Cupertino Matters

As the weather warms up, April brings with it the opening of spring festivals. “Holi Cupertino”–the Festival of Colors–will be celebrated on Sunday, April 7, 2024 from 11 am to 4 pm at Memorial Park.  This Indian cultural festivity features color tosses, music, dancing, and food as part of a family-friendly event to celebrate love and the arrival of spring, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Earth and Arbor Day Festival 2024 will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Library Field to celebrate our shared planet and help the environment. It’s an interactive event that invites community members of all ages to learn about environmental issues and solutions in a family-friendly way of hands-on activities, live entertainment, and delicious food served by local food trucks. To further encourage biking, The Cupertino Rotary Club is providing free artistic bike racks to local businesses.

Voted five times in a row  by the Mercury News as the Bay Area’s best festival, the annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival will be held April 27 and 28, 2024, at Memorial Park. The City of Cupertino and the City of Toyokawa, Japan, have been sister cities since 1978. The program promotes cultural awareness and friendship between the two cities and an annual student exchange program. This year marks the 40th year of this transnational relationship.

Cupertino’s parks are a major asset to the city. Council will consider approval of the Memorial Park Specific Plan which has involved extensive community outreach over a term of years to address different constituencies. The final plan reflects those conversations: eight (increased from four) new pickleball courts, retention of the lighted softball field and tennis courts, an expanded Senior Center deck and plaza, addition of ADA access to the amphitheater, an all-abilities playground, a full-sized basketball court, new restrooms, and improved bike/pedestrian access. The Mercury News covered resident reactions: Cupertino to deliberate adding pickleball courts to Memorial Park re-design: Pickleball enthusiasts want the city to have eight designated courts at the park.

Readers are reminded that April 12 is the deadline for additional public comment on the third draft of the Housing Element. The full document is available at Cupertino Housing Element.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, Apr. 3, 2024, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting: 5:15 Study Session

Agenda and Presentations

Study Session 

Item No. 1: Two-year FY 2023-2025 City Work Program. These are special projects , outside normal daily operations, which require significant staff effort to complete. Approximately 90% of staff time is daily operations, so staff has to balance ongoing workloads and priorities to accomplish these additional projects. The projects on this list were adopted by the council in April 2023 as part of a two-year program. This is an update to the current plan with requests for minor changes. Additions proposed by the commissions are listed with recommendations, as well as new projects for FY 24-25.  Readers may consider reviewing the lists.

Regular Session

Ceremonial Items are (1) Recognition of April as Fair Housing Month, and (2) Recognition of April 1 as Odisha Day in the City of Cupertino. The Consent Calendar contains four 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.

Public Hearings: The two items involve approvals to extend development agreements from five years to eight years for two previously approved hotels. The applicants justify the request by noting that COVID negatively impacted development by increasing costs and reducing expected business occupancy for the immediate future. The good news is that both applicants are committed to moving forward with the hotels, provided economic conditions, construction costs and business travel improve in the additional time frame. If these hotels are built, they would provide millions of dollars in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) to the City of Cupertino.

Item No. 7: Amendment to a Development Agreement for the Cupertino Village Boutique Hotel Project from five to eight years and associated environmental review. (Application No(s): DA-2023-002; Applicant(s): KIMCO (Sunil Plaha); Location: 10801 and 10805 N. Wolfe Rd.; APN: 316 45 017, 316 05 056). This hotel is slated for the area currently occupied by the Duke of Edinburgh restaurant, directly across from Apple Park. At the time of approval, the hotel was expected to generate $1 – $1.5 million in TOT a year. On March 12, 2024, the Planning Commission recommended (4-0, Madhdhipatla absent) that City Council adopt the proposed amendments to the Development Agreement with the additional requirement that the projects comply with the bird safe design and dark sky ordinance

Item No. 8: Amendment to a Development Agreement (DA-2018-01) for the De Anza Hotel Project from five to eight years and associated environmental review. (Application No(s): DA-2023-003; Applicant(s): De Anza Properties (John Vidovich); Location: 10931 N De Anza Blvd.; APN: 326-10-061). This hotel is planned for the area currently occupied by the Goodyear Tire store on De Anza Boulevard, adjacent to I-280 and Apple’s Infinite Loop building. At the time of approval, the hotel was likewise expected to generate $1 – $1.5 million in TOT a year. On March 12, 2024, the Planning Commission recommended (4-0, Madhdhipatla absent) that the City Council adopt the proposed amendments to the Development Agreement  Development Agreement adding the requirement that the project comply with the city’s bird safe design and dark sky ordinance.

Item No.9:  Memorial Park Specific Plan Design and the Parks and Recreation System Master Plan Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration Addendum. Memorial Park is the largest park, 22-acres, in Cupertino, with acres of lawn for festivals and recreation, along with sports facilities adjacent to the Senior Center and Quinlan Center. It’s been an extensive public process to develop a Master Plan to reimagine the park. On March 7, the Parks and Recreation Commission forwarded the following recommendations to the City Council for consideration: (1) adopt the Addendum to the Parks & Recreation System Master Plan initial study/mitigated negative declaration, and (2) approve the Memorial Park Specific Plan design with the recommendation to consider two bocce courts when implementation of the design moves forward. The Parks and Recreation Commissioners and the public expressed appreciation for the community-centric collaborative design process, exalted the final design, and praised the project team for the accomplishment. This concludes the conceptual design phase, with implementation dependent on further funding. Readers may want to read the complete report.

Item No. 10 Council Reports (now submitted in written form) are provided by all council members.

CUPERTINO COURIER: March 29, 2024

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Transformative experience:  Works by South Bay students displayed at 13th annual ‘Art Now’ exhibit. Community Briefs on page 5 are (1) Spring for Education and (2) Homing in announcing the April 12 deadline for public comments for the Housing Element. Page 10 is Organizers scrambling to raise money to keep Free Shakespeare in the Park which has lost city funding.  Legal notices are (1) Notice of Public Hearing Fiscal Year 2024-25 Fee Schedule, (2) Second reading of ordinance to regularize city commissions, and (3) Public Hearing to review Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) for consistency with the City General Plan, scheduled for the April 16, 2024 Planning Commission meeting.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor