Cupertino Matters

On the national scene, the transition of power to the next president promises to be chaotic. Locally, vaccine rollout is slowly progressing, a necessary step to opening up our businesses again.

Now that the homeless encampments on Wolfe road are relocated, infrastructure construction at Vallco can move ahead. Readers may recall that Sand Hill Properties filed a lawsuit against the city of Cupertino regarding council actions “downzoning” the site, in case the SB35 project did not move forward. The lawsuit was continued several times by mutual agreement. Now, according to communication from the city attorney to councilmembers, the lawsuit has finally been provisionally resolved:

  • Vallco has voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit challenging the City’s 2019 General Plan and Zoning Code amendments for the Vallco site.
  • Vallco stated that it is dismissing its lawsuit without prejudice because it is proceeding with the SB 35 project and it wishes to avoid the expense of litigation.
  • Vallco agreed to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice (meaning it could refile) and the City agreed to toll the statute of limitations for Vallco’s claims from the date the litigation was filed to November 30, 2022. The City may also terminate the tolling at any time upon 30 days’ notice to Vallco.
  • Unless the case is refiled, the 2019 amendments would govern any future development of the Vallco site if Vallco does not proceed with the SB 35 project.

The next city council meeting will be Jan. 19, 2021.

UPCOMING – PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Tues., Jan 12, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

Sanjiv Kapil, an alternate, replaces Kitty Moore on the commission. Unfortunately, he has no background in land use at a time when the city is entering a planning process that will significantly impact development for the next 5 to 10 years.

Item #3: Consider modifications to the Procedures for Processing General Plan Amendment Applications to implement the Fiscal Year 2020/21 City Work Program items related to quality of life.  Major projects typically require some GPA amendments.  In 2015, the council implemented a process of reviewing projects for public review and council pre-authorization before proceeding to full plan set development. The process has been controversial, with multiple submissions for projects as well as abandonment of others. (By utilizing state law, neither the Vallco SB 35 project nor the final Westport project went through the process.) One major change is the once a year, rather than twice a year, submission. Allowing resubmission within six months may alleviate this bottleneck somewhat.

Item #4: General Plan Annual Review (postponed from Dec. 8, 2020 meeting). 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?

Item #5 Discuss potential City Work Program proposals for Fiscal Year 2021-2022. This kicks off the planning process for next fiscal year with a review of the current work plan, the to discuss and recommend five topics for inclusion in next year’s work plan.

RECAP – CUSD Board Meeting, Jan. 7, 2021, Thurs.

Results of the parent survey were provided in the Reopening of schools update. Of the 73% who responded to the survey, 56% prefer continuing with full distance education, with 44% preferring hybrid. The district is following up with the 27% who did not respond. Given the continuation of pandemic restrictions and the slow rollout of vaccines, reopening is likely to be limited for this school year. Some students are back on campuses in “hubs”, with emphasis on students having difficulty with distance education. The graphic presentation on the new “normal” was illuminating, showing elementary school playgrounds with kids 6 feet apart–not the usual boisterous environment.

Draft ballot measure language for the parcel tax also received discussion. The campaign has started; you can register your support for this measure at Yes for CUSD.

All board meeting agendas, documents, and videos 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 usable).

CUPERTINO COURIER, January 8, 2021

Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Free COVID testing at Cupertino Senior Center, and (2) Library Foundation gets grant money from the Forum Health Care Fund to support programs for seniors.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor