June 9, 2020 | 8:00 PM
At their meeting on Tuesday, June 9, the Board of Selectmen approved temporary regulations to support the business community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health requirements for social distancing have placed new burdens and challenge on the business community to provide more physical space between customers and staff. To respond to the new distance requirements, and in light of the local Declaration of Emergency, the Board of Selectmen have adopted temporary outdoor regulations.
These regulations will allow existing local businesses to utilize outdoor seating in parking lots, or on-street parking spaces, sidewalks, or landscaped yard area around their businesses to provide more space for patrons. Proposals will still be reviewed by Town staff, but the processes normally used to make these types of modifications have been amended to be more responsive to business’s needs.
The newly adopted regulations allows the Town Manager to temporarily modify a number of permits and licenses, such as use of a sidewalk or modifications to an existing property’s layout, eliminating many of the administrative requirements that take weeks to navigate. As this is related to COVID, these rules apply only to existing businesses that have already received their initial permits and will sunset when the crisis ends.
“We are looking forward to working with businesses on their applications and expect quick turnaround times on most applications,” said Aaron Henry, the Town’s Director of Land Use and Community Services, alluding to the nearly dozen inquiries the Town has already received. The Town’s Director of Planning and Economic Development, David Fields, has his division prepared to process the applications and has organized the interdepartmental review team responsible for vetting them.
The complete regulations and process can be viewed on the Town of Danvers website, https://www.danversma.gov/covid-businesses/ Businesses who are interested in applying for a modification should contact the Planning and Economic Development office at [email protected] or 978-777-0001 ext. 3019.