South Whitehall Tesla Charging Station Sees Temporary Delay


Tesla Motors wanted to set up a charging station in South Whitehall, Pennsylvania, but its proposal was stalled during a brief appearance in front of the township Zoning Hearing Board, says a report from The Morning Call. This is just a temporary setback for the EV firm as the next board review is on September 23rd.

Proposal on hold

Tesla is interested in setting up a charging station at Tilghman Square Shopping Center, 4650 Broadway, in South Whitehall, and was prepared to present its plan to the board. But as a prerequisite, it needed to secure a lease agreement with the property owner Tilghman Square Associates LP, and that it had not done so yet, said the report. Thus, in the absence of a binding agreement, Tesla had no legal standing to go forward with its proposal, ruled Maria Mullane, the board solicitor.

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Tesla is working to get a lease agreement with the property owner, noted Tesla’s installation program manager, Jesse Karp. The executive said they had a letter from Tilghman they thought will be sufficient for moving forward with the application. Karp further said the company first wanted to make sure the site can be used for the installation of the station, and only then can it commit to a lease agreement.

The board suggested Tesla make the property owner a co-applicant with lease agreement contingent upon the project’s approval, when the proposal is again under review by the board, the report said.

Will Tesla get the special exception?

For the installation of a supercharging electric station, a special exception is being sought by Tesla, indicated Karp. This is because most of the zoning codes do not allow for such a unique usage. The supercharger station will take only 20 minutes to fully charge an electric car battery. If installed, the South Whitehall station would the first and only high-powered recharging station in the area. Moreover, since this area lies between Harrisburg and New York City, it is an advantageous location for the company.

Few months back, Tesla gave up an earlier plan of establishing a supercharging station at the Lehigh Valley Mall, owing to several issues related to the construction and design during the approval process. The project would have required underground electrical work along Grape Street, and because of this, property owner JCPenney did not grant easements for the project, which was then shelved.