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Park City Planning Commission Recommends Electric Vehicle Infrastructure be the Norm

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The Park City Planning Commission sent a positive recommendation to city council on Wednesday for future infrastructure requirements in order to further accommodate electric vehicles.

 

You’ve probably seen them pop up more and more over the past few years. Charging stations for electric cars are increasingly becoming the norm in many cities across the country and Park City is no different.

 

Rebecca Ward is Park City’s Land Use Policy Analyst and told the planning commission on Wednesday night electric vehicle use is growing year after year. She said the city would be smart to have plans in place to accommodate for more electric vehicles on the road in the near future.

 

“These networks are growing and we want to make sure that we have the infrastructure in place and the standards in place so that these are successful in the city,” said Ward.

 

When it comes to sustainability, the city has set ambitious goals for itself. City operations are aiming to be run on 100% renewable energy by 2022 as well as becoming net-zero with their carbon emissions. The goal for the entire community is to be running on renewables by 2030. Setting standards for accommodating electric vehicles fits nicely with the city’s lofty aspirations.

 

The recommendation from the planning commission, if adopted by the city council, would require dedicated parking, infrastructure, and charging stations to support electric vehicles in new development and redevelopment projects.

 

Commissioner Sarah Hall suggested future applicants be required to provide electric vehicle infrastructure for twenty percent of off-street parking spaces, an increase from city staff’s recommendation of fifteen percent.

 

Hall noted the cost of installing the proper below-ground wiring for a charging station before parking is constructed is pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of ripping up parking and installing the wiring afterwards if more charging stations are needed. 

 

Commission chair John Phillips agreed and said given how much electric vehicle use has increased in recent years, the city should plan accordingly.

 

“I would like to hope that in 30 years, there’s so many electric cars that they wish they would have installed, you know, 20% across the board,” Phillips said. “I just hate to see us limit that potential in the future. I also believe that in the future, in 30 years, we’re probably going to have better ways and it might even be wireless, who knows where the technology will be by then?”

 

The recommendation also includes language that would encourage the construction of electric vehicle-ready private garages for remodels and new  projects. The commission noted most private garages already have the capability to charge an electric car, but a dedicated circuit can be installed to allow for faster, more efficient charging.

 

With the city looking to be proactive when it comes to the future demands of electric vehicles, Commissioner John Kenworthy praised the efforts to plan ahead and ultimately save taxpayer dollars in the long run.

 

“I’m very proud to be part of the city and I’m very proud of the council for making this a priority,” he said. “This is, you know, really cost effective as Commissioner Hall was indicating.”

 

The planning commission’s recommendation was approved unanimously and will be reviewed by city council on November 19th. A link to the full staff report with all of the commission’s recommendations can be found here.

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