Electric Nantucket Part 2: The Historic District Commission Weighs in on Plans to add Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to the MA Island

Posted by erik devaney

Courtesy of autogreenmag.com

Before the Nantucket Planning & Economic Development Commission can move forward with its plans to install five electric vehicle charging stations by next summer, Nantucket’s Historic District Commission must offer its approval.

Along with Vieux Carre in New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina, Nantucket was “among the earliest historic districts in the country,” as an article from the Historic Nantucket publication notes.

Since 1955, Nantucket’s Historic District Commission (or HDC) has been working to preserve the historic nature of Nantucket’s buildings and places. While originally limited to the Town of Nantucket and the Village of Siasconset, the HDC received jurisdiction over the entire island in 1972.

Today, all new construction as well as modifications to the exteriors of buildings on Nantucket Island must be approved by the HDC. The installing of electric vehicle charging stations is no exception.

And while the HDC may sound like a group that would be vehemently opposed to adding futuristic charging stations to its historic island, the commission is surprisingly in touch with the notion of keeping Nantucket up-to-date with new technologies.

“We’re supportive of any green and alternative energy initiative so long as it doesn’t detract from the historic resources of Nantucket,” Mark Voigt, the HDC’s head administrator, told New England Post.

According to Voigt, the main concern for the HDC is that Nantucket explores all possible options for the charging stations. “We’ll approach those the same way we approach anything for the districts by asking, ‘What are the alternatives?’ and ‘What are the benefits or drawbacks?’” said Voigt. The HDC’s ultimate goal: come up with a way to make the electric vehicle charging stations mesh with the historic aesthetic of Nantucket.

While it may sound like a challenge, Voigt explained to New England Post how the HDC has accomplished similar feats in the past. For example, years ago when the prospect of constructing cell phone towers on Nantucket was a hot-button issue, the HDC worked with companies and community members to come up with a solution that benefited all. This solution was to hide the transmission antennae inside of church belfries.

According to Voigt, the cell phone providers loved the idea because they could store their equipment someplace safe and unexposed to the elements; the churches loved the idea because the cell phone providers maintained their belfries; and the HDC – as well as Nantucket residents – loved the idea because they didn’t have to have their island littered with unsightly cell phone towers.

Voigt is already brainstorming ideas for how Nantucket can hide electric vehicle charging stations on the island.

One idea is to incorporate the charging stations into adjacent buildings. That way, the only visible components would be the cords and plugs that drivers attach to their vehicles.

Another idea is to hang the electrical charging boxes and wires onto wooden posts and to adorn them with wooden signs. Such a design would be keeping with the island’s historic aesthetic.

How do you, New England Post community, propose that the HDC keep electric vehicle charging stations from disrupting the historic charm of Nantucket? Leave a comment below!


Related posts:

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  2. Westport, CT to Get Electric Car Charging Station
  3. Carbon Day Brings Electric Vehicles to Copley Plaza
  4. New England Wind Wars: Two Companies Make Plans For Wind Farms Off Massachusetts/Rhode Island Coast
  5. “The Nantucket Project” Ideas Conference Debuts This Fall; Check Out Who Will Be Presenting

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Posted by erik devaney on Oct 24 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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