Monday, December 15, 2014

Your presence is requested at the Dec. 16 Council meeting

Your presence is requested at the Dec. 16 Council meeting

Attend the beginning of the Tues. Dec. 16 Council meeting, 6:45 – 7:30.  A large community presence shows the Council members that you care about the future of Cupertino.  When our speaker asks for audience support, please stand up.  Better Cupertino will speak to the following key issues:

1. Delay adoption of the General Plan amendments (GPA) for at least 6 months, so that the City may get sufficient input from informed residents.  
The planning process before November 2014 involved very little community participation, even though many events were completed.  The implementation of the noticing is questionable, and many residents did not respond to the noticing.  Fortunately, the public is recently becoming aware. The public's current engagement is shown by tremendous participation at several recent events:
    - Nov. 06 workshop on traffic issues
    - Nov. 10 Council meeting
    - Nov. 20 workshop on GPA and Housing Element
   - Dec. 02 and Dec. 03 Council meetings

The City must get sufficient input from informed residents before amending the General Plan beyond what is required to make the General Plan consistent with the Housing Element.   The  City must inform the public and incorporate public feedback via more workshops and clearer, more accessible information on the site. 

Workshops should include the following information, scheduled in digestible increments, over a period that allows residents to become educated participants in decisions that significantly affect their lives. 
    - City revenue and amenities.  What are the sources of revenue to the City? How are amenities like parks and safe ("complete") streets funded?  How does the City plan for amenities and how are projects prioritized?  What types of development provide the best revenue stream for the City to fund amentities?  What do Cupertino residents want?
    -  Community Benefits.  What are "community benefits"?  How do other cities implement community benefits?  What level and type of community benefits are suggested by Cupertino residents?
    - What are the steps in the planning process? What is the purpose of the General Plan?  What other planning steps are there, and how is the community involved in each step?  What bargaining power is lost by the City at each planning step?  What is "entitlement" in the planning process?

On Dec. 03 the City approved 2,000,000 sq. ft. office space for Vallco.  The Council took this action without sufficient community input, and even though the Council had agreed among themselves (and before the audience) that the Council would not discuss non-HE GPA issues!  Office space for the City is running low, and there are arguments to replenish office space.  However, increased office development yields more traffic and requires more HE units.  Let the residents be heard!

The City must get input from informed residents before making significant decisions as General Plan amendments.  We recommend that at least 6 months are required in 2015. Consider that on Dec. 03 the two new Council members—who have been actively involved in City government for years—admitted that they needed more time to come up to speed on the GPA.  People that have not been involved in City government and that did not sign up for a job in City government require more time.  Unlike the time-sensitive HE list, there are no  schedule constraints for GPA in 2015 besides the delay to developers that applied for projects that exceed the allowable building in the current General Plan.
2. Do not re-zone Vallco or any other site until the community has been informed and provided feedback about a site plan.  Re-zoning and GPA can be adopted for each site as the site plan is approved by the public.

3. Spread the Housing Element over Cupertino, so that no single school attendance area bears too many new housing units.
The Housing Element (HE) is a General Plan element for high-density housing.  The state requires every City to allocate HE sites for high-density housing.  The list of the sites that the Council proposed is spread over several high school attendance areas, but the burden for some middle schools and some elementary schools is unfair.  The proposed allocation will contribute significant school enrollment, school traffic, and neighborhood traffic to some neighborhoods.  For a comparison view of the school impacts of HE lists, including two more-balanced lists, see this table.
New Page Added: Summary of Dec. 3 Meeting
New Page Added: Links - GPA Related
New File Added: School Impact Summary of HE plans
New Page Added: Archive of Newsletters

No comments:

Post a Comment