East Brunswick Council loosens restrictions for restaurants’ outdoor seating


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EAST BRUNSWICK–Seeking to help eateries safely regain their customers, the Township Council approved a resolution allowing outdoor seating for restaurants located in East Brunswick.

Mayor Brad Cohen said Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state’s four-stage system to reopen the state and how it will move forward; however, the timeline from getting to each stage is based on science and how well citizens respond.

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“Right now we are in stage one where we have relatively low-risk activities that are allowed. Stage two is going to be associated with people opening up restaurants with outdoor seating, some limited indoor salons, gyms, childcare, in some capacity summer camps, libraries and cultural sites,” Cohen said.

“That really takes us to the reason why we have on the agenda a resolution to provide for outdoor seating for restaurants, so when we get to that stage, we have a plan in place so people are not rushing to our planning department to get those approvals,” he said.

Outdoor seating will be temporarily permitted as an accessory use to a restaurant, fast food restaurant and drive-in restaurant as those terms are defined in the township’s zoning ordinance, according to the council.

The temporary period will be up to 120 days unless a longer or shorter time is established by an executive order by the governor, according to the council.

Outdoor restaurant seating will not require the filing of a site plan application.

With an unanimous vote, the council approved the resolution on May 18 during the council via video conference.

A temporary outdoor restaurant seating application must be obtained prior to the creation of any outdoor seating. A drawing of the proposed outdoor restaurant seating area must accompany the zoning permit application, according to the council.

The town will waive the filing fee for a temporary outdoor restaurant seating application to the township’s Planning and Engineering Department seeking to create outdoor restaurant seating, according to the council.

A restaurant’s outdoor seating area may not exceed 1,000 square feet.

No performance bond, maintenance bond or engineering inspection fees will be required in connection with an approved outdoor restaurant seating plan, according to the council.

The resolution will take effect on the date that restaurants for dine-in service are permitted to reopen by an executive order from the governor.

For more information, visit www.eastbrunswick.org/198/Planning-Engineering or www.eastbrunswick.org/129/Agendas-Minutes.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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