After a year in the works, the Oakland Park City Commission approved for all new construction projects to be required to include charging stations.
The ordinance goes into effect June 30 and would not be applicable to projects that have already been approved by the city.
“I’m glad to see this came to fruition,” said Commissioner Matthew Sparks, who initiated the ordinance.
He noted that he reached out to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg regarding incentives or grants that the city can provide to companies as they bring their business to Oakland Park.
The ordinance requires that 10% of parking spaces in new multi-family housing to have electric charging capabilities. However, as an incentive to buildings that provide fast-charging stations (180 miles per hour of charge), they would only require 5%. Charging stations must be indoors or wherever is the least visible if there is not a garage available.
The conversation began last year, with the Planning & Zoning Board approving the measure in April 2021 and the commission approving it as well in the first round. However, they wanted adjustments made to the ordinance, which city officials brought back before the commission on Wednesday.
A resident shared his concern about the safety of the charging stations, as there have been cases of cars blowing up. Pete Schwarz, the director of community and economic development, said he is confident in how the ordinance is written.
“The industry standard right now allows for interior installations,” he explained. “The currents aren’t any higher than any other electrical devices or internal combustion devices.”
Commissioner Jane Bolin encouraged the city to educate the public on what would be considered new construction, as it includes major renovations of existing homes. Mayor Michael Carn also asked that there be safety measures in place so that curious children wouldn't be able to meddle with the outlets.