July 9, 2010
12:00 – 12:53 p.m.
Chair Jason Hearn, Cynthia Pratt
Greg Cuoio, Rick Walk, Troy Woo, Roger Schoessel, Martin Hoppe, Dave Burns, Carol Litten
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Dave Burns, Principal Planner, briefed the committee on Planning Commission recommendations to adopt a new zoning section to meet state requirements for accommodation of electric vehicle charging stations.
During the 2009 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation relating to electric vehicles. This act requires jurisdictions within Thurston County to allow charging stations for electric vehicles in every zone with the exception of residential zones, sensitive areas and resource areas. In addition, the law requires development regulations to implement the siting of electric car charging stations. Standards must be adopted within six months after the adoption of provisions to allow location of this use in appropriate zones. Although these provisions were to be adopted by July 1, 2010, the Department of Commerce has not developed standards yet.
Dave stated Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) is currently working with local jurisdictions to develop a model ordinance outlining development standards.
The Planning Commission developed a draft ordinance that will meet legislative objectives, allowing charging stations in every zone without mandatory language. Issues that were identified are addressed by including design “guidelines” that allow flexibility in meeting the intent of the policy. Enhanced sections are reserved in the ordinance to provide an option for addressing issues that arise at a later date. The ordinance provides flexibility for staff to address potential issues by controlling the level of review and application of conditions, without enforcing standards.
In developing the draft ordinance, the Planning Commission discussed a range of facilities, such as Level 1 charging stations for longer term uses (3 hours plus for residential), Level 2 stations for shorter term parking in public lots, and Level 3 stations on freeway locations. The Planning Commission also considered site location, user base, signage, electrical wiring, prime parking locations, and maintenance.
On June 15, 2010, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposal. Testimony was given supporting the proposed ordinance.
The Committee recommended forwarding the proposed ordinance to the full Council for adoption.