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The Placentia City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance that makes the process of installing an electric vehicle charging station faster, as well as more efficient.

Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.

The addition to the city’s municipal code updates its current regulations to be in line with California state law. The ordinance, approved Oct. 6, will primarily affect homeowners who want to add electric vehicle charging stations to their residences.

“Essentially, it would create … codify a streamlined process for the plan, checking, and issuance of permits — and also inspections — for electrical vehicle charging stations, consistent with state law,” Joe Lambert, the city’s director of developmental services, said at the council meeting.

The state’s mandate basically requires certain cities to assist residents and make the process of getting an electric vehicle charging station in homes less complicated. Placentia’s city website now includes a checklist of requirements needed for this installation, the application, as well as an area where one can submit plans for the electric vehicle charging station.

State Assembly Bill 1236, passed in 2015, states that cities with less than 200,000 residents are supposed to enact a system where getting a permit to build a charging station would be approved at faster rates. 

This new permitting process will not cost the city anything, however applicants would have to pay for checking, permits, and inspection of their stations. According to the staff report, any city expenses should be balanced out from money received during these transactions. 

The California constitution also states that any costs for local agency regulations, such as this one, would be reimbursed by the state government because the state is requiring regulations the city wouldn’t otherwise have. 

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