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Sorry, startups: Selling public parking places is illegal

Susie Ochs | June 25, 2014
The so-called sharing economy has had its share of head-scratchers. No one wants to pay for your leftovers, no matter how much you'd like to monetize your unused pizza assets. But this one takes the cake.

Do I follow every law on the books? Probably not. But even without being familiar with every city ordinance, does my own common sense dictate that I shouldn't try to sell access to public property that doesn't belong to me? Yes. I mean, this isn't rocket science, people — and stunts like this are giving the sharing economy and the entire startup scene a bad name.

Anyway, MonkeyParking's days are numbered — if the company keeps operating in San Francisco after July 11, Herrera's office will fine it up to $2500 per violation. (Regular joes caught selling access to public parking spaces face penalties of up to $300 per violation, for the record.) Apple has also been asked to remove the iOS-only app from the App Store — it's still there as of this writing — and Herrera has also given notice that cease-and-desist letters are coming this week for similar apps Sweetch and ParkModo.

Developers: come up with better ideas for world-changing apps than this, please. Maybe an app that lets me rent out my sense of shame to startups that clearly don't have one.


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