Hoboken’s Business Recovery Plan Approved, Small Businesses Can Now Use ‘Outdoor Sidewalk Space’

Written by:

Back in May, a business recovery plan for Hoboken was introduced, which would permit businesses to expand outdoor space on the sidewalk to accommodate customers while also following social distancing guidelines. Now, as of June 5th, that business recovery plan has been approved unanimously by the Hoboken City Council. The currently approved plan will “allow for small businesses to utilize more outdoor sidewalk space, create shared spaces, permits the use of streateries and parklets, and create closed streets for expanded outdoor capacity,” according to the City of Hoboken website.

Of course, this good news comes just a few days after even more good news when NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced that outdoor dinging can resume in the state as of June 15th — this means that once outdoor dining officially begins, Hoboken restaurants can apply to utilize expanded outdoor space to accommodate customers very soon. Here are the details.

hoboken sidewalk openings outdoor dining kiosks

^Rendering sent by Councilman DeFusco and Council President Jen Giattino

Outdoor Seating Expanded

“The expanded outdoor spaces throughout Hoboken will allow all businesses to get back to work for you,” Grace Sciancalepore and Anthony Pino, the co-chairs of the Hoboken Economic Recovery Task Force, said. “Every one of us is committed to keeping you healthy as you come back and enjoy Hoboken small businesses.”

The original plan was introduced back in May by Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Council President Jen Giattino when they sent an email introducing a potential business recovery plan. Councilman Mike DeFusco and Council President Giattino also released a joint statement shortly after regarding the introduction of the ordinance, which they had shared about several weeks prior to the plan being introduced.

Both statements, however, offered similar sentiments regarding the eventual reopening of New Jersey and Hoboken, as both would inevitably come with some restrictions.

“[The] eventual re-opening guidelines from the State of New Jersey anticipated to include reductions in indoor capacity, the [proposed] ordinance seeks to proactively maximize outdoor space for businesses and provide safe areas for customers,” Mayor and the Council President’s press release read.

“The hospitality industry has been devastatingly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as elected leaders, it is our job to help the mom and pop shops in our community recover and succeed. Though our current social distancing guidelines prohibit dining at restaurants, the time will soon come where our eateries, bars, and cafes will once again be allowed to serve food and beverages, but likely with limited capacities. This is our opportunity to identify creative and innovative ways to help these businesses keep their doors open in Hoboken,” Councilman DeFusco and Council President Giattino’s joint statement read.

Now, that ordinance, those proposals, and sentiments will be brought to fruition following approval from the City Council this week. Again, this follows Governor Murphy’s executive order to reopen restaurants for outdoor dining on June 15th — just in time.

Click here to view the plan.

The Plan

The ordinance includes flexible provisions to facilitate an outdoor expansion by local businesses, and permits the following through an expedited approval process:

Sidewalk café expansion

  • Daily outdoor sidewalk cafes can extend hours of operation by one hour on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays
  • Sidewalk cafes can expand, so long as six feet of sidewalk width is maintained
  • Businesses can expand outdoor cafes to adjacent properties with the neighboring property owner’s consent
  • Tables in sidewalk cafe must be 6 feet apart measured from backs of opposite chairs to promote social distancing

Streatery: new outdoor shared spaces

  • Daily outdoor, shared public space that temporarily converts curbside parking spaces for outdoor dining where take-away food and beverages can be consumed
  • Dining space separated from adjacent parking and travel lane using moveable safety barriers such as barricades, planters, bollards, or similar structures
  • Tables in streatery must be 6 feet apart measured from backs of opposite chairs to promote social distancing

Parklets: new outdoor shared spaces

  • Seasonal public seating platform that temporarily converts curbside parking into a mini-park as an extension of the sidewalk
  • Semi-public parklet built in partnership between the city and a specific local business
  • Enclosed from adjacent parking spaces and travel lane using built-in safety barriers such as planters, bench, wall, railings, bollards
  • Six feet of separation to be maintained between tables in a parklet (or streatery) to promote social distancing

Open streets for businesses and pedestrians

  • Permits certain City streets to close for three contiguous blocks, to facilitate outdoor retail and dining with tables and chairs in the street in a socially distanced setup
  • Initially proposed for Sundays and Thursday evenings, schedule may change
  • Designed to expand outdoor seating capacity for businesses with additional space, as opposed to congregating or a “block party”
  • City facilitates road closures through expedited event approval process
  • Open streets plan builds off pilot open streets on Jefferson Street and Adams Street to facilitate additional socially distanced space for pedestrians for biking, walking and jogging

Expanded retail use of sidewalks

  • Retail businesses and services can use the area in front of their stores to display merchandise during business hours
  • Permits outdoor signage that was previously prohibited

Flexibility and waiving of fees

  • Options for expanding outdoor capacity are flexible to accommodate different locations and types of businesses
  • Application process will provide general design guidelines for sidewalk cafés, streateries, and parklets; each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Sidewalk café fee waived for 2020
  • City is exploring various options with the Hoboken Business Alliance and other groups to help subsidize the cost of the streateries, parklets, and open streets

Sidewalk café expansion

Daily outdoor sidewalk cafes can extend hours of operation by one hour on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays
Sidewalk cafes can expand, so long as six feet of sidewalk width is maintained
Businesses can expand outdoor cafes to adjacent properties with the neighboring property owner’s consent
Tables in sidewalk cafe must be 6 feet apart measured from backs of opposite chairs to promote social distancing

Streatery: new outdoor shared spaces

Daily outdoor, shared public space that temporarily converts curbside parking spaces for outdoor dining where take-away food and beverages can be consumed
Dining space separated from adjacent parking and travel lane using moveable barriers such as barricades, planters, bollards, or similar structures
Tables in streatery must be 6 feet apart measured from backs of opposite chairs to promote social distancing

Parklets: new outdoor shared spaces

Seasonal public seating platform that temporarily converts curbside parking into a mini-park as an extension of the sidewalk
Semi-public parklet built in partnership between the city and a specific local business
Enclosed from adjacent parking spaces and travel lane using built-in barriers such as planters, bench, wall, railings, bollards
Six feet of separation to be maintained between tables in a parklet (or streatery) to promote social distancing

Open streets for businesses and pedestrians

Permits certain City streets to close for three contiguous blocks, to facilitate outdoor dining, retail and recreational activities in a socially distanced setup
Initially proposed for Sundays and Thursday evenings, schedule may change
Designed to expand outdoor seating capacity for businesses with additional space, as opposed to congregating or a “block party”
City facilitates road closures through expedited event approval process
Open streets plan builds off pilot open streets on Jefferson Street and Adams Street to facilitate additional socially distanced space for pedestrians for biking, walking and jogging

Expanded retail use of sidewalks

Retail businesses and services can use the area in front of their stores to display merchandise during business hours
Permits outdoor signage that was previously prohibited

Flexibility and waiving of fees

Options for expanding outdoor capacity are flexible to accommodate different locations and types of businesses
Application process will provide general design guidelines for sidewalk cafés, streateries, and parklets; each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

Open Streets Liquor Licenses

Liquor licensee will file for a “Petition to Extend Licensed Premises” permit application for approval by the NJ State ABC

Area in which alcohol will be served/consumed shall be gated from the rest of the “open street”

Security from licensed establishment shall secure the entry and exit of said area to ensure identifications are checked upon entry for legal age and liquor does not leave gated area

Acccording to the City of Hoboken website, “businesses can now begin utilizing the shared spaces once given approval from the City. The application for streateries, parklets, and open streets is now active and can be accessed by visiting the City’s dedicated small business recovery webpage at http://www.hobokennj.gov/businessrecovery.”

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

email buttons


Check out Hoboken Girl’s new Job Board here!

 

Join Our Mailing List


Deals, News, + Everything Local

Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. With deep entrepreneurial roots in Hudson County — as her grandparents owned textile businesses on Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen dating back to the 50s — she started the site as a Hoboken resident to discover the amazing things happening in the area. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her two pups, or watching Bravo TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


CLOSE
CLOSE