Cupertino Matters

Want to find out what’s happening in our city? Join Mayor Hung Wei for her 2023 Cupertino State of the City Address, on Wednesday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m for the reception with the ceremony at 6:00. The event will also be televised and recorded for later viewing.

The city is required to respond to the 51-page grand jury report published on Dec. 19, 2022, A HOUSE DIVIDED: CUPERTINO CITY COUNCIL AND CITY STAFF. It was highlighted by the Mercury News in its Jan. 6, 2023, Editorial: Civil grand jury nails Better Cupertino councilmembers’ misbehavior:Culture of distrust and violation of city codes created constant turnover of city staff. A response is required within 90 days, so the city attorney drafted a response which was on the Feb. 7, 2023, Council agenda. Council received the city attorney’s presentation on the matter and heard public comment. In the interest of time, the item was continued to the next meeting. The Mercury News continued to examine the matter in follow-up coverage on the front page of the Local News section in the article Cupertino councilmembers begin to address grand jury report allegations with comments from Councilmember Fruen.

Interested in the Flint Center replacement at DeAnza community college? Join this planning event on Feb. 23 via Zoom to learn more and provide public input

Readers can still provide their views and hopes for the revitalization of Memorial Park until Feb. 22. The survey presents three concepts: (1) Community Focus, (2) Nature Focus, and (3) Civic Focus. There are significant variations between the 3 concepts:

  • Relocation of an enlarged and enhanced amphitheater to the lightly used softball field (Civic Focus) with significantly improved ADA access
  • Amount of space for events and festivals varies between the three concepts
  • Event lawn / enlarged deck for the Senior Center to provide ADA access to an event lawn for outdoor classes and events. (Civic focus)
  • Unique features such as dedicated pickleball courts and age-friendly exercise areas
  • Some features duplicated in other city parks, i.e. nature areas and community gardens at McClellan Ranch, Blackberry Farm, certain neighborhood parks, etc. to expand access

For more details, listen to the presentation at the Parks and Recreation Commision on Feb. 2. Complete details on the Memorial Park Specific Plan can be found on the city website at There is a 436-page report which summarizes the Site Assessment and Outreach Summary.

The City of Cupertino has officially submitted its Draft Housing Element to the  California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The City expects a response letter from HCD by the first week of May, which will identify the modifications HCD believes need to be made for the Housing Element to be substantially compliant with state law and certified by HCD. The actual document can be viewed at the Engage Cupertino website for the Draft Housing Element. In the meantime, a lawsuit has been filed against the city of Cupertino to force it to comply with state housing law. The same advocacy organizations suing Cupertino brought suit against other jurisdictions in the Bay Area for failure to comply with the law.

RECAP – Planning Commission – Tues., Feb. 14, 2023, 6:45 p.m. Regular

YouTube: 1 hr. 52 min.

Two new commissioners joined the commission – David Fung, who previously served one term from 2017 to 2021, and Seema Lindskog. The only significant agenda items are as follows:

Item #1: Election of Commission Chair and Vice Chair. Commissioner Steven Scharf was reelected chair on a 3-1 vote, and Commissioner Muni Madhdhipatla was reelected vice-chair.

Item #3: Public hearing: Consider a Conditional Use Permit for the concurrent sale of alcoholic beverages and gasoline at an existing Chevron gasoline service station. (Application No.: U-2022-006; Applicant: Steve Rawlings on behalf of Chevron Stations; Location: 11010 N De Anza Blvd; APN# 309-42-041) and 4. This gas station is located at the corner of Homestead and De Anza Boulevard / Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road. The site already holds a license to sell beer and wine for offsite consumption. This request is to allow the sale of hard liquor, primarily pre-made mixed drinks, in addition to wine and beer, between the hours of 6 am and 11 pm. The proposed display area is roughly. 52 sq. ft. or 3% of the sales floor area, and would be located behind the cash register. The Sheriff’s department has approved the security plan. There are currently 4 other gas stations in Cupertino which have alcohol licenses. The commission raised questions about the difference between the use permit, tied to the property, which allows alcoholic beverages in general and the liquor license from the state liquor board for a Type 20 license for wine and beer vs. a Type 21 license which allows all alcoholic beverages..  Commission voted unanimously to continue the item to allow for the collection of additional information to inform its decision.

RECAP: CITY COUNCIL – Tues., Feb 7, 2023, 6:45 p.m. Regular meeting

Agenda and Presentations
YouTube: Part – 1 hr. 16 min; Part 2 – 3 hr. 10 min. Starting at Item #16

This meeting lasted until 12:20 a.m. underscoring the need to make the flow of the meetings more efficient as addressed in the finally adopted City Council Procedures Handbook. Councilmember Kitty Moore pulled 5 of the 10 Consent Calendar items  which were then reordered to the end of the meeting.

Item #16: Consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny Sign Exception to allow three (3) wall signs where two (2) are permitted and to further allow two (2) of the three (3) wall signs to be oriented towards the freeway on two separate storage facility buildings. (Application No(s): EXC-2022-003; Applicant(s): David Ford, All Sign Services; Location: 20565 Valley Green Dr.; APN: 326-10-044). The Planning Commission illegally approved only one sign for this facility. However, the Municipal Code allows two signs, one of which can be freeway facing. At the hearing, the applicant withdrew consideration of a third sign which would have required a Sign Exception. Council approved the appeal to allow the freeway sign on a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Moore voting nay.

Item #15: from Consent Calendar: Approve Resolution No. 23-021, adopting Cupertino City Council Procedures Manual. Despite having spent over an hour and a half on this item in the Jan. 17 Study Session, then another seven hours at the Jan. 25 Special Meeting hammering out details, this item was pulled for even more discussion. The public input was extensive, with former council members and elected officials expressing the importance of a formal manual for effective governance. After the motion to adopt the manual as written, Councilmembers Moore and Chao attempted to filibuster by proposing numerous substitute motions, which all failed on 2-3 votes. A friendly amendment to evaluate the manual’s processes in six months was accepted. The vote to approve the manual was 3-2 with Moore and Chao voting nay.

Item #17: Consider approval of response to 2022 Civil Grand Jury of Santa Clara County Report entitled, “A House Divided.” The city is legally required to respond to the Dec.19, 2022 report, identifying significant governance issues in the city. This letter addresses the findings and recommendation in the report. Defensive statements were submitted in written comments by Councilmember Moore (1 page) and Chao (11 pages). After public comment, in consideration of the late time, Councilmember Fruen moved to table the item after Item #18.

Item #18: Consider scheduling a study session to refine research scope regarding placing a potential vacancy tax ballot measure in the upcoming election. The public expressed major concerns about this proposed tax, pushed by Councilmembers Moore and Chao. Other councilmembers expressed prudential concerns about the viability of the proposed tax at the ballot box, in addition to the cost (both in money and staff time) to prepare such a measure for the ballot. The original motion to approve by Councilmember Moore, as well as substitute motions, failed. A final motion to not have a study session on the matter was approved 3-2, with Moore and Chao voting nay.

Since this item extended past midnight, the new Council Procedures were in effect, so the remaining items were moved to the next regular meeting.

CUPERTINO COURIER: February 10, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Counterpoint with Ukraine:  Festival includes dance, visual arts, cross-cultural musical collaboration. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Education fair, and (2) Clean water grants. Page 16 is a previously published Mercury News article Most cities missed deadline to submit housing plans. This includes Cupertino. There were no legal notices.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor