Cupertino Matters

Between the smoke from the fires and the heat, I hope you were able to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. The next city council meeting is Sept. 15. The Planning Commission meeting this week is cancelled along with most other commissions and committees.

Vallco was one of the first developments approved under the state’s new streamlined affordable housing law, SB 35 (2017). Fortunately for our city’s General Fund, our city approved the application, rather than risk substantial fines, damages, and fees. Our neighboring city, Los Altos, however, chose to fight a small 15-unit project submitted pursuant to SB 35. The city lost definitively in court in a heavily reasoned and researched judgment. In fact, the city’s behavior in the suit was considered so bad that the judge in the case found that the city had acted in bad faith when it denied the project. The city council chose to appeal. This week, the same presiding judge on the Vallco case, set the bond for the appeal at $7 million pursuant to state law. In the highly likely case that the city would have lost, it would have had to pay an estimated $13 million in fees and fines, all for a small downtown project. The council ultimately voted to drop the appeal, rather than bankrupt the city. Had the city of Cupertino rejected the Vallco application, the liability to the city would have been orders of magnitude greater for this 2402-home, 58-acre development.


COVID-19 has certainly impacted our local schools. The League of Women Voters (LWV) Cupertino-Sunnyvale is hosting a Zoom webinar on Wed, Sept. 9, 7-9 p.m. with an outstanding panel of  local parents and educators discussing the impact on both CUSD and FUHSD schools. Please register in advance here.

Rotary & LWVCS League of Women Voters – Cupertino Sunnyvale will host a forum on September 30, 2020 at 12 noon to meet candidates for the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Board. Readers can register here.

Candidates: William Fluewelling, Sudha Kasamsetty, Sylvia Leong, Phyllis Vogel


Mark your calendars for the following forums to “meet” candidates for the two seats on the Cupertino city council. The questions will be different for all three events as well as the time of day.

Candidates: Joseph “J.R.” Fruen, Catherine “Kitty” Moore, Steven Scharf, Hung Wei,  Charlene Shulien Lee

Cupertino Rotary/LWVCS sponsored Cupertino City Council Candidate Forum September 16, 2020 at 12 noon. Readers may register here.

Cupertino Chamber of Commerce Forum on October 7, 2020 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Readers may register here.

LWV Cupertino-Sunnyvale sponsored Cupertino City Council Candidate Forum October 12, 2020 at 7pm. Readers may register here.

LWV is also hosting Forums for Sunnyvale candidates. See event calendar at


The cover photo and article on page 5 is Comforting Words:  Seniors sheltering in place during pandemic receive letters from teens, a heart-warming project by Harker School students through the Cupertino Senior Center. Community briefs on page 7 are (1) Blood drive on Sept. 15 and (2) Pet food needed by the Humane Society. Legal notice on page 33 is an agenda item for the city meeting on Sept. 15: Amended Fiscal Year 2020-21 Fee Schedule for Short-Term Rental Registration.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor