By Janice Bitters – Silicon Valley Business Journal, November 22, 2017

Cupertino officials Tuesday night took two major steps toward starting a comprehensive planning process around what should rise at the city’s nearly vacant Vallco Shopping Center.

The first step came as a unanimous vote by the City Council to hire Opticos Design Inc. to help with community outreach and creating a new specific plan for the 58 acres where Vallco sits.

Later, the majority of the council also agreed to cancel a last-minute Planning Commission meeting that was scheduled for next week to discuss whether to eliminate the option to place housing on the Vallco site.

The commission was slated to meet on Nov. 28 to discuss removing the housing allowance from the Vallco site as well as make changes to other sites slated for redevelopment, like the also-controversial Oaks Shopping Center owned by local developer KT Urban.

But council members Tuesday pushed back on the meeting, saying its scheduling had come as a surprise to many of them, and that they instead wanted to start a more comprehensive planning process for Vallco.

“I’m not supportive of asking the Planning Commission to move forward to consider these things without really taking the time to do the analysis and outreach,” Council Member Rod Sinks said during the meeting.