Cupertino Matters

High winds and power outages dominated the news this last week. Over 400,000 homes in the area lost power as well as schools, the library and businesses, some for several days. Our city swung into emergency mode to clear down trees and provide limited electrical connections to recharge phones and laptops. Lesson learned – be prepared for stormy weather with a plan and emergency supplies.

Of note, March is International Women’s History Month, first celebrated in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, when women came together to advocate for better working conditions, voting rights, and equality. It was celebrated on March 8 – with the  celebration extended throughout the month of March  and the whole year. The library features a wealth of books, films and documentaries.

TONIGHT  –  CITY COUNCIL – Tues. March 21, 2023, 5:30 Closed Meeting, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations (Note the new order for the agenda)

The 5:30 Closed Meeting has two agenda items: (1) Liability Claim (Government Code § 54956.95) Claimant: Gulu Sakhrani Agency claimed against: City of Cupertino and  (2) Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9 (two cases) a. California Housing Defense Fund et al. v. City of Cupertino, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 23CV4108 b. League of Women Voters of Cupertino-Sunnyvale v. City of Cupertino et. al., N.D. Cal. Case No. 4:22-cv-04189.

The Regular Meeting will start with a Closed Session Report, followed by Postponements and Orders of the Day since there are no Ceremonial Items. Oral Communications will follow. Note changes have been made in the procedures. There will ordinarily be a 30 minute limit, with a limit of 3 minutes per speaker, though the mayor may reduce the time allocated per speaker or reschedule additional speakers to the end of the meeting.

The Consent Calendar has 6 routine items, which includes revisiting the previous informational item regarding Chamber of Commerce information for events and services approved by the previous council. Members of the public may speak on any or all consent calendar items when the mayor asks for public comment on the Consent Calendar. If a member of the council pulls an item from the Consent Calendar, it will be addressed after all action items and members of the public may comment on that item when it is considered.

Item #7: Consider petition for reconsideration regarding the City Council decision of February 7, 2023 to uphold the appeal in part, approve one of the two requested freeway-oriented signs, and deny the requested sign exception. Application No(s): EXC-2022-003; Applicant(s): David Ford (All Sign Services); Location: 20565 Valley Green Dr.; APN #326-10-044. This is a petition by Rhoda Fry to overturn council’s prior decision on an appeal of a legally conforming highway sign for the Public Storage Building which faces I-280. The city attorney’s staff report finds no grounds for reconsideration, despite site visits and numerous emails to council. 

Item #8: Consider adoption of a Resolution approving Tamien Innu (Tamien Trail) as the officially recognized trail name for the I-280 Trail. On Dec. 21, 2021, the city council directed staff to collaborate with the Bicycle Pedestrian Commission on alternate names for the Interstate 280 trail that is under development. Seven names were identified by working with the Tamien Nation, Cupertino HIstorical Society, and the Stocklmeir Library at DeAnza College. There was a citywide public survey, though it only returned 112 responses. Despite the low response rate, the commission recommended adoption of the top choice–Tamien Innu–for the name of the trail, instead of the informally used I-280 trail.

Item # 9: Consider submitting a letter in opposition to the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act (Initiative No. 21-0042A). This is an initiative which would restrict local governments’ ability to charge fees and raise funds for improvements and services. Enough signatures have been gathered for it to be placed on the 2024 ballot. The League of California Cities opposes the initiative and has requested that its member cities take positions opposing the initiative.

Item #10: 2022 General Plan Annual Report and Housing Element Annual Progress Report (APR). Annually, this report has to be submitted to the state using a standard template. The significant information is the two tables in the staff report. Table 1 is building permits issued by Income Category between 2014 and 2022–the eight years of the current (5th) Housing Element Cycle. Table 2 is the project entitlements approved by income level for the same time period. Only 546 housing units have been produced in the last 8 years (for an average of 70 units per year) out of a baseline requirement of 1064. Of those units, close to one-third have been accessory dwelling units (ADUs), more popularly known as “granny flats.”  By contrast, 3370 units (including Vallco and the Hamptons) have been permitted with only 16% actually  built. 


The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled City official ousted from post:  Council removes planning commissioner following claims of harassment, move follows accusations of harassment going back to 2003 against Planning Commissioner R “Ray” Wang. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Fire safety classes and (2) Student volunteers sought for events. Page 13 is a previously published Mercury News article entitled Teacher housing on Apple-owned site? Project could allow up to 100 educators, staff to live closer to respective schools. Legal notices are Planning Commission hearings on March 28: (1) Application for renewal of a Conditional Use Permit for a wireless communication facility at 22475 Rancho Deep Cliff Drive, (2) Review of the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Capital Improvements Program for consistency with the City General Plan, and (3) Proposed development by Apple of a 282,320 sq. ft. office building at 19191 Vallco Parkway. There is an additional legal notice of the second reading of municipal code ordinances approved by city council on March 7, 2023.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor