Huntington – Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and his colleagues on the Town Board, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman Eugene Cook, Councilwoman Joan Cergol and Councilman Ed Smyth were joined by Huntington Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force Chairperson Andrea Bonilla to announce the Town of Huntington’s newly launched Business Reopening Resources to assist and simplify the reopening process for businesses across the town, including instructions, forms and the waiving of fees for outdoor dining permits and sidewalk sales ahead of Phase Two of New York State's reopening plan takes effect Wednesday, June 10.
“As Huntington reopens for business, the Town is here to help simplify and accelerate that process, waiving many fees associated with temporary outdoor dining approvals, sidewalk retail, and creating new processes with no fees, to help our businesses get back on their feet,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “While Town Hall remains closed to the public we are open for business, hard at work serving our residents and our small businesses, the economic engine of our community and we are united in our focused effort to assist these businesses recover in the short term.”
“Retail stores inherently have tight margins so local government needs to soften regulations so folks can make money while operating at a lower capacity,” stated Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
“The reopening of Huntington businesses is essential to the economic recovery of not only our town, but each individual within Huntington.” stated Councilman Eugene Cook. “As a business owner myself, I know how difficult these last few months have been, I am proud to stand here with my colleagues, to introduce the launch of Business Reopening Resources page on our website, which will assist business owners to get information needed to restart your business, and simplify the processes for outdoor dining permits, sidewalk sale guidance and information on our Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force. The Town of Huntington supports every one of you, and I ask you to please reach out to myself or my colleagues, with your ideas on what is needed to help our economy recover from this pandemic.”
“I am proud to join with my Town Board colleagues to help businesses re-open in our downtown and greater Huntington community in every way that we can, including streamlining permits for outdoor dining and sales and waiving the permit application fees. All businesses are essential to our residents, and local economy, and I stand ready to join with members of the Huntington Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force, local Chambers, our BID’s and business owners to get Huntington back to business,” stated Councilwoman Joan Cergol.
“The Town has simplified its application processes for outdoor dining and other small business activities. However, ‘simplified’ doesn’t mean ‘simple.’ If there is any confusion or complication with these new programs, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (631) 351-3175,” said Councilman Ed Smyth.
“The Huntington Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force is honored to be able to represent the vast array of businesses that make our town an economic thriving center on Long Island. We’re all eager to collaborate and help each and every business within our Town not only reopen, but pave a path to long term recovery and success. The success of each business in our town is the success of all of us!” said Andrea Bonilla, Chairperson, Huntington Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force.
Outdoor Dining on Sidewalks
The Business Reopening Resources page has launched with instructions and forms for establishments that wish to offer temporary outdoor dining on sidewalks of Town and County roads to help accelerate the reopening process for food establishments in areas where the Town has jurisdiction; the Town is waiving the $200 permit application fee associated with the approval process.
The Town is awaiting guidance from New York State regarding regulations that govern temporary outdoor dining on sidewalks of State roads, such as Main Street/25A and New York Avenue; information will be posted on the Reopening Resources page once guidance is received from New York State.
Outdoor Dining in Town Municipal Parking Lots
Limits on outdoor restaurant occupancy, with 6 feet of distancing required, naturally reduces capacity and parking demand. The Town has created an application process for establishments that wish to expand their outdoor dining footprint with temporary outdoor dining in a Town municipal parking lot contiguous to their establishment. Each establishment applying to use space in a municipal lot would be limited based on a percentage of their current legal occupancy limit. Once indoor dining is allowed in Phase Three, outdoor occupancy would be further limited based on an establishment’s legal occupancy limit.
On-Premises Outdoor Dining
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has created a simplified application process for establishments that wish to offer temporary on-premises outdoor dining on private property, including areas not typically used for outdoor dining, such as sections of parking lots on private property. Applications submitted and reviewed by the Planning Department will be presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a decision at their weekly meetings; the Town is waiving multiple fees for this process.
OUTDOOR RETAIL/SIDEWALK SALES
The Town has created a process that allows merchants to display merchandise and operate on a public sidewalk in front of their store. The new, temporary process simply requires certification from the merchant that such activity will not obstruct the passage of at least two (2) individuals walking side-by-side along that sidewalk; typically the process requires Town Board approval.
The Business Reopening Resources page also includes guidance on construction permits affected by COVID-19 shutdowns, instructions on how to reserve metered municipal parking outside of storefronts in the Huntington Village Business District, as well as links to New York State Phase-by-Phase Reopening Guidance and Resources, and other information for businesses affected by the COVID-19.