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.
Testifying for Volta were Michael J. Megnniss of Begley, Carlin & Mandio, LLP, and John Stuckey, VP East Charging Solutions and Site Development.
In this composite 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.”
“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 matter would not be brought up at the My 5, 2022, Zoning Hearing Board meeting as planned for a variance hearing. It was also agreed that Volta representatives would be invited to the next Jointure meeting to discuss its plan. 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.