Cupertino Matters

News thus far in September has been the heat wave, power outages and wildfires. Stay safe and hydrated!

Campaign season is in full swing with the first Cupertino City Council Candidates Forum live on Sept. 21, 11:45,  sponsored by Rotary and moderated by the League of Women Voters. Details on all upcoming candidate forums will be published as arrangements are finalized.

The following candidates  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. As readers review candidate websites, consider the breadth and quality of endorsements for each candidate. Is a candidate endorsed by electeds from other jurisdictions that they will need to collaborate with, i.e. your local state assemblymember? Are there endorsements from other city leaders, not just friends and current colleagues?

The Joint Commission Meeting on the Blackberry Farm Golf Course – September 8, 2022 was poorly managed. The commissions taking part in the meeting included Parks and Recreation, Bicycle-Pedestrian, and Sustainability. The meeting was scheduled for 6:30 to 8. However, public input did not start until 8, shortchanging the public as commissioners fixated on irrelevant details despite admonishment that the plans were conceptual.

The commissioners failed to discuss the major issue separating the two options that were studied. Option A is investing in the city-owned 9-hole golf course to fix it up and run it as a real business, with marketing, more youth and senior programs, and adjusting the fees to accommodate improvements. This would retain the site as a recreational site for not just all Cupertino residents, but also the surrounding community. Option B would convert the 16 acres to “natural habitat” with a three quarter mile closed loop trail, allowing the redwoods to die. This area of Cupertino already has an abundance of parks, with 18 acres of lightly used open space at McClellan Ranch, Preserve with Stevens Creek County Park (1,042 acres) and Fremont Older Open Space Preserve (739 acres) both in close proximity.

The key issue is water usage. The staff report was based on current usage, but did not consider alternatives suggested by the public to significantly reduce water usage with an improved golf course. The economic analysis was based on pre-COVID usage of 28,000 rounds of golf, rather than current usage of 41,000 rounds.

The Housing Element is muddling along. City Manager Pamela Wu provided an updated timeline to council and expects to submit the draft Site Inventory in late October/early November, making Cupertino the very last city in the Bay Area to submit a draft to the state. The council-driven Community Engagement Plan (CEP) chaired by Councilmember Kitty Moore will meet on Sept. 16, with a third community meeting tentatively scheduled for Sept. 27. This effort is further hampered by the loss of two more planners.

UPCOMING – Planning Commission – Tues., Sept. 13, 2022, 6:45 p.m. Regular

This will be the first meeting since July 12. The agenda includes routine approval of minutes in addition to two Public Hearings:

Item #4: Tentative Map to consider the subdivision of one 1.25 acre parcel into six parcels ranging between 7,526 square feet and 9,615 square feet, Two-Story Permits and Minor Residential Permits to consider the development of six single-family homes each with a second story balcony.(Location: 20860 McClellan Road; APN: 359-20-030) This is a proposal to subdivide one of the few remaining large parcels in a largely single-family neighborhood in Cupertino into single-family homes. Its proximity to transit and amenities, however, makes it a prime location for modestly higher density development. The applicant submitted an application Oct. 22, 2021–nearly a year ago–and has elected to have it reevaluated under the Housing Accountability Act (HAA) to avoid CEQA delays. This is yet another example of a wasted opportunity to build housing that is not standalone single-family residences available only to the wealthiest of buyers.

Item #5: Modification of an existing Use Permit (U-2005-04) to allow above ground crypts on a portion of the Gates of Heaven Cemetery. (Application No.: M-2022-002; Applicant: Heather Gloster (Gates of Heaven Cemetery); Location: 22557 Cristo Rey Drive; APN: 342-63-002). The original use permit issued by the county in 1962 specified horizontal grave markers. The cemetery proposes four above ground crypts, which are consistent with the location, and with no impact on traffic or the surrounding neighborhood.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., Sep. 6, 2022, 6:45 p.m. Regular

YouTube: Part 1 – 2 hr. 13 min.; Part 2 –  2 hr. 00 min.

Councilmember Kitty Moore pulled two Consent Items (1) Item #14 to consider accepting $1,000,000 in grant funding from the State of California for construction of the Jollyman All-Inclusive Playground project, questioning the cost of the bathroom which is being moved, not just renovated; and (2) Consent Item #15 to consider accepting $5,000,000 in grant funding from the State of California for renovation of the McClellan Road Bridge over Stevens Creek. Councilmembers expressed confusion about the location of the bridge, and the unrestricted funds status. Both were then approved unanimously.

Item #16: Conducting the second reading of an Ordinance related to regulation of single-use plastic foodware and single-use carryout bags. Council approved unanimously.

Item #17: Appointment of Council subcommittee to identify opportunities for housing development in the Bubb Road Special Area. Mayor Darcy Paul and Councilmember Jon Willey were appointed to this subcommittee, though both will be off council in early December. Council approved 5-0.

Item #18: Consider approving the FY 2022-23 Internal Audit Program (Continued on July 19, 2022). Following discussion, council approved unanimously.

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 9, 2022

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Present, future of green transportation: Nancy Pelosi to speak at San Jose event with Rotary. Community briefs include (1) Sidewalk office hours, (2) Coastal Cleanup Day, and (3) Virtual BMR workshop. Legal notices include (1) Notice of order of nominees for members of city  council, and (2) Study Session for SB9 Implementation Ordinance on Sept. 20.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor