Cupertino Matters

While many Cupertinians are vacationing this month, our Parks and Recreation Department has a full slate of concerts, music in the park, movies and other activities as well as free Shakespeare in the Park starting this weekend, July 22.

Next week, on July 25, there will be a study session on the revised Housing Element, and the agenda will be posted on Wednesday. Council recesses for the month of August, so there will be no council meetings that month. The first regular council meeting in September will occur on Wednesday, September 6, due to the Labor Day holiday.

In addition to the new buildings visibly under construction at the old Oaks Shopping Center, the Mercury News provided positive news in an article entitled “New Santa Clara County Valley Health Center could be at De Anza College: The site would provide access to thousands of underinsured residents and college students.” This location close to the senior center would provide services to seniors as well as students.

The city relies in significant part on property taxes for its operations. According to the Mercury News, in an article entitled “Santa Clara County property values jump at brisk post-COVID pace:Tech boom fuels growth — but will it last?”, the county assessor’s office reported that the  property tax roll has increased to a record $661.2 billion as of Jan.1, 2023, an increase of 6.7%. However, due to the no-growth policies of the past, Cupertino had the lowest increase (4.57%) of all the cities in the county, from $30.0 billion to $32.3 billion. In contrast, neighboring Sunnyvale saw an increase of 8.59%.

Office vacancy rates also affect property taxes. According to the Mercury News, “Real estate report reveals Silicon Valley’s weakest office markets. Tech woes leave some office markets one-fourth empty”. According to the article “Cupertino boasted the strongest office market, measured by the vacancy rate. Just 2.6% of Cupertino’s office market was vacant during the second quarter. Apple’s presence in its hometown of Cupertino—and the tech titan’s inclination to buy office buildings that it already occupies, or intends to fill up—has helped, for many years, to keep office space tight in Cupertino. This means Cupertino has demand for both housing and office space.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues. July 18, 2023, 6:45, Regular Meeting, 6:00 Closed Session

Agenda and Presentations (note new order for the agenda)

The Closed Session has a single item: Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9 (one case) – California Housing Defense Fund et al. v. City of Cupertino, Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 23CV410817  This lawsuit was brought against the city regarding compliance with the Housing Accountability Act.

The Consent Calendar has eight routine items. 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. Members of the public may comment on that item when it is considered.

Item No. 10: Hearing to consider approval of lien assessment and collection of fees on private parcels resulting from abatement of public nuisance (weeds and/or brush) for the annual Weed and Brush Abatement Programs and accompanying budget appropriation request. This is a routine annual public hearing regarding properties, which are flagged as a fire hazard.

Item No. 11: Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 Fee Schedule Update. The city generally attempts cost recovery, so the fee schedule is updated annually to reflect increases in the cost of doing business. The primary changes are annual CPI and Labor Cost increases for General, Engineering, Planning and Building Fees. The Parks and Recreation Schedule is market driven and features minimal changes. Later this year, the city will do a full fee study which has not been done since FY 2016-17.

Item No.12: Consider scheduling a Council agenda item to update the FY 23-25 City Work Program to include an item relating to the Noise Ordinance. A resident has requested a change in the Noise Ordinance to address commercial noise abatement.   Adding this to the Work Plan means adjusting the remaining items to maintain a similar workload and cost.

Item No. 13: Consider taking a position in support of, in opposition to, or otherwise regarding or in response to Senate Bill 403, amending the Unruh Civil Rights Act to clarify that existing state law prohibitions on discrimination based on ancestry prohibit. This bill has been quite controversial in the Indian community, with strong opinions on both sides. The actual language is a moving target as the bill moves through committees and toward the Assembly floor.

Council Reports (now submitted in written form) have been provided by Fruen, Mohan and Wei. There were no submissions by Chao and Moore.

Informational Items include: (1) FY 2022-2023 City Work Program Fourth Quarter Update; (2) Streetlight Transition Assessment Report; (3) the Monthly Treasurer’s Report for June 2023; and (4) the Monthly Treasurer’s Investment Report for June 2023.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Special Meeting (Regular meeting rescheduled due to July 4 holiday) – Thurs., July 6, 2023, 8:00 (Open Session); 5:00 (Closed Session) 

YouTube:  2 hr. 59 min.  Meeting adjourned 10:57 p.m.

Agenda and Presentations (note revised order of the agenda)

The  5:00 meeting was a closed session with the following:

  1. Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Government Code § 54957.6 (Kristina Alfaro and Christopher Boucher)
  2. Public Employee Performance Evaluation (Gov. Code § 54957(b)(1)); Title: City Attorney  (Postponed)
  3. Public Employee Performance Evaluation (Gov. Code § 54957(b)(1)); Title: City Manager (Postponed)

There was no reportable action from this session.

The open session of the meeting began at 8:00 with Ceremonial Matters. Mayor Wei acknowledged July as Parks and Recreation Month, recognizing that parks and recreation build stronger, healthier, and more resilient communities followed by a Presentation from Midpeninsula Open Space Regional District (“Midpen”). This presentation provided an update on Midpen’s activities, particularly parking and Traffic Demand Management (TDM) measures. In addition, there is a proposal for a Middle Stevens Creek Trail to link Linda Vista Park and Stevens Creek County Park. The Consent Calendar with seven routine items, primarily construction contracts, was approved unanimously..

Item No. 13: Introduction of Ordinance No. 23-2249, amending Municipal Code Chapter 2.100 (Regulation of Lobbying Activities). The public weighed in on this item, with the majority favoring the modifications proposed by the city attorney to clarify the language in the existing ordinance, bring local standards in line with state regulations, and to satisfy the free speech and petition concerns raised by the League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale (LWVCS) in their litigation with the city. A substitute motion by Chao to reduce the reporting threshold failed 2-3, with Fruen, Wei and Mohan voting nay. A subsequent substitute motion offered by Chao to rescind the lobbyist registration ordinance in its entirety, failed to receive a second. Ultimately, Council approved the revised ordinance 3-2, with Chao and Moore voting nay.

Item No. 14: Consider actions for the surplus determination and disposal of 10301 Byrne Avenue, Assessor Parcel Number (APN) 357-11-020. This is the first step in selling this property, which the city obtained to split off a roadway easement for improved pedestrian, bike, and auto access to the Blackberry Farm pools. The city has no use for the remainder of the property. Per the Surplus Land Act, the city must first offer the parcel for sale to other government entities and qualified affordable housing developers. This action commences that process. After council discussion, this item was approved unanimously.

Item No. 15: Consideration of a resolution amending the established City Council meeting calendar through January 2, 2024. After rancorous comments by Councilmembers Chao and Moore regarding Mayor Wei’s out-of-country trip to a Friendship City, this calendar change to move the Oct. 3 meeting to Oct. 10 was approved 3-2 with Chao and Moore voting nay.

Council Reports (now submitted in written form) were provided by Fruen, Moore, Mohan and Wei. There was no submission from Chao.


The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Boys and girls of summer: 50-plus co-ed softball league organized by the Cupertino Center. Cupertino’s 50-plus softball league promotes competition, camaraderie: Rules of the game modified for older player participation. Community briefs include (1) Award with purpose, for the Memorial Park Ponds Repurposing Project, (2) New public works director, Chad Mosley, and (3) Park gets upgrades. Page 8 features an article previously published in the Mercury News entitled Santa Clara County clinic eyed for DeAnza College. There are no legal notices.


The front page photo and community brief on page 4 is entitled National Night Out:  Campaign promotes public safety and neighborhood camaraderie. An additional community brief is entitled Virtual wildlife adventure. Legal notices on page 15 are (1) City Council Public Hearing on July 18 regarding the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Fee Schedule and (2) Bid invitation for DeAnza Boulevard and McClellan Road/Pacifica Drive Intersection Modifications Project.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor