Three plaintiffs have brought a proposed class action against the city of Philadelphia over its City Council's revisions to guidelines for the creation of parking spaces reserved exclusively for electric vehicles.
“By stripping [the plaintiffs] and the putative class of their exclusively reserved electric vehicle parking spaces after they had expended substantial funds installing the electrical charging stations servicing those spaces, [the defendant] has caused [the plaintiffs] and the putative class to lose the benefit and value of their respective investments in the charging stations, and the improvements they have made upon public property,” lawsuit summarizes. “At the same time, [the city of Philadelphia] has gained the value of and been enriched by these improvements.”
The background of the case dates back to November 2007, when Philadelphia’s City Council added an “Electric Vehicle Parking” section to the city’s code. Through the ordinance, Philadelphia residents could apply for exclusive parking for their electric vehicles, for which parking spots could be granted following a thorough investigation performed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. After an application was approved, the case says, the city would then be required to erect a sign at the location of the spot denoting it as reserved for an electric car.
The case claims that proposed class members paid all fees associated with applying for electric parking spots, as well as submitted required documentation proving they owned or leased electric vehicles. The lawsuit further claims the individuals, per the requirements of the 2007 ordinance, “paid for and arranged the installation of an approved electrical vehicle charger at the curb” in close proximity to their homes.
On April 6, 2017, Philadelphia’s City Council allegedly amended its ordinance by imposing a moratorium on creating new electric vehicle parking spots “under certain terms and conditions.” The amendment, the case continues, reportedly imposed a new rule reserving the parking spaces from only 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, allowing non-electric vehicles to park in the spots outside of those hours for two hours at a time.
When the amendment was presented to Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney, he reportedly declined to lend his signature, saying he disagreed with the revisions to the electric parking space ordinance.
“However, pursuant to the provisions of Section 2-202 of the City’s Home Rule Charter, having not been signed and returned to the City Council within 10 days, the amendment became effective on April 20, 2017 as if the mayor had signed it,” the lawsuit reads.
The proposed class covered by the lawsuit includes everyone who applied for and was granted an “exclusively reserved designated electric vehicle parking space” in Philadelphia pursuant to City Ordinance Section 12-1131 before it was amended effective April 20, 2017.