The Toms River Township Council has unanimously approved a resolution that would allow for temporary outdoor dining during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Under the resolution, a section of the Township Land Use Code will be amended for special event applications to allow for outdoor tables, chairs, umbrellas and benches for food establishments. The $100 permit fee is waived.
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 150, permitting outdoor dining starting on Monday, June 15th, with an accompanying Executive Directive from the New Jersey Department of Health that lays out health and safety standards that food or beverage establishments are required to follow. In addition, the Governor announced a special ruling by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control creating a pathway for liquor license holders to expand the premises on which they may serve alcohol.
Council President Maria Maruca said, “The Council has been working together to help our local businesses. We are being proactive so that once the governor does permit outside dining, Toms River will be ready for our restaurants.”
Mayor Mo Hill and Council President Maria Maruca are pleased to announce that today, June 15th, 22 restaurants have been approved for outdoor seating. These sites have provided layouts that were reviewed from an ADA, social distancing and parking perspective. Mayor Hill said additional applications are being reviewed as they come in, and review of complete applications has been a 1-2 day turn-around.
All applications must be filed in the Township of Toms River Zoning Office as follows:
1. A completed "Township of Toms River ZONING PERMIT APPLICATION".
2. The application must state the purpose and must also indicate the start date and duration.
3. The application must include a drawing depicting the size, dimensions, height, lettering, color and material of all special event signs. Applications for temporary outdoor display of goods should indicate the type, material and dimensions of the display area.
4. The application must include a survey or site plan based upon a survey marked to show the location and dimensions of all temporary outdoor display areas, tents and special event signs (banners, pennant banners, streamers, bunting; snipe signs, "A’ frame signs, etc.). Drawings depicting tents must comply with Section 348-8.37 of the township, code.
5. Proposals for building mounted signs must include a drawing or photograph depicting the facade of the building and the location of the sign (s).
6. Any application for a special event at a site where multiple tenants exist (e.g. shopping center) must include a letter from the landowner or property manager approving the event.
1. The duration of any permit issued under this temporary policy shall remain in effect until such time as:
i. The governor removes the restriction for said applicant’s type of business;
ii. The governor changes the restrictions for said business and changes to the approved layout are requested under a replacement permit.
iii. Unforeseen issues arise from the implementation of a permit which could not be resolved with a new permitted layout or procedure.
Restaurant owners are advised to review these guidelines before submitting an application to the Zoning Office as these rules will be amended periodically consistent with Executive Orders and the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Mayor Maurice B. Hill said, “I want to thank the Township Council for approving this resolution. We believe that part of the Governor’s next phase of reopening will include restaurants and increased outdoor dining and this is the appropriate step to help them get back on their feet.”
“We are all concerned about health and safety and the proper precautions will be place. All applications will be reviewed by our Township staff,” added Council President Maruca.
View the full permit here, Zoning Permit Application Outdoor Dining.
Copy of Executive Order No. 150
Copy of DOH Executive Directive on Outdoor Dining
Copy of NJ ABC Special Ruling