Cupertino Matters

I hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day.

Ahead of a re-initiated request for proposal (RFP) process, the De Anza farmers market operated by West Coast Farmers Market has been given a termination notice as of June 30, 2024. This market has grown significantly from its original location at the Oaks Shopping Center, and provides a valuable service to the community. The De Anza parking lots are empty on Sunday morning, and provide ample space for customers, as well as vendor trucks. At the end of the day, volunteers glean the leftover produce from the vendors and deliver it to West Valley Community Services. Last year, this gleaning resulted in 109,024 pounds of produce being provided to those in need of food in our community. Discussions are underway to retain this valuable amenity for our community.

Readers interested in progress at the Permanente Quarry Site (aka Lehigh) should take note that Heidelberg Materials will host two community meetings on the Permanente Quarry site and its ongoing operations, the Reclamation Plan, and its components

  • Thursday, June 20: 6  to 8 p.m., Cupertino Community Hall
  • Saturday, June 22: 10 a.m. to noon, Quinlan Community Center

More details are available at the Permanente Quarry website.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., June 18, 2024, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations

There are no Ceremonial Items. The Consent Calendar contains twelve routine items. Of note particular note, are Item Nos. 11 and 12. Item No. 11 is the sale of a city-owned property at 10301 Byrne Avenue. Item No. 12 is to consider acquisition of property located at 19400 Stevens Creek Blvd, and appointment of real property negotiator for acquisition of property. Both items may be part of a solution to address the current seismically unsafe city hall. 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 an item is pulled from the Consent Calendar, it will ordinarily be addressed after all action items, unless Council votes to reorder them. Members of the public may comment on that item when it is considered.

Item No. 13: Proposed Municipal Code Amendments to Chapter 19.48 (Fences), Chapter 19.12 (Administration), and Chapter 19.08 (Definitions) and related CEQA exemption. On May 28, 2024, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Council adopt this revised ordinance without revisions. The Planning Commission’s discussion was focused on understanding the differences between the existing and proposed regulations, including questions about applicability of the regulations to hedges and similar vegetation located in yards. While the Planning Commission did not recommend any changes to the regulations as presented to them, staff has made some clarifying edits related to hedges based on the Commission’s comments following the Planning Commission meeting.

This item is part of a larger, ongoing project to clean up the Municipal Code. Local ordinances evolve, as do state and federal laws, as well as industry practices. Many ordinances were also initially enacted when Cupertino was much smaller and public expectations were different. As a result, the city’s current fence code is not consistent with the Building Code and creates confusing barriers to building residential fences of certain dimensions that are commonplace elsewhere. The intent is to establish standards, streamline permitting processes, and reduce the number of Fence Exception reviews, which are especially time consuming for staff and expensive for residents. Notably, seven foot fences would be allowed without neighbor approval in areas where six foot fences are allowed. Fences taller than seven feet would still require abutting property owner approval.

Item No. 14: Future agenda items requested by City Councilmembers (“TBD List”)  Councilmembers Chao and Moore have repeatedly requested additional council agenda items. This report itemizes those requests, and recommended actions. The requests have largely already been set for council consideration, have already occurred, or have been addressed through published informational memoranda.

Item No. 15: Council Reports, (now submitted in written form) are provided by Mayor Mohan, Vice-Mayor Fruen, Councilmember Moore  and Councilmember Wei. Councilmember Chao did not submit a report at the time the agenda was released.

RECAP  – Planning Commission- Tues., June 11, 2024, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting

YouTube: 2 hr. 42. min.

Agenda and Presentations

The sole action item was  Item No. 2:  Municipal Code, Specific Plan, Below Market Rate Mitigation Manual and Zoning Map Amendments related to implementing the 6th Cycle Housing Element (Application No.(s): MCA-2023-001, SPA-2023-001, CP-2024-002, Z-2024-001, EA-2024-001; Applicant: City of Cupertino; Location: city-wide). Chair David Fung was absent from this meeting, which resulted in a 2-2 split over recommendations with respect to various rezonings that council will have to approve to achieve a compliant Housing Element. Voting on recommended actions was done by sections to facilitate discussion:

  1. Municipal Code Amendments (Attachment A), including but not limited to:
  1. Adoption of three new Chapters, Chapter 19.38 (Multiple-Family Residential (R-4) Zones), Chapter 19.46 (Townhome (TH) Combining District), Chapter 19.50 (Emergency Shelters) and b. Amendments to Chapter 19.08 (Definitions), Chapter 19.12 (Administration), Chapter 19.16 (Designations and Establishment of Districts), Chapter 19.20 (Permitted, Conditional and Prohibited Uses in Agricultural and Residential Zoning Districts), Chapter 19.28 (Single Family Residential (R-1) Zones), Chapter 19.36 (Multiple Family Residential (R-3) Zones), Chapter 19.76 (Public Building (BA), Quasi-Public Building (BQ), and Transportation (T) Zones), Chapter 19.80 (Planned Development (P) Zones), Chapter 19.100 (Accessory Buildings/Structures), Chapter 19.124 (Parking), Chapter 19.156 (Development Permits, Conditional Use Permits, and Variances), Chapter 19.168 (Architectural and Site Approval Permits), Chapter 14.15 (Landscape Ordinance) and Chapter 17.04 (Standard Environmental Protection Requirements);

This was a technical discussion with differences of opinion regarding lot coverage and townhome heights. The initial motion by Lindskog with modifications to staff recommendations failed 2-2 with Scharf and Madhipatla voting nay.  A second motion by Scharf to adopt just the staff recommendation without modifications failed 2-2 with Mistry and Lindskog voting nay.

  1. Adopt (Attachment B):
  1. Amendments to the Heart of the City Specific Plan

There was extensive discussion of parking requirements, a major cost factor in new home production, particularly with regard to corner lots. An initial motion by Mistry with modifications to staff recommendations failed 2-2 with Scharf and Madhipatla voting nay.  A second motion by Scharf to forward just the staff recommendation without modifications failed 2-2 with Mistry and Lindskog voting nay.

  1. Amendments to the Below Market Rate (BMR) Mitigation Manual Staff Recommendations were approved unanimously.
  1. Zoning Map Amendments (Attachment C) to reflect changes to Priority Housing Sites and other minor changes for internal consistency. The Commission approved the staff recommendation unanimously.

CUPERTINO COURIER: June 14, 2024

The front page photo and Community brief  on page 5 is entitled Not lost in translation:  Cupertino High’s Japan Bowl champions recognized. Also on page 6 is a previously published Mercury News article entitled Child-safety advocates disrupt Apple gathering at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Legal notices are (1) Adoption of  Cupertino Sanitary District fees for Fiscal 2024-25 effective July 1, 2024  and (2) City of Cupertino bid invitation for 2024 Concrete Reconstruction Project.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor