WILDWOOD CREST — The Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Wildwood Crest has passed a resolution authorizing approvals of temporary outdoor site plans for existing restaurant and retail businesses in response to social distancing requirements enacted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The resolution, passed at the regular bimonthly meeting held May 6, is designed to assist business owners of restaurants and retail stores in compensating for social distancing restrictions that may limit the number of persons located in their establishments at any one time.
This measure allows for the temporary use of exterior areas on the business premises and, in certain limited circumstances and where available, adjoining borough property or public right of ways for use to relocate dining tables and/or retail merchandise displays.
Any eligible business owner seeking approval of temporary site plans must submit those plans to the borough’s zoning officer. Business owners seeking usage of a portion of borough property will also be required to enter a license agreement with the borough for such use.
For existing restaurants, temporary site plan approval will permit the use of exterior areas on the premises, including existing onsite parking spaces for additional outside seating. The total amount of seating for any establishment will not be permitted to exceed what was already in place prior to the implementation of social distancing measures. Exterior seating may be accompanied by awnings, umbrellas, planters or other temporary furnishings or structures that help create and maintain an attractive appearance. Outdoor lighting must be indirect. Only soft music inaudible from adjoining properties will be prohibited. Outside cooking will also be prohibited.
All proposed seating plans will be subject to the discretion of the zoning officer and the police department to ensure public health and safety, as well as ingress and egress from the establishment. Outside seating must be closed to the public after 11 p.m.
For retail businesses, the use of merchandise displays for sales may be placed on the outside of the building to help compensate for social distancing requirements inside the establishments. Any proposed exterior displays will be subject to the same conditions and restrictions for temporary approval as exterior restaurant seating areas.
The usage approvals granted by this resolution will be in effect temporarily until such time as the resolution is revoked by the Board of Commissioners.
For further information, contact Wildwood Crest zoning officer Pat Malia at 609-729-8090.