Hopewell Township announces support for local restaurants, including expedited application process for outdoor dining

Special pasta offered by Cuginos Italian Market, one of the many area restaurants affected by the COVID-19 shutdown

Restaurants in Hopewell Township and throughout New Jersey are currently limited to offering takeout food only as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. When restaurants are allowed to reopen, there will be restrictions on the number of guests who can eat inside. These restrictions will create significant financial and operating challenges for restaurants in our community.

In recognition of these challenges, the Hopewell Township Committee is announcing a streamlined application process for new, safe outdoor dining options.

Any restaurant interested in offering a new outdoor dining option may request a Temporary Activities Permit from Hopewell Township. The application is on the Township’s website here.

Township staff and the Township Committee understand the need to process applications as quickly as possible. While the instructions to the application state that the application should be filed at least one month before the event, Township staff will work to process each application on an expedited basis with the goal of completing review as quickly as possible. Township staff will also work with applicants to help create outdoor dining options that can be operated safely and comply with key code provisions.

A Temporary Activities Permit has to be approved by the Township Committee, which normally meets once every two weeks. In light of the economic hardship caused by the pandemic, the Township Committee will review and approve permits on a regular and frequent basis.

Any restaurant interested in filing for a Temporary Activities Permit is encouraged to do so as quickly as possible. It is not necessary to wait until Governor Phil Murphy issues an Executive Order permitting outside dining. Any permit issued before guidelines for outdoor dining are released will be conditioned on compliance with those guidelines.

In closing, we thank all of the restaurants and other local businesses who have given back and supported the Hopewell Valley community over the years. We stand with you and are hopeful that this new provision for outdoor dining and the associated expedited application process will help you during these difficult times.

Submitted by Hopewell Township

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