Santa Monica Pauses Tesla Supercharger Approval via Zoning Loophole



In a Santa Monica Planning Commission meeting last week, a Tesla V3 Supercharger station featuring 62 charging stalls was approved by City Council. However, a new vote this week has cast the station’s future into murky water.

On Tuesday, Santa Monica City Council voted to approve the Supercharger site for 1401 and 1421-1425 Santa Monica Boulevard, landing the station in what is an Emergency Interim Zoning Ordinance, as detailed in a staff report from the Council (via James Locke).

The zoning ordinance prohibits commercial development for 45 days with a planned extension of up to two years.

According to Locke, this decision could allow the council to “kill the project without providing any opportunity for public input.”

The station was set to be the world’s largest V3 Supercharger station, just ahead of California’s largest station in Firebaugh county, with 56 Superchargers. China’s Jing’An International Center in Shanghai, which features 72 stalls, is the world’s largest Supercharger in terms of V2 stalls.

While the V3 Supercharger Station that Santa Monica approved last week was to originally begin construction as soon as this summer, the new Emergency Interim Zoning Ordinance could delay the project indefinitely. The Council could effectively now approve any other development projects within the area it wants to, despite already having approved the Supercharger lot.

Earlier in the year, Tesla Club LA was mobilizing the community to help encourage the Santa Monica City Council to approve the Supercharger station.


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