Branson’s Board of Aldermen have given their final approval to an ordinance that allows law enforcement to ticket anyone parking in - rather than charging an electric vehicle - at a charging port.
With the growing number of electric vehicles, the demand for charging stations is increasing in the city and has been decided that only electric vehicles who are charging should have access to these designated spots.
The amended section states that:
–Whenever authorized signs are in place designating an area for electric vehicle parking or charging, no person shall stop a vehicle within that marked area unless that vehicle is an electric vehicle and is connected to an electric vehicle charging station.
–It shall be unlawful for any person to cause, allow, or suffer any vehicle registered in his name, that is not an electric vehicle connected to an electric vehicle charging station, to be parked or standing in a space that is designated as an area for electric vehicle parking or charging.
–The provisions of this section may be enforced on property that is not public property only when the owner or other person in possession or control of the property has requested enforcement of these provisions of this section.
Any person cited for parking at a charging station will be fined $25. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $150 per occurrence. City Attorney Chris Lebeck said that’s in line with city fines regarding handicap parking.
Lebeck said the city was made aware of this problem through a complaint left on the city’s website.
“We have the ability to regulate this,” Lebeck told the aldermen. “We can say you have to be an electric vehicle and you have to be there to charge your vehicle.”
There are at least 21 electric vehicle charging stations within Branson. The city owns one of the electric vehicle charging stations, located in Liberty Plaza Park.
The other 20 are on private property. Lebeck said at a previous meeting that the city can enforce the ordinance on private property if the city has a cooperative agreement with the owner.
According to Jamie Whiteis, general manager of Tanger Outlets Branson, the mall and it’s four charging ports will be included in this ordinance.
The aldermen gave initial approval of the ordinance at its Aug. 13 meeting.