Cupertino Matters

Late breaking news is that Santa Clara County is being downgraded to the purple tier for COVID-19. The city’s emergency response coordinator notified city staff and block leaders: “On November 16, 2020, the State of California moved the County of Santa Clara into the Purple Tier (Tier One), the most restrictive tier in the State’s ‘Blueprint for a Safer Economy.’ The changes are effective at 12:01 am on November 17, 2020. Under the Purple Tier, the following businesses and activities are prohibited from operating indoors: dining, gatherings (including movie showings, political events, weddings, funerals, and places of worship), gyms and fitness facilities, family entertainment centers, cardrooms, museums, zoos, and aquariums. These businesses and activities may proceed outdoors only.” It’s time to rethink any group gatherings for Thanksgiving!

Outdoor activities are becoming more important, and the city has a chance to move ahead on completing trail projects that have been approved by the council, but  repeatedly delayed. Two items on the agenda authorize the city manager to solicit bids to start construction on (1) the Linda Vista Trail project (Consent Item #13)  and (2) Regnart Creek Trail (Agenda Item #20). Please consider emailing the council or speaking at the council meeting tonight to urge a more bikeable Cupertino.

Returns for local returns are nearly complete, with the returns still favoring Hung Wei and Kitty Moore as the next council members. The last city council meeting with current members is Dec. 1, with the swearing in of new council members on Dec. 3. The new council will then meet on Dec. 15.

CUSD Updates

November has been quite contentious. A very long regular board meeting was held on Nov. 5. In addition to usual board business, two key items were discussed: (1) a plan for reopening schools (a  very complex process), and (2) planning for long term fiscal solvency. At that meeting, the board decided to move ahead on a parcel tax for 2021. The following week, on Nov. 10, a special board meeting was held to more closely examine alternatives involved for a  parcel tax proposal. No decisions were made at that time. Both meetings were jammed with parents protesting any school closures, despite declining enrollment. Frustration with the fluidity of the school reopening plan also flavored their protests. School board members have been bullied and harassed, so consider supporting them in making difficult decisions for the fiscal solvency of the district.

This coming Thursday,  Nov 19, 9 a.m. is an all day Board Advance study session. The agenda item  from 9 – 11:30 is Reopening Schools, now complicated by purple tier restrictions. The agenda item from 12 –  3 is Building Long Term Fiscal Stability. Several options are being discussed:

  • Closing schools
  • Extending and raising existing parcel taxes
  • Creating a new parcel tax based on square footage
  • Some combination of school closures and tax increases

For a link to attend the meeting on Thursday please check the CUSD website immediately prior to the start of the meeting.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL Tues., Nov, 17, 2020, 6:45 Regular Meeting; 5:00 Study Session

The study session is Review the “Regional Housing Needs Allocation Proposed Methodology Report: San Francisco Bay Area, 2023 – 2031,” discuss potential comments, and decide whether any comments should be sent on behalf of the City,. This was reviewed by the Planning Commission at their Nov. 10 meeting. Other than objecting to the methodology, the council will have to work with the RHNA allocation of 6,222 units for the next RHNA cycle.

Item 1: City Manager’s update on emergency response efforts. The city will have to react quickly to the change back to purple tier. You can find county updates on COVID-19 here.

Item #2 Report on Committee assignments is usually brief. The consent calendar is fairly routine. Note that Item #13 is authorization for the city manager to award a contract for construction of the Linda Vista Trail project, which may get pulled. Item #15 is an increase in the construction contingency for Cupertino Sports Center Seismic Retrofit, due to unforeseen conditions of the electrical circuits which increased costs by $107,219.

Item #16: Approving City of Cupertino 2020 Transportation Impact Fee Nexus Study Update, increasing the Transportation Impact Fees, and amending Schedule B of the 2020-21 Fee Schedule to incorporate the increased fees. This is a followup from the city study session on Nov. 2. This is the action item needed to accept the Nexus Study which justifies amendments to the Traffic Impact Fee for 2020-21. This item is rumored to be postponed until December 15 to address legal concerns raised by various organizations and property owners.

Item #17 Accept the First Quarter Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2020-21 and City Work Program Updates; consider approving a Budget Modification increasing appropriations and revenues by $1,873,298 and $1,662,300 respectively; consider approving the conversion of limited-term Senior Transportation Planner to permanent.  This is a routine state-of-the-city financial report. The city remains fiscally healthy. There are some internal adjustments in staffing to deal with increased workload due to the pandemic. Review of progress on the council work plan is well worth reviewing. Three new Housing work items have been added: (1) De Anza Housing, (2) Housing Survey, and (3) Housing Strategies, which includes homeless housing.

Item #18: Proposed amendments to Chapter 2.40 (Disaster Council) of the Cupertino Municipal Code to better reflect the Emergency Management Program. These recommended changes better reflect the Emergency Management function, which has had to deal with more emergencies in the last 2-3 years than previously.

Item #19 :Cupertino participation in Stevens Creek Corridor Transit Study. This is an important item to address traffic in Cupertino. Council and staff have participated in a VTA Stevens Creek Corridor working group since 2017, along with the City of Santa Clara and the City of San Jose. This group has been focused just on Stevens Creek, and the cost to continue that collaboration is $88,983. In Cupertino, extending the study to include I-280 between Lawrence and De Anza Blvd, as an alternative to Stevens Creek would be beneficial to large employment centers, i.e.  Apple at Infinite Loop, Apple Park, and the new Apple buildings along Stevens Creek, as well as Vallco Parkway. Adding this option is estimated to cost an additional $500,000. This is an investment in the future of Cupertino, and deserves to be funded.

Item #20: Regnart Creek Trail private fencing allocations and authorization of construction award for Project. This is the final vote to authorize the city manager to solicit bids to begin construction on this trail, which has been previously approved by the council. Council needs to approve this item in order to solicit bids and start construction before the beginning of nesting season in February. Otherwise, construction will be delayed on this long-awaited project.

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


YouTube:  3 hr. 10 min.

Item #2: Review of ABAG’s “Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Proposed Methodology Report: San Francisco Bay Area, 2023 – 2031”. This discussion lasted for an hour and forty minutes centering around the methodology and identifying areas for council comments on housing allocations. The consensus was that the RHNA housing numbers were not achievable. That said, there is no alternative for the regional process.

Item #3 General Plan Annual Report for the year 2020. Review continued, though portions may be moot due to new RHNA figures.

CUPERTINO COURIER, November 13, 2020

The cover photo and article on page 5 is “Tight race for four council candidates: Wei, Moore top vote-getters in Cupertino City Council”, regarding the apparent election of Hung Wei and Kitty Moore as Cupertino’s next council members. Current Mayor Steven Scharf was not re-elected. Measure M for the high school district passed with 77% of vote. Community briefs on page 6 are (1) “Rotary honors vets”, a virtual replacement for the annual Veterans’ Day celebration, and (2) “Library lobby now open” as services by Santa Clara County Library slowly expand.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor