In collaboration with the County, Towns and Villages throughout Suffolk, the Town of Smithtown has launched an online system for dining establishments to file for temporary outdoor accommodations. The one page application is designed to assist existing restaurants in the Town who are authorized by the Governor to re-open, but lack the indoor space to accommodate social distancing requirements. The temporary permit for outdoor dining would allow these accommodations through November 1, 2020.
“I first want to commend Councilman McCarthy and the team of Department Directors who fast tracked this application. Peter Hans, Bill White, David Barnes, Mark Riley & our Fire Marshall Nick Kefalos have implemented a simple system that will make life easier for approximately 226 already struggling food establishments. This is the kind of good governing that is going to help rebuild our local economy. With the support of Suffolk County, the Supervisors Association and our village leaders, we will continue to work together to assist every small business… one by one if necessary.” - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
Food establishments that are located within a Village are required to apply to both the Town and Village. Mayor Mark Delaney (Village of the Branch) has been working in conjunction with the Town to ensure a cohesive process for each business located within the Village.
“This outdoor dining process is a vital part of the equation to get our extremely important restaurants up and running and financially healthy again. We will be turning around applications within 72 hours in an effort to do everything in our power to assist our small businesses with this transition.” - Councilman Tom McCarthy
The application requires each establishment to submit a plan, drawing, survey, or an aerial map from Google Maps/Earth, Bing, etc indicating the location of the proposed outdoor seating in accordance with the social distancing guidelines. The application is then reviewed by the Fire Marshal, the Planning, Building, Environment and Waterways and Engineering departments in a three business day turnaround.
A number of safety guidelines and requirements are laid out for the applicant to ensure patrons are kept safe, while not disrupting any nearby residential area. Seating capacity can not exceed the total number as permitted by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and can not be located within 150 feet of a residential structure. Additionally, there must be adequate parking, a physical barrier to protect customers from vehicle traffic, all handicap/ADA parking stalls and pathways must remain open and accessible, and sidewalk widths must not be reduced to less than 36”. All COVID-19 outdoor accommodation can only be utilized between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM.
All COVID-19 outdoor accommodations must meet Fire Code standards, including points of egress, access to fire extinguishers, and tent and awning ratings, if applicable. Seating can not block entrances, exits, fire lanes, hydrants, sprinkler connection points, drive aisles, back-up areas, pedestrian or handicapped access. All outdoor areas must be maintained and free of trash and other debris and trash receptacles must be provided. All existing natural areas or required buffers must remain untouched.
Restaurants with a liquor license must obtain approval from the state to serve alcohol in an outdoor area. Outdoor bars are not permissible in any outdoor accommodations. Tents are included in this application and must comply with the standards set in Section 273 of the Town Code. Businesses must post their COVID-19 temporary outdoor accommodation permit and layout plan in the establishments window and be visible at all times for inspection. All temporary outdoor accommodations permits expire on November 1st, 2020.