Cupertino Matters

On Friday night, Community Hall was packed as residents, friends, and family gathered to warmly welcome in a new council. The official certification of election results declared Sheila Mohan having the highest number of votes, Liang Chao the second most votes and JR Fruen third out of a field of 8. Outgoing Mayor Darcy Paul and Jon Willey were recognized, then the newly-elected councilmembers were officially sworn in.  Vice Mayor Liang Chao then nominated Councilmember Hung Wei to be Mayor which was approved 4-0-1 with Councilmember Kitty Moore abstaining. Vice-Mayor Chao then nominated Kitty Moore as Vice-Mayor, but she declined. Councilmember J.R. Fruen then nominated Councilmember Sheila Mohan as Vice-Mayor. This was approved on a 4-0-1 vote with Moore abstaining without explanation. Mayor Wei and Vice-Mayor Mohan were then sworn in by California Assemblymember Evan Low to serve for the next year. Both spoke briefly to close the meeting. Mercury News reporter Vandana Ravikumar provided a recap in an article entitled Hung Wei elected Cupertino mayor at councilmembers’ inauguration ceremony

This council marks several  milestones. Vice-Mayor Sheila-Mohan is only the second Indian American woman elected to Cupertino city council. Councilmember J.R. Fruen is the first Lynbrook High School graduate elected to office, and the first LGBTQ councilmember elected in Cupertino.

A reminder to readers that the Housing Element draft has been released for public comment ending Dec. 23, just prior to the Christmas shutdown. Comments on this 492-page document may be sent to the Community Development Department, Attn: Luke Connolly, Acting Community Development Director, 10300 Torre Avenue,Cupertino, CA 95014, or, clearly identifying Housing Element in the subject line.

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

Due to the city hall shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s, this is the last meeting for 2022. Other than approval of the Nov. 10 minutes, the sole agenda item is 2022 Review of General Plan Annual Report/Implementation Plan. This review needs to be completed by April 1, 2023. The Planning Commission reviews the plan prior to consideration by council. There are relatively few changes year-to-year, with the development allocations for residential, commercial, office and hotel units updated at a later time.

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

YouTube: Part 1 –  2 hr. 13 min; Part 2 – 3 hr. 12 min. Agenda documents

The last meeting for this lame-duck council lasted until 12:42 a.m., despite a limited agenda. Ceremonial Matters and Presentations ended at 8:32, then Consent Item #12 Consider authorizing the City Manager to award a construction contract with contingency budget for the Blackberry Farm Pool Improvements Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Project was pulled. Councilmember Kitty Moore objected to the 20% contingency fee for this project, despite the staff explanation that unexpected issues often come up in old facilities. After 45 minutes, the motion to reduce the contingency fee to 15% passed 4-1, with Councilmember Wei voting nay due to concerns about impacting summer programs at the Blackberry Farm Pool.

Item #13: Consider directing staff to prepare a City Ordinance to govern the permitting of small cellular facilities within the public right of way. This was a study session, yet the council spent nearly two hours hashing over minor details to provide feedback to staff regarding aesthetics.

Item #14: Consider approval of a proposed development that will include approximately 41,268 sq. ft. of commercial space and 206 residential condominium units. (Application No(s): DP-2022-001, ASA-2022-002, TR-2022-026, TM-2022-003; Applicant(s): Larry Wang (Tectonic Builders Corp.); Location: 10145 N. De Anza Blvd, 10118 Bandley Dr., APN(s): 326-34-066, 326-34-043. Staff and developer presentations  began at 11:03 p.m.. Council commended this Marina Plaza  project for having for-sale condominiums in the form of both housing and commercial space. The minimal public comment at the late night hour was positive, focusing more on plant selection and adherence to new ordinances. The project received unanimous approval at 12:32 p.m. The meeting finally adjourned at 12:42, past the usual midnight cutoff.

CUPERTINO COURIER: December 9, 2022

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Ride-share program to expand: $8.5 million grant to help shuttle service transition to electric vehicles. The community briefs on page 5 are (1) Holiday coat drive, (2) Draft Housing Element up for review and (3) Salamanders’ secrets. There were no legal notices.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor