The Maplewood Township Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday night that will allow temporary weather enclosures for businesses in Maplewood Village through the winter months.
This winter will serve as a pilot program for the enclosures. Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca reported, “Last they went up, and they really got away from us. This year we told them they couldn’t put them up.”
However, DeLuca said that he and Julie Doran of the Maplewood Village Alliance had met with Construction Official Robert Mittermaier recently regarding a request by the Alliance to allow canvas sidewalk entry weather enclosures for businesses — if they meet certain criteria.
Based on that meeting, Mittermaier created criteria for the pilot program: the enclosures are allowed only in Maplewood Village; there must be four feet of clearance between the curb and the enclosure; the enclosures are only allowed through the winter months; businesses must show that they have insurance covering the enclosure; the applications must contain a drawing illustrating the enclosure; and snow and ice must be removed on either side of the enclosure.
Businesses applying for the enclosures must submit their applications to the Alliance and Township building department. “The decision has to be made immediately because we are in the winter now,” said DeLuca. The mayor added that there will be a fine for non-compliance for obstruction of the sidewalk for businesses that do follow the criteria.
“This is probably going to be five stores that are going to use this,” said DeLuca, who noted the high cost of such structures. In response to Committeeman Marlon K. Brownlee’s concern about making the enclosure allowance available to other businesses in town, DeLuca said that if someone else outside Maplewood Village wants to apply they would need a variance.