COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Regulations

ADVISORY: Temporary Outdoor Dining Regulations for Middletown Restaurant Owners

On Monday, June 1 Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey is entering stage two of the state’s reopening on Monday, June 15, which includes outdoor dining. That evening, the Middletown Township Committee also approved a resolution regulating temporary outdoor dining for existing restaurants during a COVID-19 State of Emergency.  

Per Resolution 20-138, restaurant owners need to submit a conceptual plan, property survey or site plan that accurately depicts existing conditions at least 7 days in advance of the proposed starting date of the outdoor dining use. An accurate hand drawn depiction of what is proposed is permissible. All application and review fees are waived. Plans must be submitted electronically to Zoning Officer Marianne Dunn at: mdunn@middletownnj.org. The plans submitted to the Zoning Officer must be approved and signed off on by the following:

  1. Construction Official
  2. Fire Marshal
  3. Police Chief
  4. Administrator
  5. Director of Planning
  6. Health Department Director

Outdoor food service is limited to a maximum of 50% of the number of seats inside the restaurant. The following information should be submitted to the Zoning Officer for distribution and review by the Township officials listed above.

  • A written statement and explanation of their intention must be submitted along with plans, including intended days and hours of operation of the outdoor dining area.
  • A sketch of the site, to include parking area(s) and seating area(s), pedestrian and vehicular access routes.
  • The establishment shall indicate on the plan the current number of seats inside.
  • The number of onsite parking spaces must comply with the parking requirements of the Township parking ordinance or existing conditions.
  • Please indicate if you are planning to use any form of canopy.
  • Existing Handicap parking spaces on site must be maintained.
  • Please indicate if any added exterior lighting is proposed.
  • Where the applicant is not the property owner, written permission from the property owner must be provided.
  • Proof of liability insurance for outdoor use must be submitted.
  • A sketch of the proposed seating area, with tables indicated, shall be submitted.
  • A Fire Prevention Permit must be obtained if required.
  • Health Department approval must be obtained if required. 

Please be aware, if you intend to utilize an enclosed tent or canopy structure, additional fire and building codes will likely come in to play. All food preparation shall be done indoors in the existing kitchen.

The Township does not currently have specific guidance regarding whether licensed premises may be expanded during the COVID-19 State of Emergency to permit the service of alcohol beyond the currently licensed areas.