Over the past six months, there has been a growing level of controversy focusing on whether electric vehicle parking spaces should be accessible to those with disabilities.  In response, the Building Standards Commission directed the Division of the State Architect (DSA) to convene a group of stakeholders to identify key issues and make recommendations that would be used by DSA in developing amendments to California’s disabled accessibility building standards.  To date, DSA has conducted six workshops with the seventh planned for February 11th.  

BOMA has been represented at each of these gatherings and the Governor’s Office is now actively engaged with this group as well.

Of the many issues that have been identified, the two of greatest concern to industry is “what” and “how many.”  Regarding “how many,” some advocates would like to see every EV-charging station (100%) meet the dimensional specifications required for “van-accessible” parking spaces.  This would require parking spaces to be roughly 17-20 feet in width instead of the standard 8-9 feet, effectively taking out at least two parking spaces for each EV-charging station installed.  On behalf of our members we supporting the currently held notion that EV-Charging is a “service” and should be treated no differently than other services which require the standard “4%” accessibility application rule.  Moving to a “100%” suggested by the advocates for the disabled community would unnecessary complicate compliance and could ultimately cause less EV-Charging installations to happen.

We are participating in the February 11th workshop and are providing comment on the draft regulation prior to being submitted to the Building Standards Commission for processing in the Triennial Code Cycle (effective 1/1/17).

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