Piedmont is an independent city entirely surrounded by Oakland, founded in 1907. When Oakland became a center in the East Bay after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire, it began annexing many surrounding cities, and Piedmont declined to join, so as to avoid entanglement in Oakland’s issues. (Note that the City of Piedmont is not the same as Oakland’s Piedmont Ave. neighborhood.)

Oakland Annexation Rejected

Article published February 17, 1897 in Oakland Tribune titled Beyond The Border - Piedmont Declines to Be Annexed to This City, 2 provides minutes of a meeting held in the Piedmont School House on the Question of being annexed by Oakland. They describe a dubious public meeting where Mr. Snow, Auditor (presumably Oakland's auditor, Roland W. Snow, although the article is unclear) goes to great lengths to explain that annexation will not lead to new taxes. Nonetheless, those present at the public meeting remained unconvinced. Their primary concern was what would happen to the Sewage Lines between Oakland and Piedmont under either scenario.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Sanford, Alameda County treasurer, outlined how taxes might go up if Piedmont were to join Oakland. He showed how Alameda County took in more taxes than services returned by the county to Oakland residents. The biggest shortcoming was in road maintenance, by a ratio of 2 dollars taxed for every dollar the county spent in Oakland. That argument carried the day. It was also ironic, because from a County point of view, Mr. Sanford should have championed anything which would have increased tax revenue for the County. Here, he did the opposite.

The February 16th, 1897 Committee Meeting in the School House concluded with a decision to again canvass Piedmont Residents on the Question of being annexed by Oakland.

Piedmont Today

On May 6, 2013, Piedmont approved installing surveillance cameras at 15 points along its border, in an effort to lower crime by recording the license plates of all the cars entering the town.1

Current Events:


  1. Piedmont OKs Surveillance Cameras At Entry Points To Capture License Plates CBSSanFrancisco.Com: May 7, 2013
  2. Beyond the Border Oakland Tribune February 17, 1897