Volta's Plan for EV Charging Stations
On April 19, 2022, representatives of Volta Charging, LLC, came before the Newtown Township Planning Commission (NTPC) to discuss a plan to install two Electrical Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations in landscape islands located in the parking lot of ACME in the Newtown Shopping Center (see plan below).
Testifying for Volta were Michael J. Megnniss of Begley, Carlin & Mandio, LLP, and John Stuckey, VP East Charging Solutions and Site Development.
In this compilation of audio snippets from the meeting, Volta describes its unique business model that includes a 4-foot high visual electronic signage/advertising charging station panel. The charging service is FREE to anyone. There is no fee to charging partners (e.g., ACME) who, according to Volta, benefit by attracting “more customers who stay longer.”
The Unique Problem with the Plan
“Volta’s business model creates a bit of unique situation for each municipality,” admits Volta’s legal representative, Michael J. Megnniss of Begley, Carlin & Mandio, LLP. Indeed, as noted by Peggy Driscoll, chair of the NTPC, electronic “message centers” are not permitted anywhere in the Jointure (Newtown, Wrightstown, and Upper Makefield). Other than that, variances regarding freestanding sign size and height requirements would be required.
Because the Jointure is currently working on an ordinance permitting the use of EV charging stations, Volta and the NTPC decided that this application should be "tabled" so that Volta can meet with the JZC first [listen to this audio excerpt]. This would help the Jointure develop an ordinance that properly addresses the location, use of existing parking spaces, signage, public vs private locations, etc., of EV charging stations.
PECO Representative Enlightens EDC on EV Charging Stations (Podcast): Ted Dorand, PECO External Affairs Manager for Bucks County, was a Special Guest speaker at the April 19, 2022, meeting of the Newtown Economic Development Committee.
Meanwhile, the Joint Zoning Council (JZC) is working on an ordinance permitting the use of EV charging stations in Newtown, Upper Makefield, and Wrightstown. Such an ordinance would location (private v.s. public), use of existing parking spaces, signage, etc. For background listen to this discussion: Newtown Planning Commission Discusses Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.