FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Division of Planning has created the Spring 2021 Outdoor Reopening Guide, a guidance document for businesses looking to reopen outdoors in 2021.

“This is another example of how the County is using all of its resources to support and assist small businesses during the pandemic,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Planning, Economic Development and Tourism are working together to get this guide to our towns and local chambers of commerce so businesses can continue to operate safely as the summer tourism season approaches.”

The Reopening Guide references examples of real-life outdoor business designs to inspire readers as well as links to definitive sources on important issues like COVID-19 related spacing and design guidelines used by cities across the United States.

“Everyone is looking forward to spring and warmer weather, especially after a long winter season,” said Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Planning Board. “This guide arrives as restaurants and other businesses are getting ready to reopen outdoors.”

The guide was crafted around a vision statement: “To create opportunities for businesses disrupted by COVID-19 that are safe and accessible for all”, and sets the related goals of Safety, Opportunity and Access.

These goals led the authors to consider crowd prevention, social distancing, delivery zones and other factors when choosing a safe location for outdoor seating. Businesses are strongly encouraged to work with their municipal officials in conforming to local zoning, building and construction requirements before implementing outdoor accommodations.

“It’s important that people enjoy dining and shopping safely and conveniently in our downtowns and along our main streets.” said Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, representative to the Planning Board.

To access the document, go to and navigate to Monmouth County Division of Planning. Hard copies are available and can be provided upon request.