Cupertino Matters

As events unfold in Washington, D.C., who would have thought this nation would experience such upheaval?  The holidays are fading in our memories, though hopefully you and your loved ones were able to do some celebration as 2020 finally came to a welcome end!  New vaccines give hope that we’ll be able to meet in person, and our businesses will resume to some normalcy in 2021. City business paused with a shutdown between Christmas and New Years, so council and most commission meetings are cancelled this first week. The next city council meeting will be Jan. 19, 2021.  The Planning Commission will meet on Jan. 12 to consider the General Plan Amendment Process that has been noticed citywide.

Applications for city commissions are due this Friday, Jan 8, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. Council will conduct interviews beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2021 and Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Commissions with upcoming vacancies include: Audit Committee, Bicycle Pedestrian Commission, Fine Arts Commission, Housing Commission, Library Commission, and Planning Commission.

Not sure about applying?  Take the opportunity to learn from other enthusiastic commissioners on this video  “Get Local: How to join Cupertino boards & commissions”  sponsored by  Cupertino for All, a local community advocacy group. It features current and former City and County commissioners speaking about their experience with civic participation and decision-making.

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 and videos of previous interviews on the Cupertino Matters YouTube channel.

RECAP – CUSD Board Meeting, Dec. 17, 2020, Thurs., 5:00 p.m.

The first order of business was reorganization of the board. For the upcoming year, Jerry Liu was elected Board President and Satheesh Madhathil elected Vice-President. The information presentation was on the English Language Learner Program, which faces the challenge of 46 languages spoken in the district.

The Update on Enrollment detailed the continued enrollment decline in the district.  The community is stabilizing at 145,000 residents, but the number of households with students is declining about 2.5% year over year. This decline is not unique to CUSD, with similar demographics countywide and statewide.The incoming cohort of kindergartners is substantially less than graduating 8th graders. The forecast of students generated by new housing is bleak, with roughly 120 students per year after 2024.

The report on Long Term Fiscal Stability was an update on the board parcel tax to be put on the ballot in May 2021.  It will be a flat rate replacement tax of $398. Cost to the district will be around $1M, and $250K will need to be raised for the campaign.  Emphasis will be on getting parents to turn out since only 50% actually voted in the March primary for Measure O.These presentations are available.  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).

NOTE:  Next CUSD board meeting is Thurs., Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:00 Agenda, including draft of text for parcel tax measure, here on Boarddocs.


YouTube:  Part 1 –2 hr. 50 min. Study session through city manager and council reports; Part 2 – 2 hr. 41 min. Consent calendar through Item #12; Part 3 – 1 hr. 37 min.

Mayor Darcy Paul has taken a more disciplined approach to meetings by giving council members a time limit for their comments, attempting to end meetings by midnight. Due to the number of public comments, the meeting didn’t adjourn until 12:49 a.m.

The Study Session on the Santa Clara County Community Plan to End Homelessness 2020-25  The 2019 Point-in-Time count identified 9,706 homeless individuals, with 159 in Cupertino. This is an overall plan for agency coordination to meet the needs of this population, compounded by COVID-19.  Council approved the plan 5-0.

The regular meeting had four recommended postponements to the January 19 council meeting.  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 received extensive public comments, so council decided to hear it as originally noticed.

Item #5: City Manager’s update on emergency response efforts. An update was  provided on the status of vaccines and testing, a moving target. Cupertino will be participating in the county  ambassador program for education and outreach. There are currently 322 cases of COVID-19 in the city, up by 90 in the last two weeks which is high for Cupertino. Parks and Recreation is providing several virtual programs that have been popular. There was an update on the status of the homeless population originally on Wolfe Road.

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. Council discussion was long and circuitous, finally deciding to separate the Bird-Safe Design from the Dark Sky Design, which was more contentious and will be brought back to council. There was extensive public support for the Bird-Safe Design, resulting in the passage of the revised  by a vote of 4-1, with Council member Moore voting nay.

Item 12: Adoption of a housing program to incentivize development of affordable housing by allowing for density bonuses up to 40 percent and initiating a zoning code amendment to include the program in the City’s density bonus ordinance.This item restricts development density bonuses to 40%, rather than the 50% for affordable housing allowed by state law AB 2345 effective Jan. 1, 2021. The justification by council for this action was that this is a resolution, not an ordinance so will have to go through the normal process of review by the planning commission. There was extensive public input pointing out that this action makes housing more difficult to build. Council was put on notice of potential litigation by  California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA), which won the Los Altos SB35 approval case. After extensive discussion, approved unanimously.

Item #13: Approval of a new 10-year franchise agreement with Recology Cupertino (Recology) related to recycling, organics, and solid waste collection, processing, and disposal effective February 1, 2021; adopt a maximum rate schedule for Rate Year 1 and percentage increases for Rate Years 2 and 3; authorize the use of Enterprise Funds to smooth and mitigate rates, approve an associated budget modification, and establish a minimum fund reserve; and amend Chapter 6.24 of the Cupertino Municipal Code to update provisions related to solid waste, recycling, and organics collection and disposal.     There was significant public support for this agreement, citing satisfaction with the service and partnerships with the community. Approved unanimously.

CUPERTINO COURIER, January 1, 2021

The cover story on page 5 Is ”Community leaders look ahead to the new year:  Public safety and economy concerns weigh heavily on officials.” The community brief on page 6 is “Online events for older adults”. Legal notices on pages 16-17 is a public hearing for Amendments to the General Plan Authorization Process, which will be heard at the planning commission on Jan.12, tentatively scheduled for city council on Feb. 2.

CUPERTINO COURIER, December 25, 2020

Community briefs on page 5 is “Audubon Society awarded open space grant”.  Legal notice on page 24 is invitation to bid on Bubb Road Separated Bikeway Improvements Project.  Good to see progress on implementation of bike improvements.

CUPERTINO COURIER, December 18, 2020

The cover photo and story on page 5 Is ”Making a Difference: Local residents donate food, blankets to homeless,” organized by Cupertino resident Ming Cheng. Legal notices on page 20-21 include (1) Invitation for bids for Vista Village Residential Rehabilitation Project, located adjacent to WVCS, funded by a City of Cupertino and (2) Notice of Inviting Bids for Regnart Creek Trail and Fencing Projects.  Good good news!

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor