South River council approves resolution waiving outdoor dining fee

PHOTOS BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

SOUTH RIVER–With restaurants hit hard financially due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Borough Council approved a resolution waiving the municipality’s outdoor dining cafes and restaurant fees.

The council approved the resolution on June 22 during the council meeting via video conference.

Any fee previously paid to the borough in the calendar year of 2020 will be refunded, according to the council.

In related news, the council also introduced an ordinance, which if adopted, will amend the borough code and no longer requiring restaurant/cafe owners to need council approval for outdoor dining permits.

Borough Administrator Art Londensky said the borough currently has an ordinance authorizing local cafes and restaurants to utilize the public sidewalk for dining.

“The ordinance is simply to revise conflicting portions of the borough code. Chapter 241 previously provided a procedure and an administrative approval for outdoor cafes and restaurants to utilize the borough sidewalk for outdoor dining; however, provisions in Chapter 155 specifically required council approval for an outdoor café and restaurant to utilize the sidewalk,” Londensky said.

Various borough businesses have requested and proposed the use of portions of public sidewalks for commercial ventures and outdoor dining as a means of enhancing the business district and the economic vitality of the borough, according to the council.

The amount of available outdoor table seating will not exceed the amount available indoor table seating at an establishment. Seating at the bar in an establishment will not make up indoor table seating for computing the amount of available outdoor table seating that an establishment may have.

For more information, visit www.southrivernj.org/agendas/council/.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.