Proposed Chicago Ordinance Governs Installation of Electric Vehicle Chargers

A new “Electric Vehicle Right to Charge Ordinance” was put out to the Chicago City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate on July 20, 2022. The proposed rule would allow unit owners (and tenants), under certain circumstances, to connect an electric vehicle charging station to their “exclusive” parking space to a community association’s garage common electrical infrastructure. This ordinance is currently only being considered; it has not yet been approved.

If the proposed ordinance is adopted as written, the following general principles will be included in the legislation governing the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by unit owners or tenants: the board has the right to impose reasonable restrictions; the board must adhere to an approval process; the board may impose conditions on approval, such as execution of a written agreement with specific terms and conditions; and the board may require insurance.

All budgets approved by a condominium board must include reasonable reserves for capital expenses related to the maintenance, repair, or replacement of the common elements in accordance with section 9(c)(2) of the Condominium Act.

Although it is not required by law, the most popular and advised method of reserve fund planning is to hire a professional reserve study so the board can properly budget for the reserve fund by knowing how long common constituent components will stay functional. In reality, section 9(c)(2) explicitly stipulates that the board should take a reserve study into account when creating the reserve fund budget.

Without a reserve study, the board will lack the knowledge necessary for long-term planning and runs the danger of unexpected failure of a common element component, which could need unforeseen and expensive repairs. Additionally, the organization might not have enough money to cover these repairs, forcing an emergency special assessment or bank loan. Planning ahead is always advised, and the best method for doing so is to do a reserve analysis.

Condominium boards must hold open meetings for unit owners to attend and observe while debating association business, according to Section 18(a)(9) of the Condominium Act. However, if a condominium board has an in-person meeting, it is not necessary to offer unit owners a way to watch the meeting over the phone or by video conference if they are unable to attend in person.

Although a board cannot be compelled to permit unit owners to call into a board meeting via phone or video conference, doing so is usually done. Since the COVID pandemic began, the majority of condominium associations have switched to holding board meetings via telephone or video conference, which has been warmly welcomed by both board members and unit owners for the convenience of participating in a board meeting in the comfort of their own home.

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