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Cupertino City Council Approves Signs, Sinks Hulks-Out Over Geese

The Cupertino City Council approved a code amendment allowing political signs in public locations and Councilman Rod Sinks is fed up with the Memorial Park Geese.

With a quick vote and little discussion, the Cupertino City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s municipal code to allow political sings in the public right-of-way, Aug. 21. 

Under the new code political signs can be placed in the public right-of-way only in residential zones and if the adjacent property owner gives approval. If approval is not given, the owner is permitted to remove the sign. Signs placed in violation of the new code will now be taken by the city after two days after notification wherein the responsible party can correct the violation.

The fee for the city removing the sign has been lowered to $3 payable upon retrieving the sign from the city. The city will hold signs for 20 days.

The city’s definition of “Signs of de minimus value” has also been modified to exclude political signs allowing, potentially, the placement of hand-made political signs this election season.

Then, just when everyone was about to leave, after hearing about de-facto moratoriums for two hours, Mayor Mark Santoro casually requested council members to bring forward new business and Councilman Rod Sinks jumped in.

“I want the staff to come up with a plan to take effective action against the geese and I want it within the month,” Sinks said.

Sinks added that he has had it with the geese who have “cackled” through shows in the Memorial Park amphitheater and littered the grass with their droppings.

“These geese are a nuisance and these geese are a hazard,” Sinks said. “It is disgraceful to have our children walking through goose poop.”

The geese at Memorial Park have become aggressive as their familiarity with humans who provide food, willingly or not, has grown. Their droppings are also the cause of the park’s sometimes foul-smelling pools as the droppings throw off the oxygen content of the water.

Previous attempts to deal with the Canada geese include signs asking for residents to not feed the animals, fake swans to scare them away (which laughably did nothing) and the possibility of renting dogs to chase the birds off.

According to the Cupertino Courier, the city “shelved both options due to cost concerns and resident concerns about health and safety.”

It was in the middle of this discussion on past approaches that Sinks turned into the not-so-jolly green Hulk.

“I want a plan and I want it in a month,” Sinks said, cutting off the Mayor.

Rose August 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM
You can rid the nest of the eggs before they hatch. This may help to diminish the population as the mother may not nest again in the area. We have the same problem at Cameron Park Lake. It is disgusting and we no longer visit the lake. I fear for my grandchildrens health breathing in fresh and dried goose poop. Would be interested to know what your solution will be to be rid of them.
Lorinda August 23, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Not sure what kind of budget is available. Maybe this will work. Found on Google there seems to be a device to keep them off the lawn then maybe not come back. There is a trial version: http://www.gooseguardian.com/
Rod Sinks August 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Thanks for these, Rose and Lorinda! All suggestions most welcome - I will pass them on to the city staff. I have also been in touch with Water District staff to learn what measures have worked for them. My perception is that our goose population has been increasing and has become resident rather than migratory; two weeks ago I stood at one spot on the Quinlan Center lawn and counted 142 geese.
Dave Stearns August 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Canada geese poop all over Portal Park and Collins School field as well. They just appeared this year. As a golfer who encounters Canada geese frequently at local courses (Shoreline especially), I hate them. Rod -- How about we declare open season on them?
J Williams August 25, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I have used a product called the goosinator and had a tremendous amount of success. All the resident geese are gone! Being the superintendent of a golf course geese are my worst nightmare. You may want to check it out. www.goosinator.com

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