Cupertino Matters

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and friends. Enjoy this respite before the December holiday activities!

The Fremont Union High School District transition to Trustee Area elections is progressing. The members of the Community Trustee Area Districting Committee (CTAD) Members were announced on Nov. 17. Sixteen members were selected from a pool of 45 applicants. Several strong community leaders from Cupertino were selected. The complete list can be found at https://www.fuhsd.org/news

A series of Trustee Area Community Workshops will be held during December to provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the transition to By-Trustee Areas, review the preliminary map scenarios, provide feedback and input, and learn how to use the mapping software to design their own maps. Dinner will be provided. Individuals may bring a laptop or tablet if they want to have hands-on experience with the mapping software during the workshop, but this is not required. Register at https://tinyurl.com/k3h78mz5.

Thursday, December 7, 2023, 6:30-8:00 PM, Fremont Union High School District – Board Room, 589 W. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale

Saturday, December 9, 2023, 9:30-11:00 AM, Columbia Middle School – Library, 739 Morse Ave., Sunnyvale

Thursday, December 14, 2023, 6:30-8:00 PM, Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Rd., Cupertino

The Preliminary Maps and mapping tool can be found on this webpage:   https://www.fuhsd.org/newsroom/trustee-areas/maps

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, Nov. 21, 2023, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations 

The sole Ceremonial Item is Recognition of November 25, 2023 as Small Business Saturday (this coming Saturday). The Consent Calendar contains nine 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.11: Accept the City Manager’s First Quarter Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2023-24. First quarter financials are a key checkpoint in assessing the city’s financial position for the remaining three quarters of the fiscal year. Actual expenditures and revenues always vary from the adopted budget. The variances in this report are not substantial.

The report includes an update on Special Projects, Grants, the Capital Improvement Program and the City Work Program. The fiscal year advances, and the council is being asked to provide direction on several items that need action for the next fiscal year. These items are:

  1. Defunding the 4th of July Event in FY 2024-25, which costs $145,000 for all aspects.
  2. Defunding Community Grant Funding Program in FY 2024-25.  Currently capped at $90,000, though actual funding was $32,500 for FY 2023-24.
  3. Defunding Weed Abatement subsidy of $8,600 annually for special circumstances.

Item No. 12: Council Reports (now submitted in written form) are provided by Mayor Wei, Vice-Mayor Mohan, and Councilmembers Fruen and Moore. There is no report from Councilmember Chao.

Informational Items include (1) Receive the Treasurer’s Investment Report for the Quarter Ending September 30, 2023, (2) Receive the Monthly Treasurer’s Investment Report for October 2023, and (3) Receive the Monthly Treasurer’s Report for October 2023.

CLOSED Meeting – City Council – Tues, Nov. 20, 2023,  6:00 p.m.

Item No. 1: Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9 (City of Cupertino v. California Department of Tax & Fee Administration). Readers will recall that the city council authorized an administrative appeal of the CDTFA’s reallocation of sales taxes pursuant to an audit of a major sales tax contributor. This process remains confidential at this stage of the proceedings.

RECAP – Planning Commission – Tues, Nov. 14,  2023, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting

YouTube: Part 1 – 3 hr. 3 min.;  Part 2 – 1 hr. 45 min.

Agenda and Presentations 

Item No. 2: Municipal Code Amendment to Chapter 19.76 and a Conditional Use Permit and Parking Exception for the use of a former public school site for a private K-8 educational facility. This was a complicated discussion involving a conditional use permit for the private school (Tessellations) use of the closed Regnart Elementary school campus. Tessellations provided an overview of their school. This presentation was followed by public input, primarily regarding parking complaints by residents used to the low neighborhood enrollment when Regnart closed, but also included enthusiastic parents praising the specialized curriculum for their differently gifted students.

The commission elected to consider and vote separately on three components:

  1. Adopt the Municipal Code Amendment (MCA-2023-003). Publicly owned school sites have been zoned for public use. This code amendment would allow a private school (same type of use) to operate on publicly owned property. This change formalizes the private use of school property in Cupertino to permit additional leasing of school sites in Cupertino. The Commission approved this recommendation 5-0.
  1. Approve the Conditional Use Permit (U-2023-002). Usually, this permit would have been obtained prior to the opening of the school, but the process had not been formalized so approval occurs now after-the-fact. The Commission approved this recommendation 4-1 with Scharf voting nay.
  1. Approve the Parking Exception (EXC-2023-009). Parking requirements were the overriding issue. Street parking by staff was a major issue during the first weeks of school’s opening, but was quickly addressed by setting up a staff vanpool from a satellite parking lot at New LIfe Church on McClellan. In addition, parents were directed to use Rainbow Drive rather than Bubb Road to drop off students. Commissioners visited the site, and observed well controlled parking. Tessellations presented a plan to add the additional parking spaces, but the discussion begged the question of whether the city requires excessive parking spaces. Requiring 148 spaces for 85 staff members, many part-time, may be excessive, since students will be dropped off.  The staff recommendation was approved 4-1 with Scharf voting nay. The item will come to the city council agenda for its Dec. 5 meeting.

Item No. 3: Conditional Use Permit Amendment and Architectural & Site Approval to consider a modification of the original Main Street Use Permit (U-2008-01) for the addition of a second floor within Shop 1 (TD Ameritrade). Charles Schwab has acquired TD Ameritrade, and so wants to consolidate offices at the Main Street Cupertino site, rather than leasing outside Cupertino. The staff recommendation was to approve the proposed 5,585 sq. ft. second story addition. Commissioner Lindskog amended the staff recommendation to add 5 bike spaces visible by the doorway (bike racks in the existing parking garage are rarely if ever used). The Commission approved unanimously. The approvals go into effect after 14 days absent a valid appeal to the city council.

Item No.4: Proposed amendments to Municipal Code Chapter 19.12, Chapter 19.28 and Chapter 19.112 regarding Two-Story Permit and Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) laws. (Application No. MCA-2023-002; Applicant: City of Cupertino; Location: City-wide)  Discussion on this item was robust with the commission favoring less restrictive ordinances, in addition to streamlining applications for quicker approvals. Issues included (1) rooftop HVAC equipment should be screened, particularly in the Eichler neighborhoods, (2) removal of references to adjacency to a transit corridor, which doesn’t really exist in Cupertino, and (3) increases in allowable height from 16 to 18 feet. These recommendations were unanimously approved to send to council, scheduled for Dec.5.

CUPERTINO COURIER: November 17, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled For the love of the game: California Cricket Academy celebrates 20 years in Cupertino:  Founders pitched the idea of bringing their childhood sport from India. Community briefs are (1) Pianist plays Chopin, Liszt and (2) Scholarship for 7th grader. Page 8 is the previously published Mercury News article entitled Impasse over group causes family angst:  Leader says autism nonprofit might abandon Cupertino if sale isn’t allowed. There are no legal notices.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor