San Francisco Sends Cease-And-Desist Letter To App That Auctions Off Public Parking Spaces

Selling off the parking spot you’re about to vacate sounds like a win-win — you get some money and someone else gets a place to put a car. Oh but the thing is? It’s probably not legal if that’s a public spot, like in San Francisco, where the city attorney has warned a mobile app that it can’t help people auction off such spots.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera sent the letter today to MonkeyParking, telling the startup that it could face a lawsuit and that its business model is breaking all kinds of laws, reports the San Francisco Gate.

He says in the letter to CEO Paolo Dobrowolny that under city law, no one can buy or sell public street parking spaces, and that the company has until July 11 to stop doing so or face legal action.

Herrera issued a copy of the letter to Apple as well, asking it to remove the app from its App Store.

The idea of the haves and the have-nots has made for a tense situation recently in San Francisco, which some say is the root of the MonkeyParking situation — only those with the money to pay for a public resource are getting access to it, in this case.

“Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work,” Herrera said in a statement. “MonkeyParking is not one of them.”

Back when MonkeyParking launch last month, Dobrowolny explained that the company is just a middleman.

“It’s a fair business for anybody,” he said in May. “It’s not just for rich people. If you think you can get that money back when you leave that parking spot, you can earn back the money when you leave the spot.”

SF cracks down on ‘Monkey Parking’ mobile app [San Francisco Gate]