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EV Ready Code Project heads to City Council with amendments from the Planning and Sustainability Commission

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Council will hear public testimony on the code changes to increase access to electric vehicle charging facilities on Jan. 25, 2023.

New zoning code amendments to increase the requirement for EV-charging infrastructure in new multi-dwelling and mixed use development are on their way to City Council for consideration and a public hearing. Last month, the Planning and Sustainability Commission heard testimony on the EV Ready Code Project’s Proposed Draft and added the following minor amendments to the code package:

  1. Allow EV chargers and equipment in a portion of perimeter parking lot landscaping.

Project staff originally proposed that all of the EV-charging equipment must be located outside of the perimeter parking lot landscaping, but during a work session, commissioners expressed an interest in seeing more flexibility. Staff made a change to allow the chargers and equipment to encroach into the landscaping area up to two feet. This entailed making several changes to the code.

  1. Include e-bike chargers in the list of nonconforming cost exemptions.

The Proposed Draft included a provision within the nonconforming upgrade chapter that exempted the installation of EV chargers and equipment from being calculated into total project costs for the purpose of assessing nonconforming upgrades. PSC members suggested including electric bike installations in this exemption. The code language includes an amendment to the section 33.258.070.

  1. BPS technical amendment re: car-sharing spaces providing EV chargers.

At the time of the original proposal, the outcome of the State’s Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rulemaking was still in flux. Staff had proposed an additional requirement for car sharing spaces to be electrified to reduce minimum parking requirements. However, the City anticipates that it will remove all minimum parking requirements to conform with new state rules, so this section of code (on page 39 of the Proposed Draft ) would be removed. Therefore, staff proposed to eliminate this new requirement from the EV Ready Code Project, as it would only be in place for three months.

With these amendments, the EV Ready Code Project heads to City Council for a public hearing on Jan. 25, 2023. Details about the hearing will be posted on the project website closer to the date of the hearing.