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St. John’s considers mandatory electric vehicle parking

St. John’s city council voted on Wednesday to consider mandatory minimum parking requirements to accommodate electric vehicles in the city. -REUTERS FILE PHOTO
St. John’s city council voted on Wednesday to consider mandatory minimum parking requirements to accommodate electric vehicles in the city. -REUTERS FILE PHOTO - REUTERS

Mayor Danny Breen says EV parking will be ‘part of core infrastructure’ in future

In a unanimous decision during a committee of the whole meeting Wednesday, St. John’s city council voted to consider mandatory electric vehicle (EV) parking spaces in new construction regulations.

“I think it’s just going to become part of the core infrastructure of buildings into the future, and certainly I’m supportive of adding it into our (development) regulations,” said Mayor Danny Breen.

“It is the future, no doubt about it,” agreed Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary.

Coun. Ian Froude explained that council’s vote wouldn’t actually put the requirement for EV parking into the city’s development regulations right away, but simply consider it as a change to be made later this year when the city’s new draft regulations are released by the province (where they are currently being reviewed by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment).

Froude said council’s vote means electric parking requirements will be considered during public engagement on the regulations.

Mayor Danny Breen on electric vehicle parking: “I think it’s just going to become part of the core infrastructure of buildings into the future.” -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO - File Photo
Mayor Danny Breen on electric vehicle parking: “I think it’s just going to become part of the core infrastructure of buildings into the future.” -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO - File Photo

Specifically, council would consider changing its parking requirements for new developments that have five or more parking spaces. The change would mean a minimum percentage of spaces requiring EV charging infrastructure.

For example, an apartment building would be required to allocate 15 per cent of its parking spaces for EVs, while a place of worship, restaurant or shopping centre would all require 10 per cent.

Coun. Dave Lane said these are actions the city can take to encourage and enable the use of electric vehicles.

“It’s kind of a chicken-and-theegg situation where if you can enable something to happen, more of it will happen,” he said.

Coun. Dave Lane. -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO
Coun. Dave Lane. -TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO

Froude said this would mean greater action on climate change.

Coun. Wally Collins voted in favour of the consideration, but he did express some concerns about what an increase in EV usage might mean for road maintenance due to fewer motorists paying gas tax.

Breen said that’s something the provincial and federal governments will need to consider in the future, and perhaps it might mean an added tax on electricity for road maintenance.

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