Cupertino Matters

With spring officially here, festival season has arrived in Cupertino. Just this past Sunday, the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Holi festival of colors in Memorial Park. Coming soon will be the annual Cherry Blossom Festival–an annual highlight of the festival season–which will be held on April 29 and 30 at Memorial Park.

Cupertino Matters started as a response to the lack of civic news coverage in Cupertino when the parent company of the Mercury News, Bay Area News Group, significantly reduced coverage by laying off the reporter covering the beat for the West Valley cities.  Since then, significant stories are sometimes covered by reporters assigned to topical beats, such as housing, but actual local news coverage in the Cupertino Courier is minimal, as noted at the end of each issue of Cupertino Matters.

In the meantime, San José Spotlight has developed as the city’s first nonprofit, community-supported digital news organization, but has limited its coverage to San Jose. Recently, they did a story which included our own councilmember, J.R. Fruen,

Now San Jose Spotlight is considering expanding to cover West Valley cities.  Readers are invited to complete a survey to understand the general feelings of residents about media coverage and city governance. The data collected will be confidential and only used for research purposes, and will not be shared with any third parties. The survey link is Feel free to forward the survey to anyone who may be interested in participating.

Note that the next City Council is Thursday, April 13, rather than April 18, due to the city manager and mayor accompanying the Sister City delegation to Toyokawa. The following city council meeting will occur on May 2.

TONIGHT – CITY COUNCIL – Tues. April 4, 2023, 6:00 Closed Session, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

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

The 6:00 Closed Session is a conference with legal counsel regarding existing litigation pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9 (five cases)

  1. National Opioids Settlements – Teva, Allergan, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart
  2. Huang Family v City of Cupertino, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 19CV347316
  3. Huang v. City of Cupertino, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 20CV369469;
  4. Huang Family v. City of Cupertino, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 22CV404353
  5. Jane Wang v. City of Cupertino, U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal. Case No. 22-cv-06822-BLF

The Regular Meeting will start with a Closed Session Report. There are  two Ceremonial Items: (1) Proclamation declaring April as Fair Housing Month, and (2) a  Presentation from Assemblyman Evan Low’s Office regarding Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5: Relating to Marriage. These are followed by Postponements and Orders of the Day. Oral Communications will follow. Note that changes have been made in the procedures pursuant to the Council Procedures Manual. 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 five routine items, including two continued from the previous meeting: (No. 4) an informational item regarding Chamber of Commerce information for events and services approved by the previous council, and (No. 5) A maintenance agreement for city orchards.  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 No. 9: Adopt Fiscal Year 2023-2025 City Work Program. On March 1, 2023, council met to discuss their priorities for the City Work Program. Twenty-four items were identified, which were then prioritized. Staff has expanded the descriptions, adding anticipated budget needs, timelines, and staff resources. Council is being asked to approve the Work Program, which will then feed into the budget process. The staff report explicitly requests any proposed modifications to occur during the comprehensive midyear review.

Item No. 10: Consider submitting a letter in support of, or otherwise regarding, Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1469: Valley Water – Assisting Unsheltered People. Council is asked to support this bill introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, which would allow the Santa Clara Valley Water District (more commonly known as Valley Water) to do more to assist unsheltered people living along the agency’s creeks and streams, estimated to be more than 2,000 unhoused individuals. This would provide more resources to support the efforts of cities, county and non-governmental organizations to address the homelessness crisis in our region.

Item No. 11: Councilmember Reports. Oral reports have not been heard due to other agenda items, so informational written reports have been submitted by Mayor Wei, Vice-Mayor Mohan and Councilmember Fruen. They’ve ably represented the council at a variety of city functions as well as regional functions. A late-submitted report from Councilmember Moore also appears among Written Communications.

Item #12: Informational memorandum on the Code Enforcement processes.

RECAP – PLANNING COMMISSION – Tues. March 28, 2023, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

YouTube: 2 hr. 48 min.

Agenda and Presentations 

Item No. 2: Consider the proposed development of a 282,320-square-foot office building with a detached parking structure and removal and replacement of 113 trees and exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act. (Application No(s): DP-2021-001, ASA-2021-003, TR-2021-020; Applicant(s): Apple, Inc.; Location: 19191 Vallco Parkway; APN #316-20-117). Two of the commissioners, Commissioners Fung and Lindskog, recused themselves from this item due to significant ownership of Apple stock. It was also Commissioner Mistry’s first meeting. The staff report detailed compliance with the General Plan and city ordinances. The Apple presentation provided additional details, including a 2,300 sq. ft. commercial space well-suited for a bike shop to support the over 1,000 employees who commute daily to Cupertino, as well as students and residents. The project fits well with Apple’s $9.7 million support of bikes and trails, including providing a trailhead to the proposed I-280 trails (officially renamed the “Tamien Innu” at the last council meeting).  The four-story building would be a state-of-the-art structure with a public plaza  replacing a functionally obsolete two-story building designed around cars, rather than bikes and pedestrians. The project is expected to deliver roughly $7.0 million in taxes and fees to the city. Following public comment and commissioner deliberations,the project was approved 3-0-2, with Fung and Lindskog recused.

Item No. 3: Review of the Fiscal Year 2023 – 2024 Capital Improvement Program proposal for consistency with the City of Cupertino’s General Plan. Commissioners asked for clarification on the six new projects, and then approved the plan 5-0.

Item No. 4: Consider renewal of a Conditional Use Permit and CEQA exemption for an existing mono-pine wireless communications facility (U-2011-07). (Application No: U-2023-001; Applicant: John Merritt; Location: 22475 Rancho Deep Cliff Drive; APN: 356-02-999). The Commission approved unanimously.


The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled ‘Making Herstory’: Woman of the Year honoree DeAnna Pursai co-founded ‘national collegiate model for people with special needs’. College for disabled continues to thrive, adapt to success at its Saratoga Campus. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Holi Cupertino, (2) Fire protection class  and (3) Virtual Earth Day. The sole legal notice on page 27 is a Notice of Public Hearing before the Planning Commission 11 regarding a Conditional Use Permit to consider sale of alcoholic beverages at an existing Chevron station at 11010 N. De Anza Blvd.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor