Cupertino Matters

As a followup to the well attended  “Stop Asian Hate” rally with elected officials from West Valley cities at Cupertino city hall on Saturday, Cupertino for All is sponsoring “Stop AAPI Hate Town Hall: What the research tells us and possible solutions” on Saturday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m, featuring a San Francisco State Researcher from the STOP AAPI HATE Project, who will go over research findings and possible policy solutions. You can register for this event at

Ballots for CUSD Measure A have reached district mailboxes and are due by May 4.   Canvassing for the vote for Measure A approval continues. The current parcel tax expires in two years, so this replacement is critical to maintaining adequate funding for our schools. The League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale is sponsoring a Forum on “The Dollars and Sense for Saving Cupertino Schools: Learn about Upcoming CUSD Measure A on April 21, 7-8:30 via Zoom. Register at this link. The forum will cover the financial challenges that CUSD faces and present a balanced discussion of the ballot Measure. The panel will include:

  • CUSD Superintendent Stacey Yao
  • CUSD Board members Lori Cunningham & Phyllis Vogel
  • FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove
  • Cupertino City Councilmember Hung Wei
  • Former Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney.
RECAP – CITY COUNCIL Mon., April 12, 2021 6:30 p.m., Adjournment of the March 30, 2021 City Council Meeting and Continuation of Study Session

YouTube:  2 hr. 33 min.

The previous study session went five and a half hours without councilmembers even stating their priorities. By immediately soliciting priorities and tightly controlling the timeline (even to the chagrin of some of his colleagues), Mayor Darcy Paul successfully concluded the meeting by 9 p.m, his stated objective.

The results, however, were mixed. Councilmembers were allowed to add additional items to the 59 already on the work plan, expanding the list to 72 line items, an unrealistic number to be accomplished in FY 2021-22 at current city staffing levels. Councilmembers then prioritized their 5 special interests by giving them “high” priority. They were also asked to rate up to 27 items with a “medium” priority, and 27 items with a “low” priority, as well as indicating items that should be dropped. These, however, were not discussed. Staff will consolidate worksheets.

Is this a responsible council? Stay tuned for the next rounds with the Capital Improvement Budget (CIP), final work plan and final budget which must be finalized by June 30.

CANCELLED – PLANNING COMMISSION  Tues., April 13, 2021, 6:45 p.m., Regular Session
RECAP – CITY COUNCIL Tues., April 6, 2021, 6:45 p.m., Regular Session; Closed Session 6:15 p.m.

YouTube:  Part 1- 2hr 6 min.Part 2 – 2 hr. 52 min. starting Item #16

The closed session regarding the recruitment of a new city attorney ran late so the regular meeting did not start until 7:00.There was no reportable action for the existing litigation. Among the three potential cases the city considered initiating, council voted to commence suit in at least one case. More details will be forthcoming once the litigation has commenced.

Item #14 on the Consent Calendar was pulled resulting in a lengthy discussion concluding at 9:06 p.m. regarding the scope of work for a consultant agreement for the Residential and Mixed-Use Residential Design Standards Work Program item for fiscal year 2020-21 at a cost not to exceed $225,757. Vice-Mayor Liang Chao and Councilmember Kitty Moore proposed excluding developers from the stakeholders and including councilmembers in interviews; these were defeated and the agreement was approved 3-2, with Chao and Moore voting nay. Councilmembers Hung Wei and Jon Willey volunteered for a subcommittee to identify stakeholder groups, and encourage collaboration.

Item #16: 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. Approved unanimously.

Item #17: Consider whether to authorize the formal submission and processing of a General Plan Amendment Authorization for a change to the Land Use Designation from Low Density (1-5 DU/Ac.) to Low/ Medium Density (5-10 DU/Ac.), which would allow construction of four small lot single family homes where one single family home currently exists. Applicant(s): Homestead Homes; Application No(s).: GPAAuth-2020-001; Location: 19820 Homestead Road APN# 316-04-064. Council spent an inordinate amount of time dissecting this application by a small local developer  to rezone a large lot (0.46 acres awkwardly tucked along the edge of a Sunnyvale neighborhood south of Homestead Road) with a legacy Agricultural Residential zoning to allow single family homes with ADUs. This should have been a straight-forward “gateway” approval to allow the applicant to start working with the planning department to develop an actual General Plan Amendment and project for presentation to the Planning Commission and then approval by City Council. After much hemming and hawing about the differences between zoning uses, the council voted to ask the applicant to modify and resubmit in 30 days, yet another waste of resources for both the Cupertino planning department and the applicant. If this council has trouble with a half acre lot, how will they be able to make good decisions on much larger developments?

Item #18 Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and Below Market Rate (BMR) Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) funding allocations. The recommended funding allocation of these federal funds of $83,363 for Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley – Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Program, and $174,850 for West Valley Community Services’ Vista Village Rehabilitation Project were unanimously approved per the staff recommendation. After discussion, the BMR (AHF) request from Pacific West Communities – Westport Project for $2 million in bridge financing was not approved.

Item #19 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.   Due to the late hour, this item was continued to a future date.

Item #20 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. Due to the late hour, this item was continued to a future date.

EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers are encouraged to email individual members of the council, the council as a whole, the city manager, and the city clerk. 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.  These become part of the public record. Contacts at


Photos on the front page and page 5 are titled Drawing on local talent: Awards honor Cupertino’s emerging, established artists throughout our community. Closure of the Target store at Main Street is covered on the same page in an article titled Target will close two stores in the Bay Area, previously published in the Mercury News. Community briefs are (1) Teen Commission vacancies with applications due May 7, 2021 and  (2) The natural world, virtually hosted by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. Legal notice on page 21 is Notice of public hearing  on April 20 regarding the fiscal year 2020-21 fee schedule.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor