Cupertino Matters

Spring is officially here, and many are celebrating traditional holidays, such as Easter, Passover, and Holi. Travel plans later in the year look possible, with wider spread availability of vaccines.

This weekend, there were a number of rallies and demonstrations  in support of the Asian-American Pacific Island (AAPI) Community. Across the Bay area. Locally, there was a large turnout for the “Stop Asian Hate“ rally on Saturday, March 27, 2021 with mayors and organizations from the West Valley cities. Several Cupertino-based organizations co-sponsored the event, including the Cupertino Historical Society, all four sister city associations (Copertino, Toyokawa, Hsinchu, and Bhubaneswar), the League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale, Cupertino for All, and YAPA, among others.

Canvassing for the vote for Measure A kicked off this past weekend, and will continue through April. Mail-in ballots will arrive in early April, and are due no later than May 4.  The current parcel tax expires in two years, so this replacement is critical to maintaining adequate funding for our schools.

Recap – CUSD Board Meeting – Thurs., March 25, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

This was a regular board meeting. Item 10.3 was a presentation on enrollment trends. The decline in enrollment continues at approximately 6%, consistent with general county and state trends. Item 11.1 on the agenda provided an update on the reopening of schools. Plans remain on track for a hybrid learning model beginning on April 5. Public comment from teachers highlighted the challenges of transitioning from distance-only to concurrent classes. The plan for fall is a return to 5-day onsite instruction. The district is considering offering a Distance Learning Alternative program for fall.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL Tues., March 30, 2021, 6:30 p.m., Special Meeting

Since March has five Tuesdays, council was able to schedule a lengthy study session outside the regular council meetings.

Item #1:Consider adopting a resolution approving the purchase of property at 10455 Torre Avenue, Cupertino (APN 369-40-0. This should be proforma approval of the purchase agreement previously approved by the council.

Item #2 Review Council goals and prioritize potential Fiscal Year 2021-2022 City Work Program items is the core of the meeting. This is the kickoff for determining projects that city staff will work on the next fiscal year. Previously, council held an offsite day-long retreat to review projects and discuss tradeoffs, so this is the COVID-19 version of the same process. Significant city resources have been  diverted to adapting to the  COVID-19 environment, so this limits the number of projects that can be accomplished in a given fiscal year. This council has had difficulty recognizing that adding a project means taking away another project.

Councilmembers have been asked to prioritize items for the Fiscal year 2020-21 City Work Plan. There are 59 projects in this 15 page plan, an excessive number for staff to accomplish in fiscal year 2021-22, so council has been asked to rate up to 5 items with a high priority, up to 27 items with a medium priority and 27 items with low priority, as well as indicating items that should be dropped. Based on past work program planning sessions, this is likely to be a lengthy discussion.

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., March 23, 2021, 6:45 Regular Meeting

YouTube: 2 hr.41 min

Item #3 2020 General Plan Annual Housing Element Progress Report (APR) was pulled from the Consent Calendar for a brief discussion. A member of the public, Connie Cunningham, expressed her concern about the lack of housing production and urged the commission to look beyond stalled developments to other approaches to increase housing. The item was approved unanimously.

Agenda item #4: Appeal of the Director’s approval of a Tree Removal and Replacement Permit to allow the removal and replacement of fifteen (15) live trees of various species and two (2) dead trees in several locations within the Commons at Cupertino complex. The commission took nearly two hours to uphold the staff decision to allow removal of these trees as recommended by the HOA arborist as well as the city arborist, though one resident objected to removal of two of the trees (there are over 400 trees on the site). The commission denied the appeal on a 4-1 vote with Vice-Chair Scharf voting nay.

CUPERTINO COURIER, March 26,  2021

Community briefs on page 6 are (1) Distinguished Author Series hosted by the Santa Clara County Library System and (2) Rebuilding Days set for volunteers to do repairs and maintenance for low income households. Legal notices on page 17 are two items to be heard at the April 6 council meeting: (1) Application for a General Plan Authorization amendment to rezone Homestead Homes, 19820 Homestead Road from Low Density to Medium density and (2) Changes to the Municipal Code’s Density Bonus Chapter.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor