The yet-to-be-installed electric vehicle charging station for Gabriola Island appears to be heading back to Descanso Bay.
As part of 10 new stations to be installed across the Regional District of Nanaimo, including one each in electoral areas B, E, G and H, which were the subject of a new service established by way of alternative approval process earlier this year, the one destined for Gabriola was initially planned for Descanso Bay Regional Park, but then reconsidered to be installed at Huxley Community Park. After a design feasibility review, it’s heading back to its originally planned location, subject to board of directors’ approval.
Electoral Area B Director Vanessa Craig intends to make a motion in June to change the location of the Level 2 EV charging station to Descanso Bay Regional Park after making a motion back in January to have staff look at placing the charger at Huxley, saying at the time it seemed like a more accessible location even though there are already EV charging stations in the area.
“Any kind of development in the Village core, the Islands Trust requires placing EV chargers, and so that means that the potential for more EV chargers [in the core] is relatively high in the long run,” Craig said at the May 17 parks and open spaces advisory committee meeting, adding with the upcoming redevelopment of Huxley and the new Village Way Path, parking spots have been reduced in the core so people using limited spots to charge wouldn’t be ideal (a full charge takes 30 minutes on a Level 2 charger).
At Descanso Bay, the charging station would be situated near the caretaker’s cottage, which is set to be replaced in 2021 or 2022, making it an “opportune time” to prepare the site for the charger. The charging station will be the first one on Gabriola outside of the Village core, Craig noted.
Installation of the Level 2 charging stations in the RDN will be paid for through a provincial grant as part of a mid-Vancouver Island 28-station network across 12 jurisdictions to build up infrastructure.
All the stations are planned to be installed in the fall, according to staff.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder