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Township Council Introduces State-Mandated Electric Car Charger Ordinance

The Township Council introduced a state-mandated ordinance involving electric car chargers.

An ordinance that would require the installation of electric car charging stations in some new housing developments was introduced at the November 9 Township Council meeting.

The ordinance is mandated by the state, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said.

Under the ordinance, which amends the township’s Zoning Ordinance, housing developments of five or more units would have to install the guts of electric car charging stations in at least 15 percent of all required parking spaces, and would have to install electric car charging stations in at least one-third of that 15 percent of parking spaces.

The developer would have to install electric car charging stations in another one-third of those parking spaces within three years following the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy for the development, and would have to install the charging stations in the final third of the parking spaces within six years of obtaining the CO.

For development plans including a parking lot or garage, the guts for one car charging station must be provided if there will be 50 or fewer off-street parking spaces, two if there will be 51-75 off-street parking spaces, three if there will be 76 to 100 off-street parking spaces, four if there will be 101 to 150 off-street parking spaces, and at least 4 percent of all parking spaces if there are more than 150 off-street parking spaces.

A developer can install complete car charging stations in lieu of the foundations if they so choose, under the ordinance.

A developer providing 25 or fewer off-street parking spaces, and the developer or owner of single-family homes are exempt from the ordinance.

Spaces for car charging stations will be counted in the calculation of minimum parking requirements for a development, with those spaces counting as two in the calculation.

It was that provision which sparked the concern of Deputy Mayor James Vassanella.

“Say a builder would normally be required to put 100 spots, the idea is that they would be receiving a reduction in that by adding these others,” he said. “My concern is allowing there to be less parking than what would normally be required by having some of these electrical stations put in.”

“This is just a formality that the state has directed municipalities to adopt into the zoning ordinance,” Vornlocker told him. “It’s state law.”

“I wish they had done it (so as to cause) what may be in certain circumstances now a shortage in parking,” Vassanella said.

“The number of parking spaces affected is still a small fraction of the number of parking spaces required,” Councilman Ted Chase said. “We are technically reducing the number of parking spaces by devoting some of them to charging stations.”

“The exact number of parking spaces supplied is usually more than required by the ordinance,” he said.

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