Moraga finally has a much-anticipated venue for civic meetings and the town’s volunteer leaders plan to crack a celebratory bottle of faux champagne over the site at 335 Rheem Blvd. before their inaugural meeting there later this month.
But some local business and property owners chafed at a rosy announcement of the venue’s technical capabilities and its “ample parking” spaces which, they said Thursday, are actually theirs and which they appear to be contributing to the town at no cost.
“I, frankly, am a little appalled that they would do something like this without first asking,” said Mahesh Puri, owner of the Rheem Theater property across the street from the shiny new council chambers. “To me, it’s like it’s 100 years ago, when the man comes and says: ‘this is what you’re doing for me.'”
Puri was not alone, at least two other local business owners expressing concern over the town’s apparent appropriation of their businesses parking without their consent, but saying they were waiting to see what comes of a recent outreach by town officials.
“I will say that if a private citizen had done this, left the issue of parking for a planned development to the end of that process and then said ‘there’s plenty of parking nearby, I’ll use that,’ the town would be upset,” offered Matt Shriner, owner of BrightStar Home Health Care Service at 333 Rheem Blvd.