Adopted ordinance streamlines electric vehicle charging station permit process

Back in December, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance to create an expedited permitting process for electric vehicle charging stations.

Introduced in November, and adopted Dec. 8, the ordinance adds an Electric Vehicle Charging Systems chapter to the Lassen County Code. The board voted 4 to 1 to adopt the ordinance, supervisor Jeff Hemphill voting against.

The ordinance encourages the use of electric vehicles by creating an expedited, streamlined permitting process for electric vehicle charging stations.

“At least all it is, is a policy,” said Supervisor Aaron Albaugh in December, adding if the county didn’t adopt the ordinance the state would take it over. “We just have to have the framework in place.”

According to Gaylon Norwood, planning and building services assistant director, jurisdictions in California with a population of 200,000 or less were supposed to have an ordinance accepting building permits for electric charging stations by September 2017 through Assembly Bill 1236, he explained in November.

Few cities and counties adopted an ordinance, including Lassen County, according to Norwood. However, now, posed with potentially more strict stipulations in the Electrify America sponsored Assembly Bill 2168, which has yet to be adopted, the RCRC — Representing California Rural Counties — is encouraging members to adopt the original ordinance so the AB 2168 proposed time limitations do not become applicable unless it is adopted.

“This doesn’t mandate that any (electric vehicle charging stations) be built, it just says that if a private company wants to build an electric vehicle charging station that this is how it has to be processed,” said Norwood.