NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Town Council voted during their meeting on June 22, to approve Resolution #151-2020 which permits temporary outdoor seating for restaurants during the pandemic shutdown of retail and commercial businesses in the Town of Newton.

The resolution states the following in regards to obtaining outdoor seating:

  • The temporary period shall be up to 120 days, unless a longer or shorter time is established by an Executive Order issued by the Governor
  • 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 Town Zoning ordinance.
  • A zoning permit for temporary outdoor restaurant seating must be obtained prior to creation of any outdoor seating. The zoning permit application must be accompanied by a drawing of the proposed outdoor restaurant seating area.
  • The town will waive the filing fee for a zoning permit for a temporary outdoor restaurant seating seeking to create outdoor restaurant seating
  • The town will expedite the review of all applications seeking to create outdoor restaurant seating
  • No performance bond, maintenance bond or engineering inspection fees will ne required in connection with an outdoor seating plan

The following guidelines must be adhered to in order for a business to maintain a area of outdoor seating:

  1. The outdoor seating area may not exceed 1,000 square feet
  2. The seating area can be located on public sidewalks, where adequate space is made for pedestrian public, level grass areas and in parking lots
  3. When outdoor areas are in the parking lots, protection structures must be put up for extra public safety,
  4. Temporary lighting will be required if the outdoor seating is proposed to be utilized after dusk
  5. An awning or umbrella may be utilized within an outdoor area, but tents will not be permitted
  6. The proposed hours of operation of the outside restaurant area will be included in the temporary outdoor restaurant seating application
  7. No outdoor seating area may not be located within an approved delivery area/loading zone
  8. Restaurants with existing outdoor seating areas may wish to expand the existing area
  9. The consumption of alcohol will continue to be regulated by the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, therefore all applicants are responsible for verifying their liquor license permits the serving of alcohol outdoors.
  10. All outdoor seating areas must close by 11 p.m.
  11. An approved outdoor restaurant seating area must be discontinued or reduced in size if proper social distancing is not maintained or the restaurant establishment does not comply applicable sanitary and cleaning standards, use of masks, or partitions, or other Executive Order requirements issued by the Governor.

Currently, there are four restaurants offering outside dining in the town since it was allowed by Governor Murphy last week:

  • Mi Ranco
  • O’Reilly’s
  • Applebee’s
  • Thai Nam Phet II