Cupertino Matters

Fall is officially here with the equinox and shorter days. Campaigning is in full swing with  candidate forums at the city, school and county level. These are an excellent opportunity to hear candidates speak, understand their views and ask questions in an unbiased format. Note that Wednesday is a double-header, with a city-sponsored community meeting scheduled prior to the candidate forum. This Saturday is the Cupertino Volunteer Fair, 10 am to 2 pm, at Civic Plaza, so feel free to meet me at the Cupertino for All table.

  • September 28, 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Cupertino City Council – This forum is on Zoom and sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Cupertino-Sunnyvale Chapter. A registration link is here.
  • September 28, 6:00 – 7:00, p.m., Wednesday, Community Meeting on SB9 – Urban Lot Splits and Duplex Development. This is both in-person and on Zoom. Council had their study session last week, with minimal public input, so this meeting is intended to garner more interest and pushback on the interim ordinance. The interim ordinance is extremely strict and limits new homes to 2,000 square feet, bans basements and condo conversions, imposes tandem parking garages in some instances, disallows flag lots, and limits the difference in size between homes. These overly restrictive provisions have chilled interest in this source of new homes as NO actual applications have been made, despite initial interest. The state Attorney General’s office is examining ordinances like Cupertino’s throughout California for compliance with state law.    
  • October 13, 7-8 p.m. Cupertino Union School District candidates.  More details and link to Zoom to come.
  • October 17, 7-8 p.m. Fremont Union High School district candidates.  More details and link to Zoom to come.

Did you miss last week’s Cupertino City Council  candidate forum? This first candidate forum of the season was co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cupertino and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, and moderated by the League of Women Voters, Southwest Santa Clara Valley Chapter. KMVT of Mountain View (not the Cupertino City channel) provided the live stream of the event. Don’t miss the Chat Replay feature on the right hand side of the recording!

As a reference guide, these are the candidates who will appear on the ballot for the three city council seats:

The city provides a webpage with current candidate information, which includes a link to the candidate statements that will appear in the ballot pamphlet.

TODAY – Planning Commission – Tues., Sept. 27, 2022, 6:45 p.m. Regular

Other than approving the Oct. 13 minutes, and canceling the Nov. 8 meeting which is the same day as the general election, the sole agenda item was a Hillside Exception request to consider the removal and replacement of an existing 2,660 sq. ft. exterior deck and proposed expansion of 860 sq. ft., resulting in a 3,250 sq. ft. exterior deck on slopes greater than 30% of an existing hillside residence (Application no. EXC-2022-001); Applicant: Rajendra Shah; Location: 22332 Regnart Road; APN: 366-39-005. This is a straight-forward removal, replacement and expansion of an existing deck built in 1982. It’s on a slope greater than 30% and the expansion of 860 sq. ft. is greater than 500 sq. ft, so requires planning commission approval. After an uncharacteristically brief hearing, the commission approved the application unanimously.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., Sep. 20, 2022

YouTube:  Part 1 – 2 hr. 56 min.; Part 2 – 3 hr 20 min. 

The 5:30 Study Session to consider potential Municipal Code Amendments to allow properties in Single Family Residential Districts to subdivide properties into two and/or develop properties with up to two units ministerially pursuant to CA Senate Bill 9 exceeded the one hour scheduled time, and so was continued into the regular meeting. As a result, consideration of the consent calendar didn’t start until 9:20. Council had difficulty providing direction to staff regarding the technical land use issues presented to them. Council has to approve a permanent ordinance by Dec. 19, 2022, so staff will return with a proposed ordinance.

The Consent Calendar consumed an inordinate amount of time, concluding at 10:49 p.m., allowing approximately an hour for the three action items, with Item #20 continued until Oct. 18, frustrating residents who had been waiting to provide public comment and who could not do so.

Councilmember Kitty Moore pulled Item #14, which was consideration of acceptance of State grant funding for the Via On-Demand Shuttle Pilot Program and extending the contract with Nomad Transit, LLP to operate Via Shuttle Pilot Program, requesting clarification on grant funding which could have been requested prior to the meeting.  Council approved unanimously.

A member of the public pulled Item #15 to consider providing a Statement of City Council Support for the I-280/Wolfe Road Interchange Project and authorize the appropriation of $800,000 from the General Fund Capital Reserves as a 10% non-Measure B local match for the I-280/Wolfe Road Interchange Improvements Project. There were concerns about the impact of The Rise on this project, but this is simply a statement of support and would ordinarily be a routine approval. Instead, the item consumed valuable dais time. Council approved unanimously.

Councilmember Kitty Moore pulled Item #16 to consider the Streetlight Transition Assessment Report. This was a simple CIP update report, but evolved into a discussion of different street lights across the city which would have been better addressed later in the process of implementation. Some street lights are owned by PG&E, and therefore sit outside city purview. Council approved unanimously.

Item #18: Update on the Status of the Research from the City Council Subcommittee Meetings for the Cupertino Community Funding Grant Program. The City of Cupertino has provided small amounts of funding ($70,000 to $90,000 total) to local non-profit organizations since 2013. This was another frustrating agenda item. Input from the Parks and Recreation Commission is that the current process is not working, largely because there is no agreement among councilmembers on evaluation criteria.  Applicants who presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission had no opportunity to present to council, which then arbitrarily made the final decision. The item was delegated to yet another subcommittee, this time to meet with the Parks and Recreation Commission.

 Item #19: Consider amending the City of Cupertino Conflict of Interest Code for officials and designated employees per State law requirement on a biennial basis; 2022 Local Agency Biennial Notice. This item was reordered and considered before Item #18. Council approved unanimously.

Item #20: Consider (1) review of crosswalk options across Rodrigues Avenue in the vicinity of the public pedestrian walkway easement through Tract 9405 (Campo De Lozano subdivision), located near 20138 Rodrigues Avenue; and (2) review of the proposed language for signage to be posted at each end of the pedestrian walkway easement through the Campo De Lozano subdivision. Like Item #18, this item consternated council. Late in the evening, after the staff presentation, a handful of residents of the impacted subdivision spoke, attempting to reverse the previous council decision to allow this walkway to remain open. Council deliberation and further public comment were continued to the Oct. 18 council meeting.

YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers may email individual councilmembers, 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 are available at

CUPERTINO COURIER, September 23, 2022

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Fall Bike Fest finds new location:  Family-friendly event organized by Rotary’s Cycle for Change team. Additional community briefs include (1) New leaf blower regulations passed, and (2) Input into revitalizing Memorial Park. There is a legal notice for the Second Reading to regulate single-use food service ware.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor