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Township Council Gives Helping Hand To Retailers, Restaurateurs

The Township Council on May 26 took steps it hopes will help ease the transition into normalcy for some Franklin restaurants and retailers.

The Council passed a resolution allowing for those stores and restaurants to serve patrons in their parking lots or other outdoor areas of their property. The tables or goods must be set up to not interfere with pedestrians or vehicles.

Restaurants would also be allowed to set up sidewalk dining, providing it did not interfere with people walking on the sidewalk.

TRhe stores and restaurants would have to abide by any social distancing regulations imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy, and must be approved by the township’s Technical Review Committee.

The resolution also eased signage restrictions, allowing signs, banners, pennants and flags to be put on a commercial property without a permit, providing they’re placed in a safe spot.

“All of this is in anticipation of what we believe will be pretty significant restrictions as to how many people can be in a restaurant,” said Township Manager Robert Vornlocker. “we’re trying to give them a fighting chance.”

“We figure this will open up a whole ‘nother world for our retail operators as well,” he said.

Township Councilman James Vassanella (D-Ward 5) said it is “an absolute necessity to support our businesses.”

Mayor Phil Kramer said the resolution would be in force for a year, unless it is repealed earlier.

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