The rapidly increasing shift from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles has led several states, including Oregon, California, Hawaii, Washington, Florida, and Colorado, to draft specific laws for them. This includes provisions regarding the installation of charging stations for the vehicles. In addition, while commercial charging stations are being built, various residential areas are also equipped with charging stations for residents with electric vehicles. It is likely only a matter of time for Arizona to pass specific laws for electric vehicle charging stations and HOAs should start to consider how they want to address the growing popularity of electric vehicles.
Factors and Considerations for Community EV Charging Stations in HOAs
As the number of electric vehicles increases, homeowners associations (HOAs) will also be witnessing a surge in requests and demands to install charging stations as an amenity of the homeowners. Though Arizona has not passed specific legislation surrounding HOA electric vehicle charging station policies, the growing trend in favor of electric vehicles will likely push the state government to address it in some fashion. Here are some of the things for any HOA to consider.
First, drafting a customized HOA policy enabling electric vehicle charging in condominiums or communities is essential as this policy draft can contain various rules and regulations applicable to all the community residents regarding the installation, use, and maintenance of charging stations. The installation of an EV charging station come with expenses, including the installation charges, maintenance charges, usage charges, and permit charges. All these expenses must be paid by someone, and the HOA policy draft would help determine how best to cover those costs.
Next, finding ample space for installing EV charging stations is necessary. Any HOA also needs to determine where the charging stations could be installed and how they would function. For example, would the HOA be demarking specific parking spots for electric vehicles? Can normal cars be parked near the charging stations? How many charging stations may be required in a particular community? All these questions need to be resolved by the HOA and could take a considerable amount of time to assess. It is thus important that Arizona HOAs start getting input from your members and prevent last-minute rush decisions from taking place if state legislation is passed.
Permits: Once the optimal number of charging stations and placement has been determined, the HOAs would require permits from the zoning department and construction permits, which would lead to departmental assessments and inspections. The zoning department would have to conduct in-depth assessments of the community, the existing structures, and proposed ideas. They would then inspect, and hopefully approve, the new plans for EV charging stations to be built.
Schedules: HOAs choosing to install electric vehicle charging stations in the common areas would also need to determine a schedule for charging the EV. This is a perfect opportunity for getting feedback from all community members. This is especially important in communities with a higher number of electric vehicles to ensure that every resident gets a fair opportunity to charge their vehicle and there are enough spaces for those members that need to utilize the charging station. Some communities may want to implement a reservation system, others may prefer a first come first served basis.
Infrastructural Capabilities: Installing community EV charging stations in Arizona would require HOAs to assess their infrastructural capabilities primarily. The electric charging stations require certain advanced features, and while most new communities are equipped with such infrastructure, older ones may not be. Similarly, high-rise buildings might not have the infrastructure to support an electric vehicle charging station. There are a lot of spatial considerations for every single EV charging station installed, which HOAs need to assess and apply for all proper permits.
Electric vehicles are rapidly becoming the norm with a growing awareness of environmental changes, marketing campaigns to reduce the use of gasoline and pollution, and the swiftly advancing technology which is making these vehicles much more affordable than before. The increasing inclination towards making more sustainable and environmentally-friendly choices are among the main reasons why EVs are continuing to grow in popularity. The availability of various options, thanks to almost all brands launching a lineup of electric vehicles, is another major reason behind more people choosing an electric vehicle.
Possible Complaints About EV Charging Stations
It is also possible that some members will dislike the idea of installing common charging stations because of potential inconveniences and costs. In such cases, the HOAs would need to consider whether they are willing to allow individual homeowners to install charging stations for themselves. If so, the HOAs would still need to complete some jobs like getting permits that allow homeowners to install their own charging stations at their own costs. However, this also needs to be aligned with the state laws and any HOA considering this option should review the potential policy with an experienced Arizona HOA attorney.
Until state laws dictate otherwise, it would fall upon the HOAs to determine the structure that will bring the most value to their members and community. The decision could be based on the overall feasibility in relation to the number of electric vehicles that are purchased by homeowners in a particular community. For example, a community that consists of older residents is less likely to be open to change and is also less likely to see as many electric vehicles. Newer communities with younger residents are more likely to see a surge in the number of electric vehicles.
Find the Best HOA Law Firm in Arizona
In order to keep up with the trends, it is vital for HOAs to keep up with the changing times and be adaptable to new technology, which could potentially lead to an increase or decrease in property values. With EVs becoming more popular, it is only advisable to draft a framework for the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles. The Brown Law Group only represents HOAs, condo associations and planned communities in Arizona. Our firm can help draft a new HOA policy for EV charging stations or review your current rules. Contact the Brown Law Group today at 602-952-6925 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.