City tells Algiers Point man to remove his electric vehicle charger, at least for now _lowres (copy)

Vlad Ghelase with his electric car and charging station in front of his Algiers Point home on November 30, 2015.

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER

Almost two years after New Orleans officials blocked an Algiers man from installing an electrical vehicle charger in front of his home, the City Council has created a process to allow that to happen.

The council voted unanimously Thursday to allow electrical vehicle owners to apply for permits to install chargers next to the curb — a necessity in a city where many homes don’t have driveways.

The issue first cropped up in late 2015, when Vlad Ghelase put up a charger for his Nissan Leaf in front of his West Bank home. The city told him it couldn’t approve the charger because it was on public property.

After years of discussion, an ordinance changing the rules finally made its way to the City Council.

Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey, who sponsored the ordinance, said, “If we want to fight climate change, we must find ways to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.” 

The ordinance passed 6-0, with Councilwoman Susan Guidry absent.

“All the city agencies, all the advocacy groups are happy with this,” Ghelase said.

Environmental groups have pushed for rules allowing chargers to be installed.

The final version of the measure allows property owners and renters to apply for permits to put chargers on the city-owned property between their home and the street.

There are a number of requirements, governing issues such as how much space must remain on the sidewalk for pedestrians to be able to pass and how close the devices can be to fire hydrants.

In historic areas, the Historic Districts Landmark Commission staff must sign off on the chargers' design.

Getting a permit will cost $300 and have a yearly renewal fee of $100. Owners are also required to have insurance on the chargers and to remove them at their own expense if they allow the permit to expire.

The permits grant the right to install a charger only for non-commercial use so that mini-service stations don't pop up in residential areas.

Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.​