By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners Thursday, March 23 extended the option for restaurants to have outdoor dining until Dec. 31.
Resolution 112 of 2023 temporarily extends the ability of restaurants to serve food and liquor in the right-of-way outside their restaurants or at contiguous properties controlled by a mercantile license. The expansion of liquor service to outdoor areas was initially approved during the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited occupancy of indoor dining spaces by as much as 50%.
The measure provides the Code Enforcement Officer and Police Chief to ensure that the outdoor dining option does not interfere with pedestrian passage, parking or vehicular traffic.
The city will issue a temporary permit for those restaurants that request it. Permits demonstrating compliance with regulations regarding the safe passage of pedestrians, location of tables and chairs will be granted at the sole discretion of the Zoning Officer. Service must end by 11 p.m.
The restaurant owner must hold the city harmless and indemnify it against any claims.
According to Commissioner of Revenue and Finance Maria Mento, Police Chief Joseph Fussner worked with the Zoning Department to streamline the permitting process and most restaurants have already been approved ahead of the summer season.
“With his involvement, it went so much smoother,” Mento said.
“Once parameters were set and people were clear and the communication was there, it fell into place,” Commissioner of Public Safety Tim Kriebel said. “We want outside dining, we just want it to be safe and compliant.”
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