Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council tentatively backed a ban Friday on the practice of auctioning off parking spaces, as part of a move to prevent smartphone apps like MonkeyParking from operating in the city.

The council voted 10-0 on first reading to approve an ordinance that would prohibit the sale, lease, reservation or efforts to facilitate reservations of parking spaces and other public spaces without permission from the city.

Violators of the ban would face fines of at least $250 and potential jail sentences of no more than six months.

The ordinance, which was tentatively approved without discussion, requires a second reading. It is expected to return to the City Council for another vote next week.

Councilman Mike Bonin, who pushed for the ordinance, said in November that the proposed ban isn’t directed at people who reserve spots for friends and family, but rather is aimed at preventing app users from “pimping out a parking spot in the city of L.A. — taking something which is a public good, something that all of us own, and privatizing for a period of time.”

The MonkeyParking app was offered in San Francisco, but was disabled after government officials there sent out a cease-and-desist letter citing an existing law prohibiting the practice. The app-maker subsequently announced plans to launch in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and other parts of Los Angeles County.

Santa Monica and Beverly Hills have already adopted bans on such apps.

City News Service

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