The first action toward an eventual Tesla Supercharger fueling station for Tehachapi was made by the Tehachapi Planning Commission Monday night.
Voting 4-0, with Commissioner Daryl Christensen absent, the commission approved the architectural design and site plan for a 40-stall facility to be built on .74 acres on Monolith Street.
The site is south of Tehachapi Boulevard and across the street from entrances to the Love’s Travel Stop in the eastern part of the city.
The property owner is Tower Assets of Woodland. Representing the applicant, Tesla, Inc., was Brittany Bernas.
Bernas said that the company is prepared to begin construction as soon as a building permit is issued but noted that the opening of the facility would also depend on how soon Southern California Edison can supply electricity to the site.
Development Services Director Jay Schlosser said he believed the city would be ready to issue a building permit in a couple of months.
The facility will be unstaffed and not include restrooms or other amenities for customers. Commissioners expressed some concern about the location because those accessing the electric vehicle charging services are likely to walk across the busy street to Love’s to use visitor facilities there. With truck traffic along Monolith Street, such activity could be hazardous.
Schlosser said he could understand such concerns and said the city would monitor the situation after the charging stations are built.
The 40-stall facility will include six supercharger cabinets. Tesla has been working with the city on the project for more than a year. In a letter to the city in March 2022, Bernas said the supercharger stations will deliver a full charge in about 30 minutes.
At the meeting, she said that Tesla has a long-term goal to make its chargers available to other electric vehicles, but currently they are only designed to serve Teslas. The closest Tesla Supercharger station is in Mojave.
In a report to the commission, Schlosser said the city is aware that Tesla Supercharger stations can attract lines of waiting vehicles during high travel times.
“Considering the location and layout, there was concern that waiting vehicles may queue into the public street, creating a hazard,” he said. “As such, the applicant was asked to reconfigure the site to address this concern. The drive aisle was enlarged and reconfigured to allow waiting vehicles to parallel park around the perimeter of the site to wait for an available space. This modification was considered sufficient to mitigate the operational concern."
The Planning Commission’s approval included approval of environmental findings and a zone variance to reduce required landscaping. The action may be appealed to the Tehachapi City Council.
In other action, the commission approved, 4-0, a compressed natural gas fueling station permit for WM to be located at the company’s property at 416 N. Dennison Road. The fueling station will only be used for WM’s vehicles.
As part of the consent agenda, the commission approved, 4-0, sign permit applications for Lucky Fuel at 706 E. Tehachapi Blvd. and BMO Bank at 758 Tucker Road. BMO Bank is the firm that completed the acquisition of Bank of the West in February.
Sage Ranch update
Schlosser told members of the commission that he does not foresee having agenda items for a regular meeting in June.
Upon inquiry following the meeting, he said that the city’s review of the resubmission of the Precise Development Plan for Sage Ranch is underway. However, with a staff shortage, he does not anticipate the plan being ready to bring to the Planning Commission in June.
In October 2022, the commission approved a three-month extension to the time required for the submission of the PDP for the proposed 995-unit residential development of 138 acres near Tehachapi High School. The project was approved by the City Council in September 2021.
In January, Schlosser told commissioners that the Sage Ranch residential project met the extended deadline to submit the PDP and that the city had already analyzed the submission and returned it with comments. He added that the package was “pretty complete” and that he would expect it to come to the commission for review in February or March.
Since then, apparently, the developer has resubmitted the PDP, and it is still being analyzed.
The city’s website shows the city seeks to fill an administrative analyst vacancy in the Development Services Department. The city also has an active recruitment underway for a senior planner/planning manager.
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.