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Working with HOA for EV-Charging; California law

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,035
1,232
Wildomar, CA
Hi Teslarati!

I've resumed comms with my HOA about installing new power to my garage for a dedicated charger since traditional methods just won't work right now. I'm willing to pay for this, but I'm hoping this doesn't turn in to some protracted battle. I dislike that the fate of my charger solution rests in the hands of someone who may hate EVs. Such is the downside of HOAs.

Here's the existing law as I understand it, and my query relates to any new 2020 laws which work in my favor to give me more freedom or leeway to pursue charging options in a townhome controlled by an HOA.

Davis-Stirling Act:

"Starting January 1, 2012, any restriction which prohibits or restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle ("EV") charging station in a common interest development is void and unenforceable. (Civ. Code §4745(a).)"

--

In January 2019, we got this;

SB 1016 – Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Effective January 1, 2019


Amends Civil Code Section 4745 and adds to Section 4745.1.

The new law sets for that: (1) a requesting homeowner must agree to pay, and pay for, all costs associated with the installation of an electric vehicle (“EV”) charging station (“EVCS”) located in common area or exclusive use common area; (2) owners of charging stations are required to maintain a liability coverage policy, and provide the association with a corresponding certificate of insurance within fourteen (14) days of approval and annually thereafter; (3) prevailing homeowner plaintiffs are entitled to the recovery of their attorney’s fees in EVCS- related actions; and (4) any pre-existing governing document or transfer instrument that restricts the installation or use of an EVCS or an EV-dedicated Time of Usage (TOU) meter, is void and unenforceable. An association may still enact reasonable restrictions on EVCS and TOU meters; however, California intends to remove all obstacles possible to allow their installation.

For reference: an EV-dedicated TOU meter is defined as an “electric meter supplied and installed by an electric utility, that is separate from, and in addition to, any other electric meter and is devoted exclusively to the charging of electric vehicles, and that tracks the time of use (TOU) when charging occurs. An EV-dedicated TOU meter includes any wiring or conduit necessary to connect the electric meter to an electric vehicle charging station, as defined in Section 4745, regardless of whether it is supplied or installed by an electric utility.” See Cal. Civ Code Section 4745.1(d).
--

Anything new for 2020 from you more legally-savvy EV owners out there? Has anyone else had to deal with an HOA to get proper charging options installed in California or any U.S. State? How did it go?

Thanks!
 
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Bill Foster

I'm going home!
Mar 6, 2019
902
752
Nashville
While I can only speak for Nashville, I have had very good experiences with condo buildings and most HOA's adding electrical outlets.

If we here in Nashville will do it, CA would be easy I'd think
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
744
US
"The approval or denial of an application shall be in writing. If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days from the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information."
 

St☰v☰

Member
Aug 27, 2019
787
530
SoCal/Texas
I may have missed it, but are you in a garage sharing condo/townhouse? I'm under a nazi-HOA and they can't control anything inside of my property unless it is visible from outside, i.e., paint, bushes, fence/gate, new garage door, then it would have to be approved by the architectural board.
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
744
US
I may have missed it, but are you in a garage sharing condo/townhouse? I'm under a nazi-HOA and they can't control anything inside of my property unless it is visible from outside, i.e., paint, bushes, fence/gate, new garage door, then it would have to be approved by the architectural board.

Hes got another thread with all the details.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,035
1,232
Wildomar, CA
I may have missed it, but are you in a garage sharing condo/townhouse? I'm under a nazi-HOA and they can't control anything inside of my property unless it is visible from outside, i.e., paint, bushes, fence/gate, new garage door, then it would have to be approved by the architectural board.


My garage is private, not shared.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,323
Greenville Wisconsin
Hi Teslarati!

I've resumed comms with my HOA about installing new power to my garage for a dedicated charger since traditional methods just won't work right now. I'm willing to pay for this, but I'm hoping this doesn't turn in to some protracted battle. I dislike that the fate of my charger solution rests in the hands of someone who may hate EVs. Such is the downside of HOAs.

My take on this from being an EV driver in Wisconsin is it is less that people hate EVs and more that they hate the self-righteous EV owners.
There is also the self-righteous folks that buy property agreeing to rules they want to immediately change.

Neither of these has to be you but if you or someone before you was this way you will have headaches.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,035
1,232
Wildomar, CA
My take on this from being an EV driver in Wisconsin is it is less that people hate EVs and more that they hate the self-righteous EV owners.
There is also the self-righteous folks that buy property agreeing to rules they want to immediately change.

Neither of these has to be you but if you or someone before you was this way you will have headaches.

EVs themselves changed the rules for all of us, especially townhome complexes built in 1990 that weren't even close to being future-proofed for the care and volt-feeding of EVs.

The reality is that I'm an early adopter here, so I gotta hope they work with me because I will be one of many EV owners wanting to charge. California law is going to possibly force existing complexes in to compliance at some point, or they will have much more turnover if people not only can't charge EVs but can't even reasonably install any kind of charging solution. CA law is already a 'right to charge' state, and new construction as far as I know will have to accommodate EVs much more than they did in 1990. Certainly, builders will have this metric in mind for any new construction.
 

Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,617
1,606
Irvine, CA
OP: why not search for local lawyers who deal with HOA's....it might be worth `30 minutes of your time for a free consult. You could then probably hire him/her for a few hundred bucks to write a letter to your HOA's general counsel laying out the case why you are entitled to pay to install a charger. (That letter will likely cover any financial penalties on your HOA for delaying you, if penalties are available per CA law.)
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,035
1,232
Wildomar, CA
OP: why not search for local lawyers who deal with HOA's....it might be worth `30 minutes of your time for a free consult. You could then probably hire him/her for a few hundred bucks to write a letter to your HOA's general counsel laying out the case why you are entitled to pay to install a charger. (That letter will likely cover any financial penalties on your HOA for delaying you, if penalties are available per CA law.)

Hi Big Dog,

Yeah I've actually found some lawyers in my search for CA laws pertaining to EV charging and HOA bureaucracy. :) Good idea. It could be worth a consult if the HOA really refuses to cooperate or as they're doing now, being slow to respond to my emails (currently no response). This alone annoys me, because I can't find solutions through an HOA that won't even respond to me on the topic.

Thanks!
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,861
Canyon Lake,CA
Law only applies to chargers in common areas. If your garage is not "common area" it may not apply.

If OP has ability to install a meter in his garage, with the bill being sent to him, then it is probably doable.

Might be an issue if he needs to tap into the electrical feed for the Condo.
 

p4594spa

Member
Aug 29, 2019
103
66
95051
We had a similar situation with satellite tv antenna. Federal law says that no one can't stop you from installing one AND it overrides a CCR.
Our HOA lawyers quickly changed attitude when facing the federal law. I doubt that they can do otherwise for an override state law.
 

artsci

Sponsor
May 10, 2012
6,260
3,248
Timonium, Maryland
This is especially interesting to me. My HOA has no problem with my curbside charger (photo attached) but Baltimore County forced me to remove it about a year ago. The County’s currrent policy is to forbid EV chargers on or near a County right of way, even if they’re part of common property in an HOA, which is my case. I’ve taken my case up to the County Executive and still waiting to hear if they’ll join the current century. Plugging in an EV is no more dangerous than pugging in a toaster or dryer, but some bureaucrats don’t seem to get that. The County permits all manner of gas stations and gas pumps, which are far more dangerous than EV chargers, on or near County right of ways. Go figure.

35CA8F33-1B17-4496-8C5B-9E0A2548CE52.jpeg
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,360
6,065
Los Altos, CA
First step: Get an electrical contractor to give you a quote for the work that will meet your requirements. If anything touches or goes through common areas that are not under your exclusive control, you must get HOA approval for that portion of the work. If not, you're home free and don't even need to notify the HOA.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,035
1,232
Wildomar, CA
Law only applies to chargers in common areas. If your garage is not "common area" it may not apply.

If OP has ability to install a meter in his garage, with the bill being sent to him, then it is probably doable.

Might be an issue if he needs to tap into the electrical feed for the Condo.

I have a private garage, by my panel is woefully inadequate (60a, full) and no electrician will touch it as far as upgrades. Plus, the panel is in the downstairs bathroom, meaning it has to go through my patio and then to a garage. What I'm asking from the HOA is new power from the closet that feeds the building (of several units). I would pay for the electricity and installation and all that.
 

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