Cupertino Matters

I hope readers have the opportunity to vacation, as well as visit with family and friends this summer. City council recesses for the month of August, so Cupertino Matters will be on hiatus until council resumes meeting on Wednesday, September 6 (shifted due to Labor Day holiday)

In the meantime, enjoy the Parks and Recreation programs–Shakespeare in the Park, summer concerts on Thursdays, Movies in the Park, and the Baer Blacksmith Shop at McClellan Ranch, as well as other free and fee based recreation programs. See the full Fall Schedule here. Note the separate 50+ Scene newsletter has been merged into the quarterly Parks & Recreation brochure due to budget constraints. A separate calendar for each month will be available online and in print at the Senior Center.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Tues. July 25, 2023, 5:00 Study Session

YouTube: Part 1 –  3 hr. 16 min; Part 2 – 1 hr. 00 min. (Adjourned at 9:31 p.m.)

Agenda and Presentations  (only two items)

Item No. 1: Study Session and staff presentation on the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update. The staff presentation was approximately an hour and a half, laying the timeline for the Housing Element (HE) and staff recommendations for policy changes to respond to the comment letter from the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) deeming the first draft non-compliant. The staff presentation cast the document submitted at the beginning of the year as part of a draft, one that lacked any real policies as required. This revision of the draft will therefore be the first true full draft that the city submits. Pursuant to council direction, a revised draft will be available in August or early September for public outreach, with the intent to submit to HCD before the end of September. As this will be the first true draft, staff anticipate another HCD comment letter in response. The EIR (Environmental Impact Report) work will continue, with the expectation of publishing a draft in December, at the same time that revisions are made to the second draft HE in response to HCD comments. At this point, the objective is a certified HE and EIR on the quickest timeline. Legal requirements imposed by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) draw out the EIR process and delay the ultimate adoption of the Housing Element together with the required rezonings.

Public comment was robust, with over 30 public comments, about equally split between the chamber and Zoom, with a 2 minute limit and overwhelmingly called on council to adopt an “ambitious” Housing Element. Councilmember Fruen made the initial motion to incorporate specific recommendations based on HCD comments and the consultant’s advice, together with public feedback and councilmember input. There was a prolonged series of friendly amendments and substitute motions by Chao and Moore, with the final vote on Fruen’s motion passing 4-0-1 with Moore abstaining from the final vote.

Item No. 2: Consider taking a position in support of, in opposition to, or otherwise regarding Senate Bill (“SB”) 423: Streamlined Housing Approvals: Multifamily Housing Developments. This 45 minute council discussion surfaced strongly divergent positions on this item to extend the SB 35 sunset. The bill is still being amended, a concern voiced by both members of the public and councilmembers. After multiple motions and counter motions, a motion by Mayor Wei to table the item passed 3-2 with Moore and Chao voting nay.


The front page photo and article on page 3 is entitled The power of film: Student filmmakers win scholarships from Silicon Valley Clean Energy. Short film competition. explores the ‘Power of Community’ in Cupertino. Community briefs include (1) Citywide garage sale, (2) Movies in the Park, and (3) Mental health info at library.  The sole legal notice was a second reading of modifications to the lobbying ordinance approved at the July 18 council meeting.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor