Corporation Sells Public Parking Spots
Illegal Clandestine Rental Agreement Revealed
Madison Marquette, the Washington DC based Bay Street Mall development corporation has been caught renting for profit Emeryville's public property City Hall revealed today. In a memo issued to Madison Marquette and the Police Department, the City ordered the mall developer to cease and desist a bogus rental agreement between Madison and Crepes a la Carte, a vendor selling food stuffs in a parking spot on Bay Street, a City owned thoroughfare. The memo indicated Crepes a la Carte could however obtain a street vendor permit through the City, not Madison Marquette. It was not revealed how much rent the vendor has been paying the private development corporation for the invalid use of the public's space, nor for how long.
Madison Marquette usurps public property for
its own material gain.
Also Crepes a la Carte has not been paying money into the meter (instead they've been paying rent) as part of the illegal arrangement with Madison, unfairly removing a source of possible revenue for the City.
The private parking meters for a public parking space (without rental violations like Crepes a la Carte) itself calls into question the idea that a private corporation should make a profit for use of public space. We can't see how the people of Emeryville benefit from this relationship. It's our land, we think any money generated from it should go to us or there shouldn't be any money generated at all like in the rest of Emeryville. But we are especially dismayed that a private corporation has been charging rent for use of our space. The City is right to stop the illegal rental agreement today and we think it's time to call back the problematic parking meter arrangement with Madison.
The whole idea that sidewalks be given away to developers should be anathema to any City Hall supposedly working in the people's interests. Bay Street was the first of three major sidewalk give aways to private developers City Hall has arranged. Fortunately, the Tattler caught wind of another attempt to privatize the sidewalks at the Public Market development and nipped that in the bud along with another give away attempt at a future hotel on Shellmound Street.
For Madison Marquette however the gift of the Bay Street sidewalks obviously wasn't enough for them. They wanted more in the form of this quiet illegal rental agreement. We think we should stop blurring the line between public and private space least the greedsters cheapen and usurp the commons like this. Old fashioned public sidewalks are a perfectly good idea...they don't need 'improving' by privatizing them.