Message to Maryland EV Advocates from Howard County Council Member Jen Terrasa

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The following is a message concerning a proposed change to “anti-ICEing” legislation in Howard County Maryland that would make the prohibitions against parking a non plug-in car at a charging station enforceable on private property as well as county-owned property.

Enforcement of Designated Electric Vehicle plug-in Parking Spaces – CB7-2016

In 2014, I was proud to sponsor Council Bill 36-2014 which passed with the support of my colleague Council Chairperson Calvin Ball.  This bill ensured posted parking spaces with electric vehicle charging stations would be reserved only for plug-in vehicles.  As you know, encouraging individual residents to make choices that reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions is an important aspect of what the County can do, not only to reduce the carbon footprint of County Government operations, but also to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of our community.  We must seek to develop a robust network of charging stations throughout the County which will be essential to making electric vehicles a viable and convenient alternative.  Tantamount will be safeguarding those charging spaces for plug-in vehicles as they are critical to the growing acceptance and long-term success of electric vehicles.  

While Council Bill 36-2014 was an important step forward, varying legal interpretations of the Police Department’s authority to enforce EV parking spaces on private property became apparent.  Monday, Councilman Ball and I were pleased to introduce Council Bill 7-2016 which gives the Howard County Police Department the express authority to ticket non electric vehicles in designated EV parking spaces on both public and private property.  Council Bill 7-2016 provides another significant advancement toward a cleaner and greener future for Howard County.   

There will be an opportunity to provide public comment on this matter and other bills before the Council on February 16, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building.  If you would like to testify at the public hearing, you can sign-up in person at the hearing, or you register in advance online here. You may also submit written testimony, comments or questions to me directly at JTerrasa@HowardCountyMD.gov, and to Councilman Ball at CBBall@howardcountymd.gov.  if you would like to share your testimony with the entire Council, please email CouncilMail@HowardCountyMD.gov.

 As an advocate for electric vehicles, your input and support on this important legislation would be greatly appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Jen &  Calvin