Cupertino Matters

I hope you all enjoyed the Independence Day celebrations! The timing–on the first Tuesday of the month–led to rescheduling the regular council meeting, as well as taking advantage of the long weekend for facility work.

The largest employer in Cupertino, Apple, made headlines in the Mercury News by (1)  buying the former Seagate headquarters building on De Anza Boulevard, which has been vacant since 2019, impacting local businesses in that area, and (2) achieving a $3 trillion market valuation–the first company to do so.

During the budget cycle each year, the city revises the Fee Schedule for services provided by the city. Many revisions are inflation costs, particularly for the Planning Division. Given the reduced budget situation, additional fees may be added, and others significantly increased. Readers are urged to review the fee schedule when it becomes available on July 7 for presentation to council on July 18.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Special Meeting – Thurs., July 6, 8:00 (Open Session); 5:00 (Closed Session) 

Agenda and Presentations (note revised order for the agenda)

At 5:00, the meeting starts in 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
  3. Public Employee Performance Evaluation (Gov. Code § 54957(b)(1)); Title: City Manager

The open session of the meeting starts at 8:00 with one Ceremonial Matter: Presentation from Midpeninsula Open Space Regional District (“Midpen”). This is an update on Midpen’s activities, particularly parking and Traffic Demand Management (TDM) measures. There is a proposal for a Middle Stevens Creek Trail to link Linda Vista Park and Stevens Creek County Park.

The only Postponements and Orders of the Day is dismissal of brush abatement for public nuisance and potential fire hazard pursuant to Cupertino Municipal Code (Section 16.40.200) regarding defensible space (brush) and Resolution No. 23-053. All properties are in compliance.

The Consent Calendar has seven routine items, primarily construction contracts. Of note, Item No. 8, to consider the adoption of a City Council Grant Policy, formalizes grant management. The proposed policy directs staff to affirmatively seek grant opportunities to assist in the funding of City projects and programs. Item No. 12, to award a contract for the Creekside Park School Age Play Area to Ross Recreation Equipment, Inc. for the purchase and installation of themed playground equipment, is part of the annual playground replacement project for aging parks which includes inclusive features for all ages .

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 any such pulled item when it is considered.

Item No. 13: Introduction of Ordinance No. 23-2249, amending Municipal Code Chapter 2.100 (Regulation of Lobbying Activities). In February of 2021, the previous council enacted a wide-ranging lobbyist registration ordinance cobbled together from ordinances in other jurisdictions. The League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale (LWVCS) filed a complaint alleging that the city ordinance was overbroad and violated federal First Amendment rights as well as state constitutional rights. The matter is still in court, but the City Attorney’s office identified areas that needed to be clarified particularly with regard to media and nonprofit organizations, as well as other aspects that would satisfy the League’s complaint. There are only six registered lobbyists, which includes Apple and representatives of smaller development projects. The current ceiling for lobbying activity is $1,000 in a 3 month period; the proposed option is to increase the amount to $5,000 and report semi-annually in a fashion modeled on state lobbying statutes and the reporting requirements for political campaigns.

Item No. 14: Consider actions for the surplus determination and disposal of 10301 Byrne Avenue, Assessor Parcel Number (APN) 357-11-020. The city purchased this property to widen the access road to Blackberry Farm swimming pools. The legal description of the lot was revised to dedicate the frontage for a roadway. The remaining residential portion of the property is not needed by the city, so staff is recommending that the property be declared surplus and offered for sale in accordance with the Surplus Land Act, which governs the sale of property owned by local agencies.

Item No. 15: Consideration of a resolution amending the established City Council meeting calendar through January 2, 2024. Mayor Hung Wei will be out of the country on October 3, the date of the regular council meeting. This action would reschedule that meeting to October 10.

Council Reports (now submitted in written form) will follow, before the City Manager Report rounds out the remainder of the open session.


The front page photo and article on page 2 is entitled Rabbit Project leaps into action:  Dozen sculptures intended to celebrate Lunar New Year animal. Community briefs include (1) Million Mile mail carriers and (2) Grants for end-of-life care. Page 3 features an article previously published in the Mercury News entitled Japanese program may be axed: Fremont Union High District students win national acclaim, but enrollment is down. The sole legal notice on page 7 is a City Council  Public Hearing on July 18 regarding the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Fee Schedule which will be available on July 7 for public review.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor