Cupertino Matters

  • Housing Element Town Hall, Wed.,Oct. 13, 2021, 6 p.m.  
  • RECAP – City Council, Tues. Oct. 5, 2021, 6:45  Regular, 5:30 Study Session

Pumpkins, pumpkin flavored food and Halloween decorations are signs of fall in our city. A lot of seasonal events were cancelled last year due to COVID-19, but they are back this year!

Join the community for conversations about the Housing Element revision process to plan for an additional 4,588 new homes in Cupertino. West Valley Community Services and Cupertino for All are jointly hosting a community-centered introduction and discussion on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.:  Envisioning an Inclusive Cupertino—Housing Element Town Hall. The new Housing Element will shape Cupertino for decades to come. Participants include elected officials, affordable housing developers, housing policy experts, community residents and neighbors for an interactive conversation about Cupertino’s future. The town hall is free and accessible via Zoom. You can sign up at WVCS’s website:

The CUSD Board will meet on Thurs., Oct. 14, 6:00 p.m. to finalize school closure decisions. The board presentation that has been posted on BoardDocs provides an excellent summary of the background and proposed actions:

  • Consolidate Muir Elementary School into Dilworth / Blue Hills
  • Re-locate CLIP (Chinese Language Immersion Program) to the Muir Elementary school site
  • Close Regnart Elementary School site – consolidate to Lincoln/Blue Hills
  • Close Meyerholz school site – move to Eaton  / Dilworth / Blue Hills
  • No changes for middle schools

There have been some parent protests against school closures, despite the clear financial challenges due to declining enrollment. Consider offering comments to the school board  ( as they grapple with difficult decisions on a well-thought out plan for the district. 

The city’s annual CREST Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m. in an outdoor ceremony at the Cupertino Civic Center. This year’s awards are::

  • Lifetime Achievement – Jim Oberhofer (CARES, CERT)
  • Volunteer of the Year – Joan Chin ( Via West gardens, CERT, Block Leader, Neighborhood Watch)
  • Public Safety Champion – Leigh Stevens (CERT, MRC)
  • Rising Star – Kelly Tung (Walk-Bike Cupertino Student Executive Board Member, Cupertino Teen Commission)
  • Organization of the Year- Harker Key Club
  • Sustainability Champion – Cupertino Youth Climate Action Team
CANCELLED – PLANNING COMMISSION – Tues, Oct. 12, 2021, Regular meeting
RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, Oct. 5, 2021, Regular session, 6:45 , Closed session, 5:30 p.m.

YouTube:  Part 1 – 1hr. 10 min. Housing Element Study Session; Part 2 – 3 hr. 42 min. Regular Meeting 

The meeting ended at the reasonable hour of 10:30. Almost as an afterthought at the meeting, Mayor Darcy Paul announced a closed session on Sunday, October 10 (in addition to the one on Oct. 16) to  interview candidates for city manager. The timetable is tight, given that the city’s interim city manager, Greg Larson, is only available through November. The previous search took two cycles.

The 5:30 Study session was an Update on the Housing Element Process and the Housing Survey. A general timeline for the process was presented, but no specific dates since the newly-hired consultant, EMC Planning, had just held a kickoff meeting with city staff on Sept. 28. EMC introduced their consultancy and described the general process of developing the Housing Element. Standby for more concrete developments.

Council Reports included reports on the League of California Cities Annual Conference.  The four attendees (Councilmember Jon Willey did not attend) gave their takeaways from the expo hall and sessions. The City Manager Update included an update on COVID-19 testing at the Senior Center, and current vaccination status.

Item #9 Consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to uphold the Director of Community Development’s approval of a Two-Story Permit to allow a new 2,992 square-foot two-story home with a 746 square-foot attached accessory dwelling unit and a Minor Residential Permit to allow a new 115 square-foot second-story balcony. (Application Nos.: R-2020-035, RM-2020-023; Applicant: Smart Lily, LLC.; Property Owners: Tariqul Khan and Chaman Hafiz; Appellants: Jitesh Vadhia and Chih-Lung Lin; Location: 1506 Primrose Way; APN # 366-15-018). Council spent two hours hashing over an unjustified appeal, then moved a substitute motion which denied the appeal conditioned on the planting of additional trees. Approved 3-2, with Councilmembers Moore and Wei supporting the original motion without the tree amendment.

Item #10 Consider amendments to Cupertino Municipal Code Sections 19.56.030 (Table 19.56.030), 19.56.030F, 19.56.040, and Table 19.56.040A and the addition of Section 19.56.080 (Density Bonus Ordinance) to allow density bonuses and other incentives as provided by state law and a new Section 19.56.080 providing that the Density Bonus Ordinance will be interpreted consistent with state density bonus law. (Application No: MCA-2021-003; Applicant: City of Cupertino; Location: Citywide.). Council evinced a clear reluctance to approve this amendment to bring Cupertino’s local ordinance in line with state requirements. Mayor Paul, Vice-Mayor Chao, and Councilmembers Moore and Willey took the opportunity to complain about public perception of their actions, the nature of the process, developers in general, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s requirements. There was no acknowledgement of the nine council/planning commission meetings and wasted staff time spent trying to circumvent state law or the threat of an impending lawsuit. Despite the prepared speeches, council ultimately (and speedily) approved the revised ordinance 5-0.

Item #13 Consider Conducting a First Reading of an Ordinance Related to Municipal Code Amendments to Mandate Organic Waste Disposal Reduction and Edible Food Recovery, as Required by Senate Bill (SB) 1383 and its Implementing Regulations.  After a brief discussion of city foresight with the renegotiated Recology agreement to ensure compliance with state environmental law, this ordinance was approved unanimously.

YOU CAN 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 the 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

CUPERTINO COURIER, October 8, 2021

The front page photo and community brief on page 5 are titled  Reducing the Carbon Footprint:  Hundreds pedal to bike day at Monta Vista High. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) City programs funded for wildlife prevention and (2) Creepy Crawlies with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority on Oct. 22. Legal notices on pages 19-20 are (1) Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals for affordable housing grants and (2) Changes to General Plan and Municipal Code to comply with state environmental regulations..

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor