Planning Commission OKs City Hall EV charging station

ENCINITAS — The proposed conversion of Encinitas City Hall’s lower parking lot into an electric vehicle fueling station received the Planning Commission’s unanimous OK, nearly four years after it was first proposed.

The Planning Commission’s vote clears the way for Encinitas-based Corridor Power, Inc. to build the so-called “gas station” for electric vehicles, which would operate for three years, the length of the property lease with the city.

The proposal consists of shade canopies, 10 EV charging towers and a 480-square-foot driver’s lounge and retail store within the lower city-owned parking lot on the northeast corner of Vulcan Avenue and E Street.

Originally, staff recommended denying the project, but the Planning Commission in September issued an interpretation that found that the station was an allowable use under city code as a demonstration project.

Corridor executive Angus Jones urged the commission to approve the company’s permit requests at the May 4 meeting. The Planning Commission expressed concerns about the amount of traffic the station will generate and the net loss of parking and how it would impact surrounding areas, but said they were ultimately satisfied with the answers they received from the planning staff and Corridor representatives.

Corridor Power must still seek City Council’s approval of a lease agreement that will outline terms and conditions of the facility’s operations.

The charging station was first proposed in 2013, and in 2014 the Department of Energy awarded Corridor Power a $500,000 grant for the project. It received a time extension in fall 2016, as the winter 2016 deadline to complete the project was rapidly approaching.

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