Cupertino Matters

Looking for progress in our city? Though not officially celebrated, there is new grass at Memorial Park replacing the unsightly dry ponds, just in time for spring festivals. Nearby, construction is well underway at the former Oaks/Westport site which is now three projects: (1) 48 senior below market rate (BMR) apartments in the the tall building closest to Stevens Creek, (2) Arroyo Village consisting of 88 row- and townhouses, and (3) Atria Senior Living with 123 assisted living homes and 35 memory care rooms, closest to the Senior Center. Only the last of these is not yet under construction.

Housing, however, remains problematic .The city submitted a draft Housing Element to the state Housing and Community Development (HCD) to plan for adding  over 4,000 housing units in the next eight years, but the plan is not compliant. As a  result, a lawsuit has been filed against the city of Cupertino, as well as other jurisdictions for failure to comply with the law.

Find out more by joining Mayor Hung Wei for her 2023 Cupertino State of the City Address, on Wednesday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m. (RSVP by Wed, Feb. 8)

Want to learn more about what’s happening to revitalize Memorial Park? Readers  can express their views and hopes for the park by (1) attending an online community webinar on Thurs., Feb. 9 from 7 – 8 pm, and (2) taking the survey regarding the three concepts: Community Focus, Nature Focus, and 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)
  • Amount of space for events and festivals varies between the three concepts
  • Event lawn for the Senior Center to allow outdoor classes and events. (Civic focus)
  • Some include functions duplicated in other city parks, i.e. nature areas and community gardens at McClellan Ranch, Blackberry Farm, certain neighborhood parks, etc.
  • Unique functions, such as dedicated pickleball courts, age-friendly exercise areas, a bike garden

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.

In school news, the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) board approved the lease of the entire Regnart campus to Tessellations, a private school currently housed at New Life Church on McClellan Road, at their board meetings on Jan. 12 and 19. This lease will generate over $3 million in revenue to be used by the district for other educational purposes. Most Tessellations students do not live in the CUSD service area. The board also received updates on all district surplus properties:

Montebello Site: This site far up into the hills was inherited from a dissolved school district that previously served remote unincorporated county land. It has never served as a CUSD school. The suggested action is to exchange the site for a property that can be used for District purposes or an income-producing asset that does not require active management.

Meyerholz Site Options: (1) Relocate the District office to this site (most likely to eliminate current lease), (2) lease to a private party, (3) move owned portables to other CUSD sites to replace leased portables, (4) expand uses to include Education Center, etc. to provide the district more flexibility, and/or (5) consider uses to include community, City, and other agencies.

Nan Allen Site: Consider constructing a new Central Kitchen at this site.

Luther Site:  Issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) similar to the Regnart process to ascertain the market value of this site.

Serra Site: Issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) similar to the Regnart process to ascertain the market value of this site.

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

Agenda and Presentations

The meeting will start with a Ceremonial Matters and Presentations item to present a certificate of appreciation to outgoing West Valley Community Services Executive Director Josh Selo recognizing his years of service to the community. Mr. Selo leaves several years of service at WVCS to take up a position as the Executive Director of the Bill Wilson Center. Oral Communications then follow. Reports should be routine.

The Consent Calendar has 10 items, mostly routine, though some items may be pulled for more discussion. Items of note are:

  • Item # 14: Informational memorandum regarding retail square footage analysis of Main Street. A cap of 40% of square footage for restaurants was included in the 2012 Development Agreement. Specialty foods, such as Philz Coffee, are not included in that designation. Main Street is substantially in compliance. The percentage of restaurant usages may be adjusted by the Director of Community Development provided that there is no parking or traffic impact.
  • Item#15: Approve Resolution No. 23-021, adopting Cupertino City Council Procedures Manual. Council 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 is the formal adoption of this long overdue manual to establish and codify processes for the council. The version set for adoption focuses on giving equal time to councilmembers to ask questions and deliberate, but also ensures that items can reach a timely vote by removing potential filibusters from the process and by circumscribing the powers of the mayor and councilmembers. These changes should allow for fairer, more efficient meetings that end at reasonable hours and avoid unnecessary continuances to resolve unfinished business. Despite the many hours already spent in deliberation, Councilmember Chao put out an email blast late yesterday evening stoking community division over the manual, misstating its effects, and characterizing it as an attack on democracy.

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 restricted this new Public Storage Facility to one sign which was not oriented toward the freeway. Staff is recommending that a freeway-oriented sign be allowed, but not a third freeway oriented sign, as this would be consistent with current Municipal Code.

Item #17: Consider approval of response to 2022 Civil Grand Jury of Santa Clara County Report entitled, “A House Divided.” This report was released on Dec.19, 2022, identifying significant governance issues in the city to which the city is required to respond. This letter addresses the findings and recommendation in the report. Careful reading of both the original report and the city responses is recommended.

Item #18: Consider scheduling a study session to refine research scope regarding placing a potential vacancy tax ballot measure in the upcoming election.  Councilmembers Kitty Moore and Liang Chao proposed this as a future agenda item.  Any tax measure would require substantial city resources to develop a ballot measure requiring a two-thirds supermajority. Administrability of such a policy is an open question. Jurisdictions that have passed similar policies have had mixed results based on the particulars of the policies in question. Given the relatively small number of parcels in Cupertino, this would be highly unlikely to generate significant revenue or increase availability of housing.

RECAP: Commission Interviews – CITY COUNCIL – Mon, Jan.  30, 5:30 and Tues, Jan. 31, 5:30,  Community Hall (not recorded)

The following commissioners were selected:

Housing Commission: Connie Cunningham, reappointed to a full year term ending 1/30/2027. Alternate: Tejesh Mistry

Bicycle Pedestrian Commission: Herve Marcy, Joel Wolf, John Zhao, all  appointed to a full term ending 1/30/2027. Alternates: 1st – Jack Carter; 2nd – Sreekanth (Sree) Bhaskar

Arts & Culture Commission: Kiran Varshneya Rohra and David Wang, appointed to a full term ending 1/30/2027; Dana Ford, appointed to a partial term ending 1/30/2025 Alternate: Rani Agrawal

TICC:  Mukesh Garg, Prabir Mohanty, reappointed, Emma Shearin, appointed to full terms ending 1/30/2027. Alternates: 1st – Sreekanth (Sree) Bhaskar, 2nd – Naidu Bollineni

Library Commission: Qin Pan, reappointed, Janki Chokshi, appointed to full terms ending 1/30/2027

Planning Commission: David Fung, and Seema Lindskog, appointed to full terms ending 1/30/2027. Alternates: 1st – Tejesh Mistry, 2nd – Geoff Paulsen

Parks & Recreation Commission: Jennifer Shearin and Hemant Buch, appointed to full terms ending 1/30/2027. Alternates: 1st – Claudio Bono, 2nd – Joseph (Dan) Marshall

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Wed., Jan. 25, 2023, 4 p.m. Special Meeting

Agenda and presentations 

YouTube: Part 1 –  1 hr. 55 min.; Part 2 –  2 hr. 43 min.; Part 3 – 3 hr. 11 min. 

This was a marathon meeting lasting almost eight hours, a continuation of a previous meeting when Council spent almost two hours on the same agenda items.

Item #1: Consider adopting Cupertino City Council Procedures Manual, including a new Ceremonial Correspondence Policy (Continued from January 17, 2023). Council discussed section by section, hour after hour, with numerous straw votes on revisions.  Staff was directed to return with a revised document including the modifications. Vote was 4-1 with Moore voting nay.

Item #2: Study Session to consider modifying Municipal Code Title 2 regarding compositions and responsibilities of existing Commissions and Committees (Continued from January 17, 2023). At the end of the night, the council considered this agenda item to consolidate and reduce the number of committees and subcommittees. The biggest objection was elimination of the Economic Development Committee. Councilmembers Moore and Chao made substitute motions to retain this committee, but both failed .At nearly midnight, final vote for modified version of the staff recommendation passed 4-1 with Moore voting nay.

CUPERTINO COURIER: February 3, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled How to revitalize Memorial Park? Residents asked to rate three concepts for 22-acre site in online survey. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) State of the City set, (2) Airport gets upgrades grant, and (3) Events for older adults. The sole legal notice is a hearing for a Conditional Use Permit to sell alcoholic beverages and gasoline at the Chevron Station at 11010 N. DeAnza Blvd to be heard at the Planning Commission on Feb. 14.

CUPERTINO COURIER: January 27, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled De Anza students express support for smoke-free campus: Anti-Tobacco coalition to push for college ‘no smoking’ policy. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Matt Morley named assistant city manager, (2) Disability Film Festival at library, and (3) Meet elected officials. Page 8 is the article Mathematician and hotel declared winners of 2023 Cupertino Bridge Awards by the Chamber of Commerce. Also on page 8 is the previously published Mercury News article: ‘Nine months to a year’: City lags on compliant housing plan to state. The sole legal notice is an appeal of a denial of a Sign Exemption by the Planning Commission to be heard at City Council on Feb. 7.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor