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Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order 150 permitting outdoor dining and in-person non-essential retail effective Monday, June 15 at 6am. The Executive Order details the requirements that outdoor dining facilities must follow. The requirements include limiting capacity; satisfying the Department of Health standards, which includes obtaining all City of Asbury Park approvals before offering outdoor dining; ensuring group seatings are six feet apart in all directions; prohibiting patrons from entering the indoor premise except for walking through or use of the restroom, and requiring face covering while doing such; prohibiting smoking in the outdoor areas designated for food and drink service; and compliance with applicable local, State and federal regulations.
The Executive Order also permits brick-and-mortar premises of non-essential retail businesses that were closed to the public by Executive Order No. 107 to reopen. Such businesses will be required to adopt the requirements outlined in Executive Order 122, paragraph 1. This includes limiting capacity to 50% of maximum capacity, installing physical barriers between customers and cashiers, and requiring workers and customers to wear face coverings, among other requirements.
In addition, the Executive Order allows municipalities to use their existing authority to permit establishments to expand their footprint to outdoor areas, both within their property and in City-governed rights-of-way such as sidewalks or streets. City Council has been working on a plan to extend outdoor dining and outdoor retail displays into public rights-of-way (including sidewalks and streets) to afford your businesses additional outdoor space to assist in the reduction of capacity and social distancing requirements as per the Governor’s orders.
The City is currently confirming logistics and necessary requirements to expand footprints, and will be creating a 2020 Outdoor Dining and Outdoor Retail Sales Temporary Permit so businesses can request use of public rights-of-way. Details will be finalized in time to adopt a resolution at the June 10, 2020 Council Meeting to temporarily relax existing ordinances and procedures to help expedite the process. At that time, we will also release the current plan for street closures in Asbury Park.
Once the Council Meeting takes place, we will be able to release a link to an online application where you can easily submit all necessary information and documents to apply for the 2020 Outdoor Dining and Outdoor Retail Sales Temporary Permit. Requirements (which will be similar to previous years’ requirements for a Sidewalk Sale and Outdoor Café permits) will include, but may not be limited to: providing a description of items to be placed in the public rights-of-way (ie. tables, chairs, display racks etc.); providing a diagram/drawing that includes exact dimensions of the space requested along with position of tables etc.; supplying a Certificate of Insurance, etc. For Boardwalk businesses that are using the same outdoor space that was approved last year, the only requirement will be to provide a diagram/drawing outlining the position of outdoor tables, chairs etc.
All applicants must have a current Mercantile License on file. If you have not yet paid your 2020 Mercantile fee, we would suggest contacting the City Clerk’s Office as soon as possible at 732-502-5721.
With the relaxed procedures, we anticipate being able to approve complete applications quickly in preparation for the June 15, 2020 reopening date.
Please note, the Monmouth County Health Department will be conducting inspections as it relates to requirements outlined by the Executive Order in satisfying Department of Health standards. Inspections will begin starting June 15, 2020.
In addition, for those with a Liquor License, the ABC has created the new COVID-19 Expansion Permit to address the anticipated need of licensees to expand their premises to allow reasonable seating capacity while observing social distancing guidelines. This permit will be available to all licensees with retail consumption privileges and will allow liberal expansion privileges subject to local approval. The COVID-19 Expansion Permit will be available exclusively through ABC’s POSSE Online Licensing System (“POSSE”). An ABC COVID-19 Expansion Permit is only required if there is an expansion beyond previously approved outdoor areas. For details on the ABC’s COVID-19 Expansion Permit, visit www.nj.gov/oag/abc.
We are sending this notice in advance of the application being available in hopes to provide you with time to prepare. We know how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has been on your business and our goal is to make reopening as seamless as possible. Please reach out with any questions. We are all in this together.