Assemblyman ROY FREIMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Assemblyman ANTHONY S. VERRELLI
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Removes time restrictions for certain temporary structures to remain on commercial farms during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning certain temporary structures on commercial farms.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or best management practice to the contrary that sets forth a time limitation for the erection of certain temporary structures on commercial farms, an open or enclosed canopy or tent lawfully erected during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency on a commercial farm in accordance with the standards for on-farm direct marketing facilities, activities, and events adopted by the committee pursuant to P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-1 et seq.) may remain in place until the resumption, pursuant to an Executive Order issued by the Governor, of indoor dining without capacity limitations or December 31, 2020, whichever is later.
A canopy or tent remaining in place pursuant to this section shall:
(1) comply with all other standards for on-farm direct marketing facilities, activities, and events adopted by the committee pursuant to P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-1 et seq.); and
(2) be immediately removed on the date indoor dining resumes without capacity restrictions pursuant to an Executive Order issued by the Governor, or December 31, 2020, whichever is later.
b. As used in this section:
“Commercial farm” means the same as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-3).
“Committee” means the State Agriculture Development Committee established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-4).
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would allow open or enclosed canopies or tents lawfully erected on commercial farms to remain in place during the COVID-19 emergency until indoor dining resumes in the State without capacity restrictions or December 31, 2020, whichever is later.
Recognizing that the State’s agricultural community plays an important role in the State’s economy and that farm markets represent a safer, outdoor venue during the COVID pandemic, this bill would allow tents which were erected on commercial farms as part of an on-farm direct marketing facility, i.e., farm market, to remain in place. Currently, temporary structures, including tents, allowed as part of on-farm direct marketing facilities are subject to conditions on the length of time that the temporary structures may be left in place. This bill would remove those time restrictions for tents, provided that all other conditions are met.
Since March 2020, the State has been confronting the viral disease known as coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19), which has necessitated certain emergency measures to curtail its spread. As part of these measures, on March 16, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 104, effectively closing all non-essential businesses in the State, due to the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency previously declared by the Governor due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order affected thousands of businesses and especially food establishments, as only take-out and delivery service was allowed. As part of the State’s reopening plan, since June 15, 2020, food establishments have been able to offer outdoor dining service. Further, on June 26, 2020, the Governor signed Executive Order No. 157, which would have allowed indoor dining to resume on July 2, 2020, subject to a capacity limit of 25 percent. However, on June 29, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 158 rescinded his decision to reopen indoor dining.