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Council Wrap-up

The Cupertino City Council makes the name change of McClellan Ranch Park official, as well as voting on other issues Tuesday night.

The Cupertino City Council breezed through its meeting Tuesday night, taking a formal vote to change the name of McClellan Ranch from “Park” to “Preserve”, adopting community block grants, among other issues.

Coming up on a future agenda: a possible ban on Styrofoam containers. Two members requested it be included on an upcoming agenda, after three Homestead High School students made a case for a ban.

Here’s a wrap-up of the meeting.

McClellan Ranch Preserve

indicating the council was in favor of changing the name of McClellan Ranch Park to “McClellan Ranch Preserve”, the council took a formal vote on Tuesday making the change official.

A council majority also voted in favor of renaming the neighboring Simms Property to “McClellan Ranch West”.

Although the straw vote last month was unanimous for changing from “park” to “preserve”, this time Mayor Mark Santoro and Councilmember Gilbert Wong voted against the change.

“To me a preserve does not allow for outdoor public recreation. A preserve is a preserve that is set aside for the animals,” Santoro said.

The remaining majority council members said they thought the name change was appropriate.

“It’s a blend, because of historical use there,” said Councilmember Orrin Mahoney, noting the space’s mixed use as a nature preserve, outdoor education space, 4-H center and community garden. “It’s a blend, and I think we want to keep it with that same blend. We’re not calling it a ‘nature preserve.’”

Santoro and Wong also voted in the minority against renaming the Simms Property to “McClellan Ranch West.” Santoro briefly floated the idea of renaming it Dave Knapp Park, in honor of the

The votes were unanimous to adopt the McClellan Ranch Master Plan Update, and to direct the staff to include the preserve’s capital improvement projects as appropriate in the 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program.

The recommended capital improvement projects were earlier prioritized into three tiers. Tier 1 projects include performing an historical assessment of the existing structures at McClellan Ranch Preserve, and developing a signage program.

The council moved potential building projects to Tier 2 last month, such as creating an environmental education center, and renovating the blacksmith shop. At that meeting the council said it wanted to include consideration of development at the Stocklmeir property, located downstream, simultaneously with any development at the preserve or McClellan Ranch West.

Part of the issue of future development at those properties includes possible relocation of historical structures from other parts of the city. Candidates include the Snyder-Hammond home, owned by the Cupertino Historical Society and located near the western end of Stevens Creek Boulevard, and the Glendenning Barn, located on the HP property purchased by Apple for its new campus.

Originally the McClellan Ranch master plan included the possibility of moving the Snyder-Hammond home to the preserve, but the council removed that point, asking that the historical society do its own assessment of the structure.

Community Development Block Grants

The council voted to allocate $324,730 in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to local agencies helping those in need in the community.

The grants come through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to benefit very low and low-income households, eliminate blighted areas, or meet an urgent community need.

Some of the community groups receiving funds include West Valley Community Services, Live Oak Adult Day Care for Seniors, a group called Maitri that provides domestic abuse services, Rebuilding Together, and the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation Healthy Kids Program.

New City Manager Requirements

Bringing city codes in line with state regulations, the council voted to remove the residency requirement for future city managers. It also agreed to amend the voting requirement to remove a city manager from a 4/5 vote to a majority vote.

When Cupertino originally approved the requirement that city managers must live in the city limits, it was legal under state law. That law was later challenged in the courts and found to be unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Styrofoam Issue On Horizon

Expect the issue of banning Styrofoam containers to come on a future council agenda. Council members Rod Sinks and Barry Chang made a formal request to consider a potential ban.

T to meet requirements by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to reduce waste that finds its way into local creeks and San Francisco Bay.

Earlier in the evening, the council heard a presentation by three Homestead High School students, Garett Wong, Jordan Spence, and Miles Membreno, representing a group called the Anti-Styrofoam Initiative.

They said their goal is to influence the city to consider a ban Styrofoam, and to educate the public on what they said were the negative health and environmental impacts of the substance. They pointed out that the City of Santa Cruz has already enacted a ban.

Councilmember Wong hesitated proceeding too quickly on consideration of a ban, without doing outreach to the city’s numerous restaurants first.

It was agreed to put the issue on an agenda sometime in the summer, and to begin the process of outreach.

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