Hoboken releases propane, electric heating guidelines for winter outdoor dining

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The City of Hoboken has released propane and electric heating guidelines for winter outdoor dining as the temperature outside begins to drop.

Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Hoboken is doing everything possible to facilitate socially distant outdoor dining options for residents to enjoy. We are committed to working with our businesses to continue keeping as many people as possible outdoors in a safe and comfortable environment during upcoming winter months,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“Thank you to the City Council for working with my administration on these important initiatives.”

Last month, Councilwomen Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher proposed an ordinance that would open up the possibility of outdoor dining continuing throughout the end of the year.

The city is permitting both electric and propane heaters for outdoor dining, pending approvals from the building department (electric) and fire department (propane).

In the cases of propane heating, the heater cannot be placed within five feet of building, under an overhang or canopy, or within five feet of anything combustible, and a fire extinguisher must be located within 25 feet of heater.

Additionally, patrons must not interact with heater, the heat tank cannot be stored inside or within 10 feet of the establishment, the heater must be removed during storms or snow events, and the heater must automatically turnoff when tipped over.

Regulations for an electric heater are essentially the same.

Furthermore, rules for seasonal canopies remain unchanged.

“Food or beverage establishments are permitted to offer in-person service at outdoor areas, defined as open air spaces that either 1) have no roof or cover or 2) have a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50 % of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed,” according to Executive Order 163.

Shade, seasonal canopies, sheds, or other structures more than 50 percent enclosed would be considered indoor dining.

Meanwhile, temporary “pop-up” seasonal canopies less than 10 x 10 feet do not require a permit, while larger canopies require approval from the Hoboken Building Department and Hoboken Fire Department.

As far as entertainment is concerned, DJs and amplified music are banned, while broadcast announcements, speakers, and acoustic music are permitted in sidewalk cafes, streateries, parklets, and Summer Streets until 10 p.m.

The city deadline to apply for a new parklet or streatery is October 1st, while those asking for an extension have a deadline of October 31st.

For all applications and additional information regarding outdoor dining in the winter, and contact information for businesses to reach city staff, click here and visit the business recovery home page at http://www.hobokennj.gov/businessrecovery.

Since the resumption of outdoor dining, Hoboken has approved over 50 streateries and parklets in the city.

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