Cupertino Matters

August is traditionally a slow month for city affairs, so this is a combined issue for two weeks. City Council has taken a month’s break, and will resume meeting on August 18, but has suddenly scheduled a closed session for tomorrow to discuss initiating litigation. Many commission meetings have been cancelled, though the Chair of the Planning Commission continues to schedule agenda items that could easily be consolidated with more substantial items at other times.


The lawsuit by Friends of Better Cupertino to stop the Vallco SB 35 development has come to end. The deadline for an appeal has passed and SHP received a check in the thousands for court costs. Though each of the individuals who lost this lawsuit, including Planning Chair, Catherine “Kitty” Moore, were individually liable for these costs, Friends of Better Cupertino, as an organization, paid off Sand Hill on their behalf. The city recovered no money at all. As readers will note, the check appears to be drawn on a Better Cupertino checking account, which is a PAC (Political Action Committee), with a handwritten note that the entity is actually Friends of Better Cupertino, which is organized as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) “educational” entity. Are the two co-mingling funds?  This amount does not reflect attorney’s l fees, which are substantial for the city, SHP, and probably for Better Cupertino. Would you trust city financial decisions to affiliates of this PAC?


The deadline for filing for candidate papers for the city council election has ended. Two seats are available in this cycle. Five candidates will appear on the ballot in November; their bios, photos, and candidate statements appear on the city’s elections information website: local attorney and community advocate, Joseph “J.R.” Fruen; former Fremont Union High School District Trustee, Hung Wei; incumbent Mayor Steven Scharf; Planning Commission Chair Catherine “Kitty” Moore; and resident Charlene Lee. Complete campaign filings are available, though the complete list includes inactive campaigns.

Candidate websites are progressively coming online. For those wanting to familiarize themselves with the candidates, candidate J.R. Fruen held his launch event yesterday, August 10, a recording of which appears here. An impressive six former Cupertino mayors, together with a host of elected and appointed community leaders joined the event to endorse his candidacy. Candidate Hung Wei will host a launch event over Zoom on August 15, that readers can sign up to attend in advance. Fruen and Wei have also endorsed each other. Nothing is yet known of launch events for the remaining candidates, though their candidate statements provide some of the flavor of their campaigns. Readers will also recall that both Mayor Scharf and Chair Moore have previously sued the city in losing lawsuits–lawsuits for which the city had to pay out considerable sums from the General Fund. It will be interesting to see how they explain these actions to voters as the campaigns get going.


As more residents are walking and biking in Cupertino in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Cupertino is making significant progress in implementing its Bike Plan. The 2nd phase of the McClellan protected bike lanes between Stelling and De Anza started Aug. 3. Also in the news this past week, Jennifer Shearin, former Cupertino Bicycle-Pedestrian Commissioner, has received the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition 2020 Person of the Year Award in recognition of her effort and many hours of work for the Regnart Creek Trail. For more details, visit


Given that the number of COVID-19 cases in California continues to rise, the city has cancelled all in-person events scheduled for city facilities through year end 2020 including fall festivals and Christmas activities. Some may still occur in a different form, either virtual or socially distanced.

As our local businesses struggle to survive, providing mobile services is becoming more important. However, city regulations have not changed to address this evolution. The city scheduled a Business Outreach Meeting for Tues., Aug. 11, at 3:00 plus a  Community Outreach Meeting  on Wed., Aug. 12 at 6:45

Your voice is important. Information on expressing your opinion via emails and oral communications with the city can be found at

UPCOMING – PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Tues., Aug. 11, 2020,  6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting – Teleconference

The agenda has only 3 items.: (1) Approval of minutes of previous meeting, (2) A Cybersecurity Presentation by the Chief Technology Officer, Bill Mitchell, and (3)  Municipal Code Amendments to adopt glazing and lighting regulations to implement the Fiscal Year 2019/20 City Council Work Program items related to Dark Sky and Bird-Safe Design. This last item is a carryover from the 2019-2020 City Council Work Plan. Staff is  recommending municipal code regulations in two areas which have not been previously addressed. The first regulates building glass to reduce hazards for birds, since bird strikes (collisions into buildings) are a major cause of bird death. The second relates to regulation of nighttime lighting to prevent light pollution, while maintaining safety and security. The Planning Commission held a study session on Oct. 28, 2019, followed by community outreach in February, 2020. The commission and community have expressed support of additional regulation, though questioned the need to retrofit existing buildings.

RECAP – PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Tues., July 28, 2020,  Regular Meeting

YouTube: 46 min.

This was a short pro forma meeting to review the Planning Commission FY 2020-2021 Work Program. No changes occurred, though staffing constraints due to the pandemic were reiterated. Approved 4-0-1 with Commissioner David Fung absent.


Page 6 is a previously published Mercury News article about our own West Valley Community Services (WVCS), Serving the newly poor in Silicon Valley’s wealthiest neighborhoods: for sole social services provider in West Valley, demand has surged.   WVCS has launched a capital campaign to expand their food pantry. Community briefs on page 5 include (1) Shakespeare at Home, which is virtual this year instead of live performances at Cupertino Memorial Park, and (2) Indoor outdoor events, virtual walks and talks, hosted online by Bay Area Older Adults. Legal notices on page 32 include (1)  Notice of public hearing at city council on August 18 for Westport development to replace the Oaks, (2) A petition for reconsideration of an approval of a Minor Residential Permit regarding a second story balcony, and (3) A public hearing at city council on August 18, regarding regulation of leaf blowers. Are these last two items good use of city resources?


The cover photo and feature story on page 5 is West Valley Community Services :  Nonprofit does back-to-school sans shopping trip, about their annual backpack program. Community briefs on page 5 include (1) Off-leash extension at Jollyman Park, (2) Recycling Day canceled in August, and (3 )WVCS gets grant to expand its food pantry.  Legal notices on page 21 include a Planning Commission hearing on August 11, 2020, regarding amendments to the municipal codes for Zoning to incorporate Dark Sky and Bird Safe policies and guidelines.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor