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During the June 11, 2020, regular public meeting of the Township Committee, the governing body took significant steps to help the municipality’s restaurants, bars, taverns and eateries expand their present curbside pickup and takeout delivery service to allow outdoor dining. As of Monday, June 15th, these businesses can apply for a Township permit to operate a temporary outdoor dining facility until November 30, 2020. This decision by the governing body is consistent with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 150 and the June 3, 2020 Special Ruling of the Acting Director of the Division of ABC establishing temporary COVID-19 permits to expand licensed premises.
In addition to complying with the municipality’s modified outdoor dining requirements, these establishments will have to follow all related health and safety protocols issued by the New Jersey Department of Health. These include a limit of eight customers per table, a minimum of six feet distance between dining parties, and prohibition of smoking in any outdoor areas designated for consuming food or beverages. In cases where the restaurant serves alcohol, the facility will also need to obtain an Expansion of Premises Permit from the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverages.
“The Township Committee is committed to doing whatever we possibly can at this time to help our restaurants and related eating facilities get back on their feet,” noted Deputy Mayor John L. Ferramosca, who spearheaded the initiative by working with the departments of Administration, Building, Health, and Planning to streamline the process. He added, “there’s no fee to apply for the Township permit, and the application is on our website for easy, on-line filing."
Hard copies are also available from the Building Department. Ferramosca went on to say that Township officials will make every effort to fast track permit approval, in line with the governing body’s intent to strongly support outdoor dining as businesses scramble to recover from the economic hardships imposed by COVID-19. He also pointed out that the community will benefit as well, with the opportunity for residents and Morris County neighbors who have endured months of isolation at home to return to their favorite Hanover Township restaurants and bars to enjoy an outdoor meal or drink with the comfort and knowledge that health and safety precautions will be in place to protect patrons.
Business owners who would like to apply can visit the Building Department’s ’Applications, Checklists & Forms’ page on the Township’s website. A full copy of the outdoor dining resolution, the on-line permit application, and a link to the State’s “Expansion of Premises Permit from the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverages” (for those businesses serving alcohol) can be found at this location. The Building Department will coordinate the review and approval of all applications submitted for the Township’s permit. For questions on how to apply or to request hard copies of the application, please call the Building Department at 973-428-2462.