ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, No. 4190

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

  ADOPTED JUNE 18, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  HOLLY T. SCHEPISI

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman DePhillips, Assemblywoman Dunn, Assemblyman Peters, Assemblywoman Murphy, Assemblymen Wirths, Space, Webber, Bergen, DiMaio, Assemblywomen DiMaso, B.DeCroce, Chaparro, Assemblyman Peterson, Assemblywoman Stanfield, Assemblymen Spearman, Thomson, Giblin, Armato and Mazzeo

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits certain entertainment and retail activity during current public health emergency and state of emergency.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Substitute as adopted by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

  

 

 

 


An Act expanding opportunities for restaurants, bars, and breweries to provide outdoor service during the period of the COVID-19 emergency.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.     Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, during the period that P.L.     , c.         (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) is in effect, the governing body of a municipality, by resolution, may designate one or more days per week, from Thursday through Sunday, during which any municipal street or road, or county street or road, that traverses a business district of the municipality, and any municipal or county parking lot located in a business district, shall be closed to vehicular traffic and shall be accessible by pedestrians only, so that the owners or operators of restaurants, bars, and breweries as defined in this section, located on those county or municipal streets or roads, and near those parking lots, may use the streets or roads, sidewalks, and parking lots of the business district as an extension of their business premises for the purpose of conducting sales of food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages if so licensed.  Municipalities shall require that any restaurants, bars, or breweries, operating pursuant to this subsection shall follow, maintain and enforce social distancing and personal protective equipment use protocols promulgated by the Commissioner of Health or Executive Order of the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     For the purposes of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), “brewery” or “breweries” shall mean those entities operating under a limited brewery license pursuant to R.S.33:1-10.

     A resolution adopted by the governing body of a municipality pursuant to this subsection shall delineate the following information:

     (1)   a detailed description of the municipality’s plan for the use of the streets, roads, and parking lots to be closed, including, but not limited to, the number of restaurants, breweries, and bars that intend to use the closed roadways and parking lots for sales, and the times of day that the  sales shall begin and end;

     (2)   the municipality’s plan for the closure of the municipal or county streets, roads, and parking lots and the diversion of traffic to other municipal or county streets or roads and parking lots on the dates set forth in the resolution adopted by the municipality; and

     (3)   measures to be taken by the municipal police department to maintain the safety and security of municipal residents during the closure of municipal and county roads, streets, and parking lots, for the business activity permitted in this subsection.

     b.    A resolution adopted pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall not permit a restaurant, bar, or brewery, to engage in the practice newly enabled by the resolution unless and until the restaurant, bar, or brewery, enters into an agreement with the governing body of the municipality and, if county roads, streets, or parking lots, are to be closed, the governing body of the county to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless, the municipality and, if applicable, the county, from any claims resulting from any actions or inactions of the restaurant, bar or brewery, its staff, or its customers during the dates specified in the resolution.

     c.     A municipality that has adopted a resolution pursuant to subsection a. of this section that would close municipal streets, roads, or parking lots, shall transmit a copy of the resolution, either by fax or e-mail, to the clerk and the police chief of each adjacent municipality, no later than two business days following the adoption of the resolution.  The county governing body, or a county official designated by the governing body, shall review and approve or reject the resolution not later than five business days next following receipt of the resolution.

     d.    A municipality that has adopted a resolution pursuant to subsection a. of this section that would close county streets, roads, or parking lots, shall transmit a copy of the resolution, either by fax or e-mail to the county governing body not later than two business days following the adoption of the resolution.  The county governing body, or a county official designated by the governing body, shall review and approve or reject the resolution not later than five business days following receipt of the resolution.  The closings shall be deemed to be approved if the county governing body, or a county official designated by the governing body, does not reject the closings.  Any approval or rejection shall be determined and transmitted to the municipal clerk, either by fax or e-mail, not later than five business days following receipt of the resolution.  For the purposes of this subsection, “county governing body” shall mean the county executive in any county operating under the county executive plan of the “Optional County Charter Law,” P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-1 et seq.), or the board of chosen freeholders in any other county.

     e.     A municipality that has adopted a resolution pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall provide a public notice to businesses and residences located on the streets or roads, or near the parking lots, to be closed pursuant to subsection a. of this section. The public notice may be in the form of a mailed, e-mailed, or hand delivered letter or a text, e-mail, or phone message transmitted via electronic means through a municipality’s emergency alert system in addition to being posted on the municipality’s Internet website.

     f.     A municipality may close a municipal street or road, a county street or road, or a parking lot pursuant to subsection a. of this section only if the municipal police department determines that an alternative traffic pattern exists for motor vehicles to move safely around the closed streets, roads, and parking lots, that the closure of the county or municipal streets, roads, and parking lots does not impede public safety or pedestrian safety in the municipality, and that the closure of the county or municipal streets, roads, or parking lots shall not result in truck or heavy equipment traffic being diverted onto residential municipal or county streets, roads, and parking lots on the dates, and during the periods of time, that the business activity authorized in subsection a. of this section takes place.

     g.    The municipal police department shall enforce all State and local traffic laws on any municipal or county street, road, and parking lot, on the dates, and during the periods of time, that the business activity authorized in subsection a. of this section takes place.

 

     2.    a.   Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, during the period that P.L.    , c.         (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) is in effect, the owners and operators of restaurants, bars, and breweries, as defined in section 1 of P.L.    , c.        (C.                ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be permitted to use outdoor spaces, which they own or lease and which are adjacent to their business premises, as an extension of their business premises for the purpose of conducting sales of food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages if so licensed.  For the purposes of this section, “outdoor spaces” shall include patios and decks, both covered and uncovered, yards, and parking lots, or a portion thereof.

     b.    Owners or operators of restaurants, bars, and breweries, as defined in section 1 of P.L.     , c.         (C.               ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), desiring to utilize outdoor spaces as defined in subsection a. of this section shall file an application with the municipal zoning officer that includes a plan, sketch, picture, or drawing, that depicts the design, dimensional boundaries, and table and chair placement, of the outdoor spaces.  In the case of using the business premises’ parking lot for the service and sale of food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages if so licensed, the area to be used for such purposes shall not exceed 50 percent of the parking lot’s total area and shall not encumber more than 50 percent of the lot’s parking spaces, unless the parking lot contains less than five parking spaces, and shall not eliminate more than 50 percent of the total number of handicapped parking spaces in the parking lot.  Applications that are compliant with the provisions of this section shall be approved by the zoning officer within five days of submission, and the municipality may not charge a fee for either accepting the application or issuing the approval.

     c.     Municipalities shall require that any restaurants, bars, or breweries, operating pursuant to this section shall follow, maintain, and enforce social distancing protocols and personal protective equipment use protocols promulgated by the Commissioner of Health or Executive Order of the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

     3.    The Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall issue a special ruling within seven calendar days of the effective date of P.L.      , c.        (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) pursuant to R.S.33:1-39 to entitle the holders of plenary retail consumption licenses and limited brewery licenses to extend their licensed premises to allow for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public streets, roads, and parking lots, and outdoor spaces as defined in section 2 of P.L.      , c.           (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  The special ruling shall require that any restaurants, bars, or breweries operating pursuant to this section shall follow, maintain, and enforce social distancing and personal protective equipment use protocols promulgated by the Commissioner of Health or Executive Order of the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The special ruling shall not require licensees to submit an application to, receive approval from, or pay a fee to either the municipality or the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to extend their licensed premises, other than that which is required by subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.       , c.         (c.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), but shall require the that the licensee notify the chief of police and municipal clerk not less than 48 hours prior to engaging in the business activity authorized in P.L.     , c      (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  This special ruling shall be in effect only during the time period established in section 6 of P.L.      , c.          (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     4.    Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.      , c.        (C.         ) pending before the Legislature as this bill) to the contrary, all other municipal ordinances pertaining to noise, business days and hours of operation and days and hours of service of alcoholic beverages shall apply, unless specifically suspended or modified by the municipality. Municipalities are expressly permitted by P.L.     , c.             (C.                ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to either prohibit or limit the days and hours of any live performances, including musical performances, and the playing or projection of any content from a recording, streaming service or television, cable or internet broadcasting service in outdoor spaces as a condition of either the municipal resolution pursuant to section 1 of P.L.        , c.          (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) or the zoning approval pursuant to section 2 of P.L.          , c.       (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     5.    Nothing in P.L.      , c.         (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be interpreted or construed as permitting or mandating the opening, expansion, or resumption of unlimited operations of a restaurant, bar or brewery that is closed, whether permanently or temporarily, or operating subject to limitations on its operations, service, or hours, as a result of disciplinary or legal sanctions imposed by, or entering into a settlement agreement with, a court of the State of New Jersey, a municipal court, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or a municipal governing body acting as a local alcoholic beverage control board, as applicable.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire on: (1) the date of expiration, termination, or rescission of any and all executive or administrative orders issued by the Governor or Commissioner of Health establishing coronavirus-related indoor service, occupancy or customer seating restrictions applicable to restaurants, bars, or breweries; or (2) the first day of the seventh month following the date on which the Governor declares that the state of emergency has ended, whichever date occurs later.