According to records obtained by PlugInSites under the Maryland Public Information Act, police officers in Howard County were issued guidance that they have no authority to enforce parking restrictions at plug-in vehicle charging stations except on property owned by the county.
In an email dated February 25, 2015 addressed to all sworn police officers, a Sergeant in the Traffic Enforcement Section wrote,
“There has been an increase in parking complaints related to Electric Vehicle Parking. As this technology becomes more prevalent around the country and within Howard County, this trend is expected to continue. There has been some confusion regarding enforcement as there exists some potentually confusing language in the County Code pertaining to where enforcement may take place.”
The email references Howard County Code Title 21.207 (Parking Restrictions) and that it,
“Provides that on property under the County’s jurisdiction, the Department of Public Works may designate a parking space where a plug-in vehicle may be recharged. The section further states that a person may not stop, stand, or park a vehicle in a space that is posted for the exclusive use of plug-in vehicles.
“The issue arises when responding to private property (which is obviously not under the County’s jurisdiction) for these complaints. Further in the title there is a provision that gives Private Property Owners the authority to post reserved parking spaces for the exclusive use of plug-in vehicles and further outlines that parking in these spaces is prohibited.
“This authority to post signs on private property SHOULD NOT be construed as an authority for the Police Department to enforce these violations on private property. If the property is not under the County’s jurisdiction (basically owned by county) there exists no authority for the PO to issue a Plug-in Vehicle Parking Citation.”
Read the entire email.