We’re proud to announce the publication of a new LPDD model law addressing the installation of curbside EV chargers and reserved parking in residential areas. In addition to other contributors who wish to remain anonymous, James Goldberg provided drafting on this model law, and Kim Faith provided peer review. It is available to view here.
Excerpted from the introductory memorandum to the model law:
Electric vehicle owners rely primarily on charging their vehicles at home on a daily basis. Even Tesla, which has installed a wide commercial charging network, expects that residential charging will remain dominant. However, in some residential neighborhoods, residents do not have the ability to install a charger on their property in conformity with zoning, because there is no room for a garage and they have to park on the street, or the construction of a garage or parking area would be prohibitively expensive. A solution to this barrier to home charging would be to permit homeowners to install chargers at street curbs and to have exclusive access to parking beside those stations for nightly recharging of registered EVs.
The model ordinance allowing curbside charging is similar to, but differs significantly from, previously tested solutions. Philadelphia and Berkeley instituted test pilot programs to permit the installation of a charging station adjacent to the public right of way in front of a residence, but did not assure exclusive daily access for recharging. These programs have not been successful: Philadelphia is ending its program, and Berkeley has been asked to grant only several dozen permits over several years. The omission from these programs of provisions allowing owners to reserve access to the charger overnight made them unattractive to the homeowner, who is responsible for the payment of all costs of the charger’s installation (which may be $2,500 or more). Given that expenditure, and in light of the fact that homeowners who build garages or driveways install a curb cut that takes away one street parking space in perpetuity, 24/7, the model ordinance reserves the charger for the homeowner at night. In most other respects it is modeled on one enacted by New Orleans in late 2017.
The program that would be established under the ordinance would permit homeowners to install one charger adjacent to the public right-of-way in front of their residence if they do not have a garage or driveway, in residential districts, and to grant the residents exclusive access to the parking space adjacent to the charger from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The space would be available for use by others during daytime hours. Given that the impact on parking is less than building a garage or driveway, this solution would be preferable even where the construction of a garage or driveway would be permitted by zoning laws.
The permits would be limited to residents of single-family and two-family residences because they are likely to have sufficient street frontage to accommodate a charger and a reserved space for each unit. Multiple-unit residences may have insufficient street frontage to accommodate a charger and a reserved space for each unit; even if they did, allocating spaces closest to the building entrance could lead to conflict and resentment; and, in any event, multiple-unit residences are more likely to be in denser neighborhoods with better access to public transportation alternatives.