Local Planning and Codes

Local governments have an important role to play in the development of public and private EV charging infrastructure due to their authority over zoning, parking, signage, building codes, and permitting and inspection processes. Local governments can use their authority to regulate and approve new development projects to ensure that ample charging opportunities are available. There are many ways to go about this. The most common is to require pre-wiring, which is when builders run electrical conduit that can power charging equipment to locations where vehicles will be parked. Since no chargers are installed, pre-wiring in and of itself does not create new charging opportunities, but it dramatically reduces the costs of installing chargers in the future. Local governments can also go a step further and require charging equipment to be installed, or they can take a softer approach and offer incentives or adopt policies that encourage charger installations.

There are a number of mechanisms through which local governments can require or encourage EV charging. These mechanisms are discussed in the resources summarized below.

Downloadable Resources

Electric Vehicle Best Practices Compendium

This guide provides an overview of the key considerations for local governments who are seeking to support the deployment EVs and charging infrastructure. The document introduces EV readiness strategies and provides guidance and examples of best practices employed by local governments. Topics includes: building, zoning and parking codes; permitting; planning; multi-unit dwellings; regional charging network; fleets; interoperability; and outreach and education.

Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure: A White Paper for the Cities Association of Santa Clara County

This white paper provides background on EVs and the associated charging infrastructure, as well as resources for more information and related policy considerations. It summarizes the key concepts included in the Best Practices Compendium and is intended to educate the Cities Association and provide a basis for future engagement with city officials.

Webinar PPT: Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure as a Novel Land Use - Zoning, Building, and Parking Codes

This webinar reviews key land use and local code considerations for deploying EV charging infrastructure. Topics include incorporating EVs and charging infrastructure into municipal planning documents (e.g., general plans and climate action plans); CALGreen building code and ADA accessibility requirements; zoning strategies to increase EV readiness; and recommendations for of EV charging station signage, enforcement, and fees. Recorded audio available below.

Webinar Video: Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure as a Novel Land Use - Zoning, Parking Practices, Building Codes

This webinar reviews key land use and local code considerations for deploying EV charging infrastructure. Topics include incorporating EVs and charging infrastructure into municipal planning documents (e.g., general plans and climate action plans); CALGreen building code and ADA accessibility requirements; zoning strategies to increase EV readiness; and recommendations for of EV charging station signage, enforcement, and fees.

Electric Vehicle Building and Zoning Codes Evaluation and Recommendations Report

This report evaluates the existing provisions pertaining to EVs and charging infrastructure in the building and zoning codes of each DNZ partner jurisdiction. It offers an assessment of the existing code language and jurisdiction-specific recommendations regarding other requirements and provisions that, if adopted and added to the code, would help further facilitate the deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure in the community

Electric Vehicle Local Incentives and Funding Mechanisms

This guide provides an overview of some of the ways local governments are incentivizing EV adoption. In addition to national and state incentives, local incentives can further reduce the incremental cost between EVs and conventional vehicles and can help make driving electric an easier choice for residents. Local incentives are able to target specific local barriers to EV deployment, as well as signal a government’s commitment to its community’s environmental and air quality goals.

EV Charging Stations as Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Mechanism under CEQA: Nexus and Proportionality Study

This white paper discusses the rationale for and practice of using electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) as mitigation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It reviews how to establish nexus and proportionality for EVCS under CEQA, project precedents and case studies, methods to estimate GHG emissions reductions, cost effectiveness, and implementation methods.

Workshop: EV Charging, GHG Emissions Reduction, Cost-Effectiveness and CEQA

This workshop presentation reviews the feasibility and practice of using EV charging as a potential mitigation measure for GHG emissions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Webinar PPT: Permitting Practices for EV Charging Infrastructure

This webinar reviews requirements, strategies, and best practices for streamlining the permitting process for residential and workplace installations of EV charging infrastructure. Recorded audio available below.

Webinar Video: Permitting Practices for EV Charging Infrastructure

This recorded webinar reviews requirements, strategies, and best practices for streamlining the permitting process for residential and workplace installations of EV charging infrastructure. *Note: Audio begins at 1 min. 24 sec.

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