Cupertino Matters

This will be a very different holiday season, with the new COVID-19 stay-at-home orders shutting down outdoor as well as indoor dining, and restricting retail capacity. The shutdown of personal services caused a flurry of last minute haircuts this past weekend as well as long lines at retail stores. The holidays are usually the busiest time of year for many businesses, so they struggle to survive.

Redesign of the I-280 and Wolfe Road interchange has been on the drawing board for years. This week the public is invited to participate in a virtual Open House on Wednesday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m. (includes Zoom link). The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), in cooperation with the City of Cupertino, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), will provide project updates and present the final design for the I-280 and Wolfe Road Interchange project.

Readers are encouraged to apply for positions on city commissions that will have vacancies in January of 2021. Commissions with upcoming vacancies include: Audit Committee, Bicycle Pedestrian Commission, Fine Arts Commission, Housing Commission, Library Commission, and Planning Commission. The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021. Council will conduct interviews beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2021 and Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Commissions provide an excellent opportunity to become engaged with the governing process in the city. Many elected officials have experience on commissions before running for office. Applications can be submitted via the Online Commission Application. For more details, please see the website or call the City Clerk’s office at (408) 777-3223. Also, you can contact for personal insights.

UPCOMING – CUSD Board Meeting, Dec. 10, 2020; 5:00 p.m.

There is a full agenda for this meeting. Key topics are (1) plans to reopen schools given the new restrictions, (2) the First Interim Financial Report, which has improved given the relatively optimistic outlook for state taxes, and (3) long term fiscal stability, which involves decisions on a parcel tax on the ballot in 2021. Agenda is available. Link will be posted at approximately 15 minutes before the meeting starts. There will be another board meeting the following week on Dec. 17 which includes FY 2021-22 budget approval.

Presentations and videos of all board meetings reside on BoardDocs. Click on meetings on the right side of the gray bar at the top to get a list of meetings on the left hand side. Select a meeting and view the agenda to get to each item. The navigation is clunky, but the presentations and videos are available.

UPCOMING – PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Tues., Dec. 8, 2020, 6:45 p.m.

This is likely to be a lengthy meeting, with two very technical agenda items.

Item #2: Presentation on the transition from Level of Service (LOS) to Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for determination of transportation impacts under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), a change required by Senate Bill (SB) 743. Council sent this item back to the Planning Commission to make a recommendation. It will be a very technical review.

Item #3: General Plan Annual Review. A continuation of line-by-line review of the General Plan. With Kitty Moore’s move from Planning Commission to City Council, will this continue?

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL MEETING – Thurs., Dec. 3, 2020, 6:45 Election Results and Swearing-in Ceremony. 6:45 p.m.

YouTube: Part 1: 3 hr. 07 min. ; Part 2: 52 min.

This was a four hour formal meeting with several actions: (1) Acceptance of election results – a record 44,810 votes; (2) Recognition of outgoing council members, Rod Sinks who termed out after 9 years on council and Steven Scharf, who was not re-elected; (3) Swearing-in of new members, Hung Wei (11,518 votes) and Kitty Moore (10,893 votes), (4) Election of Darcy Paul as the new mayor and Liang Chao as the new Vice Mayor. Electeds from the area as well as members of the public offered comments and recognition. The first substantive meeting for this new council will be Dec. 15.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL MEETING – Tues., Dec. 1, 2020, 6:45 Regular Meeting; 5:30 Study Session

YouTube: Part 1: 3 hr Study session through public comment on item #11; Part 2:  1 hr:40 min

The subject of the Study Session was the city’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 initial draft goals and vision statement. As part of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 City Work Program, the city is updating the original 2015 plan to CAP 2.0 to reflect new legislation and new technology.

Item #3: City Manager’s update on emergency response efforts. Additional COVID-19 restrictions were announced, including the library and schools. Special holiday events are planned. Relocation of the homeless encampments is underway (now complete).

Item #4 Report on Committee assignments included (1) Mayor Scharf and Vice Mayor Paul met with Supervisor Joe Similtian regarding highjacking of VTA funds for road projects in the West Valley cities. (2) Councilmember Rod Sinks, Chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, announced that a consent decree filed by the Air District regarding Lehigh Cement settlement to reduce air emissions in Cupertino has been approved. Councilmembers Chao and Willey met with CUSD trustees for their quarterly meeting.

Item #10: Second reading of Ordinance No. 20-2216 to amend Cupertino Municipal Code Chapter 2.40 (concerning the Disaster Council and the emergency management program). Approved unanimously.

Item #11: 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 item received heavy support from local environmental groups. During council discussion, there was little controversy over the Bird-Safe Design, but considerable questions about the Dark Sky amendment and the impact on retail operations as well as lighting on the Don Burnett bridge and in residential areas. Council elected to table this item for further work and separation into two amendments and to conduct additional outreach to the local business community.

Item #12: Updated Administrative Procedures Within the Community Funding Grant Policy. This was an update to council regarding a more formal process for applications for city funding of community organizations.

As with all matters, feel free to voice your opinions to individual councilmembers, the council as a whole, the city manager, and the city clerk to have your thoughts and views heard. Note that emails to city council as a whole are forwarded to the city manager, whereas emails to individual councilmembers are not. Clearly include in your subject line the topic or agenda item on which you are commenting. Information on expressing your opinion via emails and oral communications with the city can be found at

CUPERTINO COURIER, December 4, 2020

Legal notices on page 21 include (1) Hearing regarding FY 2020-21 amended fee schedule for community gardens at McClellan Ranch, and (2) Application to subdivide 11226 Bubb Road, a .74 acre lot into 3 parcels.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor