The Santa Maria Planning Commission just greenlit a proverbial field of dreams for the Central Coast. As of June 7, the Blosser Ranch apartment development is a go, and its plans call for 301 apartments and more than 301 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
You heard that right: If the city builds it, they will come. And by “they,” I mean electric vehicles. There will be enough charging stations for each apartment—and guests, according to the complex’s developers.
Heather Gray, founder of Gray Electrical Consulting and Engineering, described this type of EV charging-station initiative for a housing development in Santa Maria as “absolutely unprecedented” and “bracing where the industry trends are going.”
I say it’s about darn time.
This level of EV awareness and accommodation is now officially precedented, so it should be easier to go where these “industry trends” are leading.
How else will any steps be taken in abating the climate crisis? How else will any positive change be accomplished in weaning ourselves off of complete fossil-fuel dependence?
There have been a handful of laws and initiatives put in place to mandate the momentum of such trends. In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed more bills than I can list here that work toward the state’s climate and clean-energy goals. Specifically, he set a goal of getting and supporting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (hybrid and electric vehicles) on the road by the year 2025, and 5 million on the state’s roads by 2030.
As of April, that first goal had been met two years ahead of time, according to the governor’s office.
Thanks to Santa Maria getting with the times, those local EVs will have some charging stations to call home.
To misquote that famous Kevin Costner movie again, if the county builds it, first-responders will come. New Cuyama’s emergency services just received some new digs—an $8.2 million state-of-the-art station to house both the County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
New Cuyama’s station was originally built in 1948, and the firefighters and sherff’s deputies had been operating out of multiple buildings since then, including a home and an apparatus garage. The quaint-sounding arranement fits with the model of responders living in the small rural community, but now they’re more with the times.
“Over the years, Station 41 [Station 27] had been remodeled in some areas of the station to keep it in working condition, but the establishment of the new station has been a great investment not just with the community, but the fire station as well,” said County Fire Capt. Scott Safechuck.
This is purely one of those coincidences that we in the news biz love to notice, but shortly before the ribbon was cut, those firefighters had a fire to respond to. They kept it to less than an acre, but Safechuck took the opportunity to highlight the need for nearby firefighters.
“As we get into warmer weather, it will be very prominent,” he said.
Much like as we get into warmer climate on the whole, our need for easy access for residents to make needed changes—like buying and charging electric vehicles—will become very prominent.
Keep building our fields of dreams, Santa Maria!
The Canary loves disappearing into corn fields. Send a tiny baseball glove and bat to [email protected].