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Posted on: May 13, 2020

Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Use Permit for Restaurants Outdoor Service Area Expansion

Governor Raimondo has announced that as of May 18, restaurants may resume limited outdoor dining service, with indoor dine-in service expected to resume at a later phase of the economic reopening. The Town is very aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the restaurant industry and In an effort to assist local restaurants in their efforts to expand their outdoor service area, the Town has implemented a streamlined approval process in order to issue a temporary special use permit for expanded outdoor service.

A Temporary Use Permit can be issued to restaurants for outside service areas based on the Town Manager’s and Governor’s Executive Orders to temporarily expand their service areas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to application, please contact Rich Bourbonnais  at 401-789-9331 x2252 or via email at rbourbonnais@southkingstownri.com for assistance.

Click here to apply through the Town’s online permitting system: https://southkingstownri.viewpointcloud.com/ 

In accordance with Executive Order 2020-02 (Second Amendment) issued by the Town Manager on May 12, 2020:

1. Restaurants located in the Town of South Kingstown are authorized to temporarily expand their service areas, subject to the following conditions:

  • Expansion must be pursuant to and in accordance with any executive orders issued by Governor Gina Raimondo, directives of the Rhode Island Dept. of Health, Dept. of Business Regulation, or any other state agency, including without limitation all of the rules set forth in the document entitled ‘Phase I Guidelines for Restaurants,’ available at www.reopeningri.com

  • Expansion shall be strictly temporary and shall be permitted only so long as any executive orders, directives, and/or guidelines related to COVID-19 and social distancing are in effect. The Town reserves the right to take enforcement action with respect to licensing and/or zoning against any establishment that fails to restore the conditions of the premises to what was permitted before social distancing measurers were required.

  • Expansion must be administratively approved by the Town Manager, Building Official, and Town Engineer. Restaurants wishing to expand must apply for approval via the Town’s online permitting system available at https://southkingstownri.viewpointcloud.com/

  • All applicable life safety codes must be satisfied.

  • Expansion shall not result in an increase in capacity beyond what is currently permitted.

  • For restaurants wishing to temporarily convert a portion of off-street parking areas into service areas, a parking plan shall be required.

  • Where expansion into an adjacent area not owned by the restaurant is proposed, the applicant shall provide written authorization from the landowner.

  • Before temporary expansion into public property or a public right of way is authorized, the applicant shall provide proof of liability insurance from a company licensed to do business in the state and in a form satisfactory to the town solicitor, of no less than $1,000,000 protecting the town for all claims and causes of action for personal injury or property damage resulting from such temporary expansion. 

  • Fees for building permits, etc. set by the Town shall not be required.

  • The applicant shall agree in writing that temporary authorization to expand shall not confer any vested rights to continue such expanded use after social distancing measures are no longer in effect.

2. The following provisions of the Town Code of Ordinances are hereby suspended/modified only in connection with a duly-authorized temporary expansion of a restaurant service area:

  • Sec. 12-11 shall not prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or the possession of open containers on a public way or street, beach, public picnic ground, park, amusement area or any other public place or building.

  • Sec. 907(c) of the Zoning Ordinance, requiring a special use permit for uses existing/permitted by special use permit.

3. Additionally, the section of the Town Council’s Liquor License Rules and Regulations entitled ‘Expansion of Liquor Services’ is hereby suspended, only in connection with a duly-authorized temporary expansion of a restaurant service area and subject to the case by case approval of the Town Manager.

4. An applicant denied permission to temporarily expand service area may appeal such decision to the Town Council.

Further, the South Kingstown Police Department is authorized to enforce these regulations in accordance with state directives and the Emergency Management statute.

This executive order 2020-02 (Second Amendment) shall remain in effect until the expiration of the State declaration of emergency. This executive order may be further extended if necessary by a subsequent executive order.


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