Robert T. Sullwold's blog

Guest blog: Why you shouldn't believe what you read in the Chronicle

I used to be a fan of Chip Johnson, the San Francisco Chronicle columnist who writes about the East Bay.

Now I’ve had my confidence shaken.

On Tuesday, Mr. Johnson published a column describing Measure A, the Alameda city charter provision prohibiting multifamily housing and limiting housing density to 21 dwelling units per acre, as “one of the last vestiges of a bygone era.”

I’ve heard that description before, and, indeed, it can be argued in good faith that Measure A is no longer necessary to achieve the goals for which it was enacted. Read more >> about Guest blog: Why you shouldn't believe what you read in the Chronicle

Robert Sullwold: Governing By Grant

To paraphrase Gordon Gekko: Grants are good.

At least they’ve been good for the city of Alameda. During fiscal year 2010-11 (the last year for which data has been published), the city received $7.828 million in operating grants and contributions, and $5.578 million in capital grants and contributions, from federal and state government agencies. These funds supplemented the $70 million in revenue from property taxes and the like that went into the general fund. Read more >> about Robert Sullwold: Governing By Grant

Robert Sullwold: Measure A - On Its Last Leg?

Make no mistake about it: The zoning ordinance passed by the City Council last July ripped another chunk out of the hide of what remains of Measure A, the charter amendment restricting housing development in Alameda.

On its face, the zoning ordinance allows what Measure A expressly forbids. Measure A prohibits multifamily housing and caps density at 21 units per acre. The zoning ordinance, however, rezones 16 parcels located around town to permit building a total of 2,306 units of multifamily housing “by right.” On these sites, the maximum density is 30 units per acre. Read more >> about Robert Sullwold: Measure A - On Its Last Leg?