Cupertino’s City Council has finalized its slate of Planning Commissioners, appointing former Mayor Steven Scharf, Former Planning Commission Vice Chair Ray Wang and Muni Madhdhipatla to four-year terms ending in January 2025. Vikram Saxena and Sanjiv Kapil continue in their current terms through January 2023.
The planning commission consists of five members appointed by the City Council to overlapping four-year terms. The commission’ advises the Council on land use matters such as specific and general plans, zonings and subdivisions.
The Council interviewed 17 candidates for Planning Commission to fill the three available seats, including 13 men and four women. Prior to candidate interviews, several residents called for more diversity on the planning commission, asking for better representation across gender, age, rental status and professional expertise.
Residents also had expressed opposition to the potential reappointment of Wang, including fellow candidate Neil Park-McClintick and Sunnyvale commissioner Richard Mehlinger. The latter filed a complaint against Wang in 2019 for ‘doxing’ Mehlinger during a series of heated exchanges and related posts on social media in which Wang suggested supporters ‘talk to Richard’s employer,’ among other remarks.
Scharf lost his bid for a second term on Cupertino’s City Council in November 2020, coming in third behind now Councilmembers Hung Wei and Kitty Moore, and just 33 votes ahead of fourth-place JR Fruen.
At the February 9, 2021 Planning Commission meeting, the new Commission selected Wang and Scharf as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, each providing the first nomination for the other.
“I’m in awe of Commissioner Scharf,” Wang said during his nomination remarks. “He brings a lot of continuity and history that will be needed as we see different types of planning issues and also address some of the housing issues that we have going forward.”
As vice chair, Scharf also becomes chair of the Design Review Committee, and Saxena will serve as representative. Wang and Scharf also were selected representatives for the Environmental Review Committee and Housing Commission, respectively, and Kapil will serve as representative to the Economic Development Committee.
Planning Commission meetings are scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.