SAN DIEGO (CN) – The City of San Diego extorts private businesses into paying exorbitant fees for the exclusive right to use beachfront property, including the public boat launch at La Jolla Shores, thereby depriving small business owners and California citizens of the “free and unobstructed access” to navigable waters, the operator of a small kayak company claims in Superior Court.
Rodney Watkins, a business owner and former adjunct professor at San Diego State University, filed suit against the city, Mayor Jerry Sanders and other city officials, claiming they encourage a “turf battle” among beachfront businesses by granting permits to the companies that pay the highest permit fee.
Watkins claims it is illegal for the city to rent out public property to private business in order to “raise non-taxpayer generated funds which are obscured from taxpayer scrutiny.”
He claims the bidding system could put his and other enterprises without permits “out of business entirely,” although the city “naively suggested that those who do not get permits can ‘piggyback,’ for a fee, on those permits issued to successful bidders.”
This notion is “ingenuous, illegal and impractical,” and violates the state and federal constitutions, Watkins claims.
He wants the defendants to stop collecting money from private businesses and to disgorge any illegally collected fees. He is representing himself.