RA Design Review Board to vote on electric vehicle charging station guidelines

An electric vehicle charging station already installed in Reston (via Reston Association)

The Reston Association Design Review Board is set to vote on guidelines for electric vehicle charging stations today (Aug. 16).

Draft guidance setting parameters including about location, size, and appearance of the stations will be discussed and reviewed during the board’s meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. The board is also expected to decide whether to send the draft to the RA Board Operations Committee for feedback, RA spokesperson Mike Leone confirms.

Electric vehicle charging stations have been much discussed at cluster and RA meetings in recent months.

More and more electric vehicle charging stations have been installed throughout clusters and Reston over the last year, according to a January presentation.

Although they were all approved by the DRB, they have emerged without established guidance or standards and without consistent consultation with RA. As a result, the charging stations often vary in appearance and sometimes even pose safety risks due to their locations.

In all, six different types and designs of stations have been approved by the DRB.

Earlier in the year, RA contracted engineering consultant Kimley Horn to help establish guidelines. In May, staff admitted that, upon further research, providing adequate guidance was “more complex” than initially thought.

While a preliminary draft of guidelines has been out for several months, a working group has met twice to discuss amendments and changes.

The updated draft addresses concerns from RA members and staff. It limits charging stations to six-and-a-half feet in height, and they may not have any cords or cables that extend into foot traffic paths. They must appear “seamlessly” integrated into the surroundings, among other parameters.

Applications will also require photos or drawings of the proposed stations, proof of a maintenance agreement, and a “qualified, experienced” person to install the station.

It’s expected that a draft of the guidelines will be submitted to the BOC for feedback in time for their Sept. 7 meeting. Then, the design review board will hold a public hearing later that month.

It is estimated that the RA Board of Directors will approve the guidelines at their October 28 meeting and a set date for implementation.

RA has also been exploring the possibility of replacing its fleet of fossil-fuel vehicles with electric ones over the next decade. That initiative, though, has met some obstacles, as a staff report found that a full fleet replacement remains prohibitive due to the cost and availability of electric vehicles.

RA’s Chief Operation Officer Larry Butler said at a meeting in June that Kimley Horn, which is also assisting RA in this matter, recommended reevaluating electric vehicle options “every two to three, maybe four, years.”

Photo via Reston Association

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