Cupertino ramps up housing conversation with new survey, community roundtable

The City of Cupertino is ramping up community conversations around housing this month following two recent study sessions to kick off its forthcoming Housing Element update, a planning process that will take place over the next 18 months that determines the City’s plans for housing over the following eight years.

This week the City launched a month-long survey seeking input from residents on housing development, noting that “increasing the quantity, range, and diversity of housing options will be integral to the community’s success.”

In the 2023-2031 cycle, the City needs to plan for 4,588 units to satisfy the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) obligation as determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

The City is seeking public insight on potential sites for housing development, as well as input on issues such as affordable housing, housing density, building heights, and other housing-related issues.

The survey is available through June 30, 2021. Click here to learn more and take the survey.

Additionally, Cupertino Vice Mayor Liang Chao and Councilmember Jon Willey will host a community roundtable this Thursday, June 3 titled Let’s Talk Housing: We Want to Hear What You Have to Say. Residents are encouraged to join and share their views about the future of housing in Cupertino. The discussion will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom. To attend, click here.

The City has twice received warnings from HCD about its failure to meet its housing obligations under the current cycle. The first warning came around rescinding the Vallco Specific Plan in 2019, which made up a significant portion of the current housing obligation.

“We are being used as a poster child for why the state should take away local control,” then Councilmember Rod Sinks said at the time. The Vallco project, which received ministerial approval under SB 35, survived a lawsuit last year from current Councilmember Kitty Moore and Friends of Better Cupertino.

HCD also sent a letter last month warning the Council against enacting an ordinance that seeks to exempt the city from adequately incentivizing the development of affordable housing as required by state law, asserting that Cupertino does not qualify for such an exemption. The letter sent to the office of City Manager Deb Feng did not reach the Council ahead of its vote. Feng later apologized and abruptly resigned last week; the substance of subsequent meetings with the HCD to address the letter have not been shared.