SOMERSET, NJ - In an effort to assist struggling small businesses in the community, the council approved a resolution on Tuesday night waiving many rules, regulations, and ordinances during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Resolution 20-190 was unanimously approved. 

“This opens up a whole other world for our retail operators as well where they can move into the parking lot, tent sales or what have you, sidewalk sales," Township Manager, Bob Vornlocker said. "They can have them on a much more frequent basis, which gives them more exposure to the public, gives them more opportunities to make sales that they wouldn't otherwise, might not have if they were limited to occupancy inside their building.”

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Businesses will now be allowed to display onsite signs, banners, pennants, and flags as long as they do not pose a public safety issue.

“Onsite signs, banners, pennants, flags that do not require a building permit as long as they are not unsafe by reason of placement including but not limited to within a site line, site easement or otherwise create a hazard are hereby permitted without the need for a permit,” the resolution reads. 

Outdoor dining is now allowed for restaurants, and outdoor sales and services are also permitted on the property the business is located, as long as pedestrian and vehicular traffic is not impeded.

“Any sales or services on parking lots and other areas of the property except sidewalks shall require approval from the Township’s Technical Review Committee,” the resolution reads. "All such sales and services must comply with the requirements of social distancing and other regulations in accordance with all applicable Executive Orders issued by the Governor.”

Health Department regulations must be followed for all food sales or outside dining.   

The resolution is in effect for one year or until the council decides to repeal it.

Vornlocker has also been granted authority to “extend any licenses, permits and approvals issued by Franklin Township for any business subject to said extensions not otherwise being precluded from being extended without approval from other entities or applicable law.”

TAP here to read the resolution in full. 

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