Cupertino Matters

The city is making major progress on capital improvement projects.  There will be a (virtual) ground breaking ceremony for the Library Expansion Project on Friday, March 5, at noon. The project is expected to be completed by December, 2021. Construction has started on the Regnart Creek Trail Project which will connect the library with Creekside Park. The Linda Vista Trail project linking McClellan Ranch and Linda Vista park is expected to be completed by May 1.

There is progress on the COVID-19 front,with an increasing number of vaccinations including priority for teachers. Testing continues to be available on Wednesdays at the Cupertino Senior Center. The county is expected to advance to the red tier this week, reducing restrictions.

Supervisor Joe Simitian will hold his 6th annual town hall update on the Lehigh Southwest Cement/Permanente Quarry on March 3, 2021, 6:30 – 8:30 via Zoom. You may submit questions and comments on the registration form.

UPDATE – CUSD Board Meeting – Thurs., Feb. 25, 2021

This meeting lasted nearly 7 hours with 66 speakers on Item 11.2, Reopening of school update. Speakers were deeply divided between parents demanding immediate full school reopening, and teachers concerned about safety and workability of the schedule.  The board approved a hybrid model of “reopening” on April 5, with parents given the option of remaining in distance learning or hybrid onsite instruction. Socially distanced classrooms can accommodate a maximum of 14 students. So far, indications are that less than half of students will be onsite.

In other actions, Interim Superintendent Stacy Yao was confirmed as permanent school superintendent, lending stability to the district and the board. Video of the meeting and full agenda are available on  BoardDocs.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL MEETING Tues., March 2, 2021, 6:45; Regular Session; 5:30 Study Session

The 5:30 Study Session is Rancho Rinconada Recreation and Park District City Work Program Item Update and Next Steps. This small special district, a holdover from the annexation of the Rancho Rinconada neighborhood, has been plagued by governance issues. The question of acquisition by the city has been raised by a handful of residents and former board members, but this could require a special election. Estimated cost of infrastructure and facility improvements is $350,000, with no increased benefits to Cupertino residents. Therefore, the staff recommendation is to not proceed with the acquisition process.

Immediately after roll call, listen carefully to the report out from the Closed Session on Tues., Feb. 23, 2021 which considered four existing cases to which the city is a party and two cases it was contemplating starting.

Ceremonial Matters & Presentations are (#1) Proclamation proclaiming March as American Red Cross Month and presentation from the American Red Cross regarding local activities, (#2) Presentation by American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative (ALCSI) on lung cancer awareness, and (#3) Proclamation declaring March as Youth Arts Month on behalf of those who advocate for art education to all elementary, middle and secondary students.

Item #4 is postponement of City of Cupertino 2020 Transportation Impact Fee Nexus Study Update, Item #5 is the City Manager update on emergency response efforts and Item #6 is Report on Committee assignments by council members. The Consent Calendar appears to be routine. Note that Item #7 is approval of the minutes for the city council workshop on Feb. 6, 2021 which provide some insight into council dynamics.

Item #9 is a Study Session: Review Council goals, City Work Program updates, and proposed draft FY 2021-2022 City Work Program. Developing the City Work Program is an annual process. The unexpected work load of COVID-19, estimated as more than 32,000 staff hours, has heavily impacted projects. Staff is still working on 2019-2020 projects as well as the current 2020-2021 projects. Thus only 6 small items have been added to the work plan for the next fiscal year.  Expect extended discussion as the council reviews the 25 page work plan. Perhaps prudence will prevail, and some items will be removed.

Item #10 Consider and act on Ordinance No. 21-2223: “An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Cupertino Adding Title 17 and Chapter 17.08 to the Cupertino Municipal Code, Replacing Level of Service (LOS) with Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) For Use in Transportation Analysis Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This is the second reading of previously approved ordinances, so should be routine.

Item #11: Accept the Mid-Year Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2020-21; consider approving a Budget Modification increasing appropriations by $32,626,692 and revenues by $34,509,156. City finances are better than expected so minor routine mid-year adjustments are recommended.

Item #12: Consideration of Municipal Code Amendments to the Cupertino Municipal Code, Chapter 10.90, expanding existing policies to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, including in multi-unit housing, entryways, public events, service areas, and outdoor worksites. This was previously considered by council in a study session and should be non-controversial, though this council may tweak the language.

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:

RECAP – PLANNING COMMISSION Tues., Feb 23, 2021, 6:45 Regular Meeting

YouTube: 2 hr. 50 min.

Item #1 Presentation and training on Commissioner Handbook approved by City Council on January 19, 2021 (postponed from the February 9, 2021 meeting)  Postponed due to Council Closed Session.

Item #4 Hillside Exception application to consider allowing the construction of a 1,400 square foot deck at an existing single family residence on a prominent ridgeline. Application No(s).: EXC-2020-004; Applicant(s): Glenn Katz (Kapadia residence); Location: 22245 Canyon View Cir. Unanimously approved.

Item #5 Consider amendments to Cupertino Municipal Code Sections 19.56.030A (Table 19.56.030) and 19.56.030F (Density Bonus Ordinance) to incentivize the development of affordable housing by allowing for density bonuses of up to 40 percent This was a required review of a resolution which was already approved by City council at their Dec. 15, 2021 regular meeting. With three new commissioners and multiple commissioners with limited experience, there was confusion about whether the commission could make any changes. Finally, the resolution was approved as drafted on  4-1 vote with Commissioner Kapil voting nay

Item #6 Discussion about the aesthetics of small cell facilities (5G) This was an additional venue for residents to express their concerns over Verizon installations, particularly in the Three Oaks Park area. City action is limited to consideration of aesthetics. The challenge is balancing neighborhood concerns with legal compliance. The city is scheduling a  community meeting in March regarding carrier plans.

CUPERTINO COURIER, February 26,  2021

The cover picture and feature story on page 5 is Level of public interest will be high: Lehigh quarry update to address residents’ ongoing concern, on March 3 via Zoom. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Community services in Cupertino, and (2) Community Action Grants. Legal notices on page 20 are first and second readings of ordinances approved by city council.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor