More electric vehicle charging stations coming to Bristol

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 10/14/21

A proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that would permit the placement of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations was recently redrafted to address concerns, mostly aesthetic, raised by the …

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More electric vehicle charging stations coming to Bristol

Posted

A proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that would permit the placement of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations was recently redrafted to address concerns, mostly aesthetic, raised by the Bristol Planning Board at its September meeting.

The plan to install two EV charging stations in the parking lot at Stop & Shop was held up by the stations’ display ads — 9-foot, square, interior-lit screens broadcasting advertisements, the placement of which will offset the cost of the electricity and allow the charging stations to operate free of charge.

Community Development Director Diane Williamson admits her first draft of the ordinance was probably overly broad. “It allowed for EV stations in several zones,” she said. “I was trying to cover all the bases.” The new draft limits them to the General Business Zone, and calls for them to be set back 200 feet from the public road. That leaves the proposed Stop & Shop location as one of only a handful of potential locations where these type of EV stations can be sited.

The stations themselves are not overly-obtrusive; according to Williamson, the Planning Board’s objections were primarily related to the attached interior-lit video screens. Concerns were also raised about the advertising content. According to Williamson, Volker, the company proposing the stations, has named clients including Netflix, Jaguar, Alaska Air and Hagen-Dazs as typical of those purchasing their ad space.

In addition, the zoning board may impose other conditions, such as requiring the displays to be dimmed at night.

Williamson is presenting the revised ordinance to the planning board at their Oct. 14 meeting, and if it meets their approval, the matter will come before the Bristol Town Council at its next meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 20. According to Williamson, a representative of Volker will be on hand to answer questions about the content and appearance of the display advertisements.

While these details are being hammered out, town officials are enthusiastic about the opportunity greater access to EV stations will provide.

“I see this as a great was to promote the use of electric vehicles,” said Williamson.

Town Administrator Steven Contente is also a strong supporter. “There are going to be more and more electric car models out there, and I’m eager to promote the installation of charging stations, and making more available in the future.”

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