LIVINGSTON, NJ — In partnership with the Livingston Business Improvement District (BID) in an effort to assist local businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the Township of Livingston has relaxed zoning standards to help businesses start to re-open and make their customers feel safe.
Beginning this month, these standards will include relaxing outdoor-dining regulations so that restaurants can expand dining space to sidewalks and/or parking lots to allow for proper social distancing. Restaurants will also be allowed to install a temporary tent or awning to protect customers from the elements.
Additionally, Livingston businesses can now display an A-Frame sign to advertise that they are open and/or providing curbside pick-up. Banners and window signs will also be permitted.
Under the new regulations, local fitness studios will be able to use outside space at their locations to hold classes, and retail businesses will be able to hold sales on sidewalks and parking lots to offer customers outside shopping opportunities.
The BID has also worked with local businesses to make it easy for customers to purchase their products, including installing contactless payment platforms, selling products online, offering delivery options and providing curbside pickup.
For several weeks, independently owned businesses have been adjusting their hours, making private appointments and using masks, gloves and providing hand sanitizer to make customers feel safe. Some businesses are also conducting FaceTime and Facebook/Instagram sales.
In announcing these new regulations, the BID stated that the township council, planning board, township manager and all municipal departments “worked hard to find ways to help [Livingston] businesses reopen and adjust to the ‘new normal’” and that residents are “lucky to live in a town” where these entities can all work toward a common goal.
Below is a list of temporary guidelines specific to outside dining that all Livingston businesses must adhere to:
- In all cases businesses must follow the states guidelines for safe social distancing.
- Up to 75 percent of indoor seating is permitted outside (if space permits).
- Tables must be a minimum of six feet apart.
- A clear pedestrian passageway of no less than four feet must be provided so as not to impede pedestrian traffic.
According to the township, the outdoor seating area of a local business may extend to the front of another business or building provided that the applicant has obtained consent from the owner of the other building as wells the tenant(s) or owner(s) of the adjacent other business(es).
The business may also use parking spots and/or sidewalks adjacent to or in front of restaurant for outside dining purposes, although the area must be protected with heavy-duty planters or other barriers to protect diners from vehicular traffic. Temporary canopies and/or coverings, such as tents, awnings with posts, standing drapes/soft barrier, etc., will be permitted for all outdoor seating areas.
Although permits are not currently required, the Livingston Construction Official must approve a sketch of the area to be used prior to set up.
CLICK HERE for the application to expand outside dining, add signage and or hold a sidewalk sale in the Township of Livingston. No building or zoning fees will be charged.
CLICK HERE to read the state criteria for opening restaurants and/or bars in New Jersey.