BY ANTHONY DE YURRE AND JENNIFER E. FINE
In 2016 the City of Coral Gables introduced its new Green Fleet of 20 electric Nissan Leaf vehicles. The City of Coral Gables currently has a total of 43 electric vehicles in its fleet which is one of the largest government electric vehicle fleets in the State of Florida. The City’s goal is to have a fleet of 78 electric vehicles by fiscal year 2021. It should come as no surprise then, that the City of Coral Gables is now joining municipalities across Miami-Dade County, and the country, in encouraging the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in new real estate development projects.
The City of Coral Gables recently amended its Zoning Code to obligate that 2% of required off-street parking be reserved for EV charging stations for almost all new commercial projects in the City. The 2% EV charging station law applies to all real estate development projects that require twenty (20) or more off-street parking spaces are required for a commercial project.
Further, all of the following development categories with twenty (20) or more units are required to provide the appropriate voltage and electrical infrastructure to offer EV charging station opportunities:
· Multi-family residential development
· Mixed-use development
· Hotel development
“Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” are defined by the Coral Gables Zoning Code as parking spaces that are served by EV charging station equipment that have as the primary purpose the transfer of electric energy (by conductive or inductive means) to a battery or other energy source in an EV.
This requirement furthers the City of Coral Gables stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the City’s borders. While the electrical infrastructure required to install the EV charging stations is an increase in costs, the amenity is one that is requested by many tenants. Further, EVs benefit the City by improving air quality, promoting quieter and more livable streets, and decreasing dependency on fossil fuels. Real estate development projects are also eligible to earn LEED credit for incorporating EV charging stations. As a side note, projects are also eligible to earn LEED credit for incorporating bicycle storage into their designs.
All new construction which requires twenty (20) or more off-street parking spaces will require review for compliance with Coral Gables’ new EV charging station requirements.
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