Governor Hickenlooper signed SB13-126 into law (2013), requiring community associations to permit owners to install Type 1 and Type 2 electric vehicle charging stations on their lots and on limited common elements designated for an individual owner’s use. SB13-126 adds Section 106.8 to the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and states the following reason for the legislation: The primary purpose of this section is to ensure that common interest communities provide their residents with at least a meaningful opportunity to take advantage of the availability of plug-in electric vehicles rather than create artificial restrictions on the adoption of this promising technology.
The new law further encourages associations to apply for grants to assist with funding electric vehicle charging stations on common elements. SB13-126 goes on to state requirements for electric vehicle charging stations that associations must permit. With this new legislation, which is effective immediately, associations cannot prohibit installation of electric vehicle charging stations on an owner’s unit or limited common element designated for the owner’s use and cannot charge owners a fee for the right to install a charging station.
While SB13-126 grants owners permission to pursue the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, the law does not require associations to incur expenses related to the installation or use of these stations. Some properties may require upgrades to electrical wiring and disruption to common areas as part of the installation work for a charging station. Associations can and should address these issues through policies and agreements with owners who are seeking permission to install charging stations.
As part of their policies concerning electric vehicle charging stations, associations can require the following:
- Adherence to bona fide safety requirements
- Registration of the charging station with the association within thirty days of installation
- Compliance with the association’s governing documents, reasonable aesthetic provisions concerning dimensions, placement and external appearance, and design specifications
- That the owner engage the services of a licensed and registered electrical contractor familiar with the installation and code requirements for electric vehicle charging stations
- Proof of insurance or payment of the association’s increased insurance premium costs related to the charging station
- Removal of the system if necessary to maintain the common elements
Because the law goes into effect immediately, associations should consider adopting policies now so that procedures are in place before owners submit architectural requests for charging stations. A number of industry professionals testified at committee hearings as SB13-126 moved through the legislative process and are available to assist associations and owners with designing solutions that fit the unique aspects of their properties.
If your association needs help with a policy, or seeks professional assistance on installation options on site, contact one of our attorneys for information and resources.
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