Alameda residents commonly refer to legislation intended to prevent overcrowding and traffic congestion in Alameda, approved by voters in March, 1973 and again in 1991 as “Measure A.” Alameda voters have reinforced their support of these controls at various times by voting against measures that would undo them.
Since 1979, the California state density bonus law has empowered developers to sidestep local restrictions like Measure A, when they include affordable housing in their developments. This allows multifamily housing construction – despite what Measure A critics say – when housing is provided for low income people. Read this developers guide to the density bonus law for more information.
Chronology of Measure A
Critics of Measure A always demand public discussion of the legislation, as if it’s never been subjected to public scrutiny. But the fact is that, over the years, Measure A has been tested at the ballot and in public debate many times, and citizens have always rallied to its defense.
- 1973 Measure A passed, providing City of Alameda Charter Amendment Article XXVI.
- 1975 Measure A keeps housing density on Bay Farm Island at 3,000 homes instead of 10,000 planned homes.
- 1979 California legislature adopts Density Bonus Law which exempts low-income housing construction from restrictions such as Measure A. Measure A not a barrier to low-income housing. If developers are serious about building ‘affordable housing,’ they can apply for a density bonus. Few, if any, do.
- 1984 The “red brick building vote” to change Measure A. Alameda citizens voted overwhelmingly to keep Measure A. (A developer proposed putting apartments in a building – a former machine shop – where Marina Village now stands. Residents rejected the plan.)
- 1991 Measure A amended to include the 2,000 square-foot per dwelling unit requirement.
- 2002 Planning Board meeting at Kaufman Auditorium on Measure A. Massive turn-out of residents.
- 2003 Alameda City Manager Jim Flint asks for $150,000 to study Measure A – rejected by the citizens of Alameda.
- 2004 Rotary Club Discussion – the Pro’s and Con’s of Measure A.
- 2004 Measure A discussed extensively during the 3rd, 4th and 5th workshops of Alameda Point preliminary development concept (PDC) development.
- 2006 Alameda Architectural Society Measure A information meeting.
- 2006 Measure A democratic Club debate at Alameda Hospital.
- 2008 City-sponsored Measure A forum at Kaufman Auditorium.
- 2010 85% of voters reject SunCal’s Measure B, which would have exempted Alameda Point from Measure A restrictions.
- 2010 After the resounding defeat on Measure B, SunCal admits it can use the Density Bonus Law to build its project without exempting Alameda Point from Measure A.
- 2012 Councilmember Rob Bonta moves to approve an ordinance on July 17th that overrides Measure A to build more than 2,400 high-density units on the main island of Alameda, aside from Alameda Point. His actions spark a recall effort against him.
This brochure has more information about Measure A.