersected and today stands the Pleasant Hill BART station. The area began to be suburbanized in the 1920s following prohibition, as the many local vineyards were removed and the formerly agricultural land was subdivided for housing. Monument Boulevard was named after the Soldiers Memorial Monument to commemorate veterans and war dead of World War I from Contra Costa County. It was erected on December 11, 1927, at the intersection of Monument Boulevard and the Contra Costa Highway, now Contra Costa Boulevard. The monument depicts one black and three white soldiers. It is 45 feet (14 meters) tall, constructed of formed concrete, and weighs 150 tons. In 1954 the monument was moved to its current site at the intersection of Boyd Road and Contra Costa Boulevard to make way for the construction of State Route 21.

Developed largely in the years following World War II, the area did not have a post office until 1948. The city incorporated in 1961.[9]

CinéArts "Dome" Theater, 2013

On February 21, 1967, Century 21 Theaters opened an 895-seat dome theater between Monument Boulevard and Hookston Road (I-680 was later constructed passing west of here). Visible from the freeway after it was constructed, the futuristic dome-topped cinema became an iconic landmark for the newly incorporated city.[10] The theater was designed by prolific Bay Area architect Vincent G. Raney. It had a distinctive 50-foot-high domed ceiling and oversized curved screen. The theater was initially built to showcase the Cinerama widescreen process developed in the 1950s. The screen was later updated to standard flat-screen.[11] In 1973, four additional single-screen auditoriums were added to the front of the building. Renamed as Century 5 Theatres, it continued to be known familiarly as the Dome.[12]

The city hall of Pleasant Hill was designed by architect Charles Moore. Completed in the late 20th century, it has won several awards for architectural design.

For most of its history, Pleasant Hill did not have a true downtown or Main Street. In 1991, the city began planning the redevelopment of the area around the intersection of Monument and Contra Costa boulevards. In July 2000, Downtown Pleasant Hill finally opened. The privately owned and operated outdoor shopping center was designed to resemble a typical small Main Street.

Interior of the CinéArts "Dome" Theater on its last night of operation – April 21, 2013

Starting in 2003, CinéArts operated the former Century 5 Theatres, screening primarily independent and foreign films. Due to changes in viewing habits, as many people screened movies at home, business continued to decline. The theater's property owner, SyWest Development, closed the Dome on April 21, 2013. On its last night of operation, CinéArts screened Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.[13]

Sywest gained the approval of the Pleasant Hill City Council for its proposal to tear down the theater and redevelop the property as a two-story, 73,000+ square-foot building to house a Dick's Sporting Goods. Supporters of the theater submitted two separate appeals to overturn the approval of demolition: one by a resident of Pleasant Hill, and one by Save the Pleasant Hill Dome (SPHD) organization.[13] Both appeals were voted down by a majority of the city council; Mayor Michael G. Harris and councilmember Ken Carlson voted in favor of the appeal.[14][15][16] SyWest had the Dome demolished on May 8, 2013, precluding any further court action.[17][18][19]

On October 14, 2019, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake shook the town.[20][21]

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 square kilometers). Pleasant Hill has a varied landscape with some valleys and rolling hills. In undisturbed wilderness, oak woodlands and mixed woods can be found. It is located in the central East San Francisco Bay.

This region has warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Pleasant Hill has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[22] Winter daytime temperatures tend to be in the fifties to low sixties, and summers range in the seventies to upper eighties, occasionally reaching the low nineties. On very rare occasions, the temperatures can reach the one hundred degree range during extreme heat waves. Freezing in winter is rare, but it does happen. Summer fog is occasional but winter fog is very common.


Soldiers Monument

Top employers[edit]

According to the city's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), as of 2009 the city's principal employers were:[23]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Mount Diablo Unified School District 659
2 Contra Costa County Fire Protection 450
3 Safeway 255
4 Target 250
5 Yandell Truckaway 250
6 Nightingale of Contra Costa 200
7 John F. Kennedy University 185
8 Contra Costa County Office of Education 165
9 Hospice of the East Bay 150
10 Irvin Deutscher Family YMCA 150


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Elementary schools

  • Fair Oaks Elementary School
  • Gregory Gardens Elementary School
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary School
  • Sequoia Elementary School
  • Strandwood Elementary School
  • Valhalla Elementary School

Middle schools

  • Pleasant Hill Middle School
  • Sequoia Middle School
  • Valley View Middle School

High schools

Private schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

The Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Pleasant Hill.[24] The library system was headquartered in Pleasant Hill before relocating to Martinez in preparation for the construction of a new Pleasant Hill Library.[25]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Parks in Pleasant Hill are maintained and managed by the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District. The district is a separate entity from the City of Pleasant Hill.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[26]

The 2010 United States Census[27] reported that Pleasant Hill had a population of 33,152. The population density was 4,688.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,810.1/km2). The racial makeup of Pleasant Hill was 24,846 (74.9%) White, 686 (2.1%) African American, 127 (0.4%) Native American, 4,516 (13.6%) Asian, 66 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,079 (3.3%) from other races, and 1,832 (5.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,009 persons (12.1%).

The Census reported that 32,689 people (98.6 percent of the population) lived in households, 151 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 312 (0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 13,708 households, out of which 3,892 (28.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,329 (46.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,359 (9.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 597 (4.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 789 (5.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 152 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,929 households (28.7%) were made up of individuals, and 1,431 (10.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38. There were 8,285 families (60.4 percent of all households); the average family size was 2.96.

The population was spread out, with 6,563 people (19.8%) under the age of 18, 3,180 people (9.6%) aged 18 to 24, 8,901 people (26.8%) aged 25 to 44, 9,902 people (29.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,606 people (13.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.

There were 14,321 housing units at an average density of 2,025.2 per square mile (781.9/km2), of which 13,708 were occupied, of which 8,470 (61.8%) were owner-occupied, and 5,238 (38.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3 percent; the rental vacancy rate was 5.1 percent. 21,253 people (64.1 percent of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 11,436 people (34.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile[28] 2010
Total Population 33,152 – 100.0%
One Race 31,320 – 94.5%
Not Hispanic or Latino 29,143 – 87.9%
White alone 22,498 – 67.9%
Black or African American alone 656 – 2.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 68 – 0.2%
Asian alone 4,447 – 13.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 62 – 0.2%
Some other race alone 46 – 0.1%
Two or more races alone 1,366 – 4.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 4,009 – 12.1%

Planning and environmental factors[edit]

The Gregory Gardens subdivision developed in 1950 required purchasers of new homes to accept a Covenant that restricted ownership to Caucasians (such provisions have since been ruled as unconstitutional).[29] The Covenant also limited the structures that could be built, animals allowed on premises, and commercial activities.

Pleasant Hill used a system of environmental planning at a relatively early stage of its modern growth. Notably the city authorized a study in the 1980s of hillside development, which included detailed mapping of biota, geotechnical hazards, sound levels and other environmental constraints. These studies were used to establish appropriate zoning and development densities for all the principal undeveloped hillside areas within the city.


The city of Pleasant Hill is served by the East Bay Times daily newspaper, published by Bay Area News Group-East Bay (part of the Media News Group of Denver, Colorado). It is also served by the Community Focus newspaper. Community Focus is an independent, monthly newspaper that concentrates on local events and information.

The city is also served by Pleasant Hill Patch, a local news website covering community news and events. Patch Media is owned by AOL Inc.


Sister Cities[edit]

Pleasant Hill, California has one sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable people[edit]


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  2. ^ "City Council". Pleasant Hill, CA. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "City Treasurer". Pleasant Hill, CA. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  4. ^ "City Clerk". Pleasant Hill, CA. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  7. ^ "California's 5th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
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  9. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 681. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
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  11. ^ "Architects | Vincent G. Rainey". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Cinema Tour Database". Cinema History Around the World: CinéArts at Pleasant Hill. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  13. ^ a b White, Lisa P. (April 27, 2013). "Demolition of Pleasant Hill's 'dome' movie theater put on hold". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  14. ^ White, Lisa P. (March 18, 2013). "Film buffs try to save East Bay dome movie theater". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  15. ^ White, Lisa P. (April 9, 2013). "Fans of Pleasant Hill's 'dome' movie theater file appeal to stop demolition". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  16. ^ White, Lisa P. (April 19, 2013). "Pleasant Hill's 'dome' movie theater screens fade to black Sunday". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  17. ^ Jones, Carolyn (May 8, 2013). "Pleasant Hill's movie dome destroyed". SFGate. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  18. ^ White, Lisa P. (May 8, 2013). "Pleasant Hill's dome movie theater demolished this morning". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Dome theater in Pleasant Hill demolished despite community opposition". KTVU. December 20, 2013. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Pleasant Hill; Felt Around Bay Area". CBS News. October 15, 2019.
  21. ^ Lin II, Rong-Gong; Cosgrove, Jacyln (October 14, 2019). "San Francisco Bay Area rattled by 4.5 earthquake". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  22. ^ "Pleasant Hill, California Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  23. ^ "City of Pleasant Hill CAFR". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "Pleasant Hill Library." Contra Costa County Library. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
  25. ^ "About Us". Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  26. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  27. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Pleasant Hill city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  28. ^ "Demographic Profile Bay Area Census". Archived from the original on September 18, 2002.
  29. ^ Gregory Gardens Covenant
  30. ^ Jones, Carolyn (October 16, 2000). "Where the Stars Lived: Bay Area Homes in which Future Celebrities Lived". SFGate. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  31. ^ "2015 San Francisco Giants Media Guide" (PDF).

External links[edit]