Letter to Senator Baxley
The Florida Senate
Attn: Senator Dennis Baxley
206 South Hwy 27/441
Lady Lake, FL 32159
RE: SB 1154
Dear Senator Baxley,
I am proud to serve as the Executive Director of the Community Association Leadership Lobby (“CALL”), a grassroots initiative which has been advocating for the best interests of the millions of Floridians living in community associations since 2003. I am writing to you today regarding your proposed statutory changes which will affect electric vehicle charging stations in condominiums.
On December 6, 2019, you proposed Senate Bill 1154, which, among other items, revises regulation for electric vehicle charging stations at condominiums. The changes proposed by Senate Bill 1154 add language to the statute allowing condominium unit owners to install an electric vehicle charging station to an owner’s exclusively designated parking space and would allow the owner to use an embedded meter. While these additions are laudable, I do not believe they account for the practical hurdles which exist in most of Florida’s older condominium communities.
With electric vehicles becoming more prevalent in our state, condominium associations should begin considering how they will accommodate larger numbers of residents with these vehicles. While the current iteration of Section 718.113(1), F.S., allows unit owners to install electric vehicle charging stations and obligates the owner to bear the cost of such stations, it does not take into account a condominium association that wishes to install a community-wide station. Condominium associations must consider many factors to effectuate equity amongst all owners. For example, many condominium buildings were constructed decades ago, well before the advent of electric vehicles. As such, the buildings lack the infrastructure to accommodate more than a nominal number of electric vehicle charging stations. This leaves the association with a choice between leaving only a minimal number of owner spaces with electric vehicle charging stations, or spending large sums of money (potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars) to upgrade the building’s electrical system to accommodate a larger number of owner-installed electric vehicle charging stations.
We already have a precedent in this area with regard to satellite dishes. There is an exception in the FCC Telecommunications Guidelines which allows a community association to install a community-wide satellite dish in lieu of each owner installing his or her own dish in the community. The same elegant solution can be used here with regard to electric car charging stations. I would ask that you consider amending Senate Bill 1154 to incorporate provisions which would allow a condominium association to install a community-wide electric vehicle charging station instead of only a small number of owners being able to install such stations. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter further and possibly to help draft the necessary amendment.
Lastly, please do not hesitate to rely upon CALL as an ongoing source for community association issues.
Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.