Cupertino Matters

Spring is on the way with all the flowering trees and shrubs. Hope you had an enjoyable long weekend.

An enthusiastic crowd filled the Cupertino Room at the Quinlan Center for Mayor Hung Wei’s 2023 State of the City Address on Feb. 15. Readers can watch a replay on the  City of Cupertino channel on YouTube.

The recent quakes in Turkey and Syria lend more urgency to providing for the safety of Cupertino city employees and the public. Constructed in 1965, the current city hall was identified as seismically unsafe in 2005, shortly after the Library and Community Hall were built. No action was taken until a Civic Master Plan was developed  in the 2011 – 2015 time frame which included options for  a new / renovated city  hall.and a parking structure. The current building is approximately 24,000 sq. ft, but the city needs approximately 40,000 sq. ft. to meet current and future staffing needs, with about a 20% increase in population in the next decade. The purchase of the City Hall Annex adds about 5,000 sq. ft., which is still inadequate.

The city hall project repeatedly returned to council. In 2019, the Library Expansion Project was uncoupled and funded, but the parking structure and city hall projects were not approved.  In 2022, a subcommittee of council members Kitty Moore and Jon Willey recommended  and council approved (Wei voting nay) to approve a project to retrofit the existing building at a cost of $27.5 million, leaving the city with a 1965 building, with no increase in square footage to accommodate current and future staffing needs. The need for a parking structure identified in the Civic Master plan was ignored.

The study session before the regular council meeting is to give staff direction on whether to reconsider the Nov. 15 direction from the previous city council. In contrast,  neighboring Sunnyvale gets sleek new City Hall

“Sunnyvale’s environmentally conscious and modern City Hall building is nearing completion.


The four-story, 120,000-square-foot building is expected to produce enough clean energy to power itself, and could be ready for move-in by March…,


“Having that new City Hall, it ultimately represents what our city goals are in a big way,” Mayor Larry Klein told San José Spotlight. “It iconifies Sunnyvale as the heart of Silicon Valley. It creates an icon to sustainability in the fight against climate change.”


Klein said consolidating into the new building will have benefits for city employees. They will be able to work more closely and efficiently, and residents will have one place to go for most city business and public meetings. “

Shouldn’t Cupertino be a leader in investing for the future rather than a laggard by retrofitting the past?

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

Last chance to provide your views and hopes for the revitalization of Memorial Park ends 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

The presentation  at the Parks and Recreation Commission on Feb. 2.provides more details. 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.

UPCOMING: CITY COUNCIL – Tues., Feb 21, 2023, 5:00 Special Session, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations (Note new order for the agenda)

The 5:00 Special Session will Consider City Hall Renovation Project update  On Nov. 15, 2022, the previous council staff directed staff to proceed with a City Hall Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project to do only a seismic upgrade and reconfiguration of the existing City Hall. Minor parking adjustments were included, but did not address the long term parking needs for the library, given the approximately 20% increase in residents  in the next ten years. The cost of this retrofit would be $27.5 million, leaving the city with a 1965 building, with no increase in square footage to accommodate additional staffing needs.  On January 17, 2023, a request was made to agendize reconsideration of this project. The need for a new City Hall structure was identified in 2005, after construction of the Library and Community Hall. Isn’t it time to stop  “kicking the can down the road”, ignoring the liability of a seismically unsafe building?

The Regular Meeting will start with a Ceremonial Matters and Presentations items: (1) Recognition of 2022 STEM Winners from the City of Cupertino who participated in the Santa Clara County 2022 Synopsys Championship Science Fair, (2) Consider a proclamation recognizing the Wafu School of Ikebana, and (3) Consider a proclamation recognizing Mrs. Fusako “Seiga” Hoyrup, a principal instructor of the Wafu School of Ikebana. Then any  Postponements and Orders of the Day will be considered.

Oral Communications will follow. Note changes have been made in the procedures.  There will ordinarily be a one hour limit, with a limit of 3 minutes per speaker, though the Chair may reduce the time allocated per speaker or reschedule additional speakers to the end of the meeting.

The Consent Calendar has 6 routine items, including several continued from the Feb. 7, 2023 meeting. Members of council may pull items, and members of the public may speak when the Chair asks for public comment.

Item #10 Consider approval of response to 2022 Civil Grand Jury of Santa Clara County Report entitled, “A House Divided” (continued from February 7).  The staff report was presented and public comment which strongly favored accepting the draft response,  was heard at the Feb. 7 meeting. Due to time, council deliberation and a vote were continued to this meeting. The city is required to respond to the grand jury report by March 20, 2023. The city is making progress on the findings and recommendations.

Item #11 Consider (1) adopting Resolution No. 23-026 to repeal and replace Resolution No. 18-010, regarding the Legislative Review Committee; (2) establishment of an Economic Development Working Group by the City Manager; (3) amending the Cupertino Municipal Code to repeal Chapters 2.84 (Environmental Review Committee), 2.90 (Design Review Committee), and 2.96 (Economic Development Committee); to adopt Chapter 17.02 (California Environmental Quality Act), regarding local environmental review procedures; and to amend Chapters 2.32, 2.88, 9.20, 19.08, 19.12, 19.28, 19.104, and 19.124, regarding the duties of the Planning Commission, Audit Committee, and Local Assessment Committee; and (4) finding the above actions exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act  These are the formal steps to implementing the streamlining the overabundance of committees and subcommittees, simplifying processes and reducing time spent by staff in procedural aspects. All subcommittees are dissolved. Key committee changes are as follows:

  • Elimination of the Legislative Review Committee.  Originally intended to allow the city to respond to legislative issues during council recess, year round meetings failed to provide substantial value for the lobbyist expense, staff and council time.
  • Dissolve the Economic Development Committee governed by Brown Act restrictions of the Brown Act. Replace it with an Economic Development Working. Group with more flexibility under the direction of the Economic Development Manager. The “lame duck” city council selected members 10 days before the new council, over the objections of the public and then councilmember Wei.
  • Dissolve the Environment Review Committee, reassigning its responsibilities to other advisory bodies and staff.
  • Dissolve the Design Review Committee and reassign the responsibilities to (1) the Planning Commission, which currently has few action items for their bimonthly meetings, and (2) administrative staff for parking and fence exceptions, ASA permits for neon lights and decorative statuary.
  • Implementation of recommendations of the Audit Committee to streamline reporting.

Action items will be followed by Council Reports and the City Manager Report which should be routine. Oral Communications may be continued, if needed. Informational Items provide background information and routine reports to the council and the public, but will not be discussed.

CUPERTINO COURIER: February 17, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Reconnaissance for recognition:  Nominations open in six categories for this year’s CREST Awards. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) City website survey, (2) Via Student Contest and (3) Blacksmithing demo. Page 8 is a previously published Mercury News article City Council addresses allegations by grand jury.. Page 12 is a previously published  Mercury News article 3 pro-housing groups sue 11 cities, county:  Advocates aim to force compliance with California’s homebuilding code. Cupertino is one of the cities named in the lawsuit.  The sole legal notice is a public hearing on March 9, 2023 to consider FY2023-24 CDBG BMR,AHF and HSG funding allocations.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor