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B.C. strata owner loses fight for EV charger

B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal found putting an electric vehicle charger in would be a significant change to common property, requiring approval of 75 per cent of owners.
An East Vancouver man won't be getting an electrical vehicle charger at his strata parking stall soon.

A Vancouver strata owner has lost his bid at the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal to install an electric vehicle (EV) charger at his parking stall.

In the end, the decision came down to whether or not the strata’s other owners approved such a move or not.

Ulrich Laue co-owns a unit in an East Vancouver building and claimed the strata wrongly denied his request to install the EV charger. He argued the parking stall is limited common property and sought a tribunal order for the strata to permit the installation.

However, the strata disagreed. It said the entire parkade is common property and the EV charger and other permanent items required to install it would be a significant change in the use or appearance of that common property.

Such a change, it said, requires owner approval and there has been no vote.

Tribunal member David Jiang, in his March 21 decision, said the strata plan explicitly labels parking stalls as common property.

The strata had been considering the idea of EV chargers, including the concept of communal chargers. A survey showed 75.9 per cent of owners supported installing EV chargers.

At an April 2021 AGM, the owners held a 3/4 vote to approve a resolution about installing two EV chargers. This included raising $12,500 to fund the installation, amending the bylaws to dedicate two visitor parking stalls for the EV charging station and amending the bylaws to outline a procedure for EV use. It did not pass.

So, Laue asked the strata for permission to install an EV charger near his parking stall, a new BC Hydro electrical meter and new electrical box for circuit breakers in the main complex electrical room, and electrical cables from the electrical box to his stall.

The strata said that change would entail another vote.

Jiang ruled such a change would entail a significant disruption in the building.

“As the owners have not voted to approve the change by the necessary margin or at all, I dismiss Mr. Laue’s claim,” he said.

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