Cupertino Matters

Spring is around the corner, with trees and other plants starting to flower. Daylight Saving Time gives us an additional hour of sunlight to enjoy our parks and outdoor dining as the weather warms up.

2020 was the year of the census, a federally mandated process that occurs every 10 years and which provides data on which all levels of government and private organizations rely. The 2020 census was disrupted by the pandemic and the previous presidential administration, so results will be delayed. Nonetheless, redistricting will be happening all over the state in 2021. The Citizens Redistricting Commission is responsible for drawing new Congressional, state legislative, and Franchise Tax Board districts. In addition, new lines will be drawn for county boards of supervisors and other local agencies that use electoral districts (rather than at-large seats). In preparation, the League of Women Voters of Cupertino-Sunnyvale hosted a webinar titled “Redistricting – Are You Ready?” with Jonathan Mehta Stein, Executive Director of California Common Cause.

Locally, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District will be moving from at-large elections to district elections in 2022. Information on that decision, as well as the process, can be found on the board page at Trustee Area Elections. Sunnyvale went through this process in 2019 based on the 2010 census; the process will be repeated in 2021 using the 2020 census data for the Nov. 2022 elections. 

UPCOMING – PLANNING COMMISSION Tues., March 16, 2021, 4:30 Non-televised Special Meeting

The subject is Report on the location, purpose, and extent of the City of Cupertino’s proposed acquisition of real property as to conformity with Cupertino’s General Plan. Project Name: Land Acquisition, Torre Avenue; Applicant(s): City of Cupertino; Location: 10455 Torre Avenue APN # 369-40-009. This is a last minute meeting to provide input for the city council.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL Tues., March 16, 2021, 6:45 p.m.; Regular Session; 5:45 p.m,Study Session; Closed Session 5:15 p.m.

The Closed Session is a follow-up to the Closed Session on Mon. March 8, regarding potential acquisition of a small office building at 10455 Torre Avenue located at the northwest corner of Torre Avenue and Pacifica Drive (APN 369-40-009) adjacent to Library Field. Listen to the report out immediately after roll call when the Regular Session convenes at 6:45.

The 5:45 Study Discussion regards the County Board of Supervisors’ consideration of Measure A funded potential acquisition of the shopping center site located at 10591 N. De Anza Blvd. Cupertino, where Outback Steakhouse was located. This property is in a good location for affordable housing located on a major transit corridor and is within walking/biking distance to the Crossroads Shopping Center, Homestead Square, West Valley Community Services, and the library.

Ceremonial Matters & Presentations includes Certificates of Recognition for the winner and runner-up of the Drafting Cupertino’s Future Essay Contest. Item #2 is the City Manager update on emergency response efforts and Item #3 is a report on committee assignments by councilmembers. The Consent Calendar appears to be routine. Item #4 consists of the “corrected” minutes of the council workshop on Feb. 6, 2021, pulled by Mayor Darcy Paul in the previous council meeting. Item #7, Renewal of Friendship City Relationships (less formal than Sister City relationships), may be pulled for discussion.

Item #14: 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 is the fourth time these ordinances have received council consideration. The latest version incorporates resident and commercial property feedback, with several options for council to consider to make our city more bird-safe.

Item #15: Consider adopting a resolution affirming the City’s commitment to stand in solidarity with the Asian and Pacific Islander community. This issue has hit local, state and national news as hate crimes directed against members of the AAPI community have been on the rise, so council is to be commended for supporting social justice for this community. At the last council meeting, members of the public spoke or wrote council suggesting the action and Councilmember Wei, with the support of Mayor Paul, asked for the matter to be placed on the agenda.

Item #16: 2020 General Plan Annual Report, including the General Plan Annual Housing Element Progress Report This is a required annual report with line-by-line updates. Last year the Planning Commission updated the format to make it more readable, but the 93-page document is overwhelming, with minimal changes year-to-year. The most significant information is buried in the Housing Element Report. In 2020, there was only ONE development application from Bateh Brothers for 9 townhomes. All of the actual building permits issued–19–that produced net new homes are accessory dwelling units largely enabled by state law. At this sort of rate, how will the city meet its allocation of 4,588 housing units in the next RHNA cycle? The only development in the pipeline for 2021 is 19 units at Canyon Crossings on Foothill Boulevard.

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:

CUPERTINO COURIER, March 12,  2021

Community brief on page 7 is Wildflower hikes, offered by the Santa Clara Open Space Authority. Legal notices on page 28-29 consist of miscellaneous mandatory city notifications.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor