City of Camden, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Camden 12-14-2006 by Ord. No. MC-4258. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Food and beverage vending machines — See Ch. 259.

Licenses and business regulations — See Ch. 332.

Mercantile businesses — See Ch. 343.

Retail food establishments — See Ch. 448.

Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 491.

Transient merchants — See Ch. 537.

Zoning — See Ch. 577.

§ 469-1

§ 469-2
Sidewalk cafes. 

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

Any restaurant, cafe, cafeteria, or place of business operated for the purpose of serving food and/or drinks.
Refers to that area of public right-of-way reserved for pedestrian traffic from the curb to the front line of the building housing the food establishment.
Any food establishment where food and/or drinks are served upon the public right-of-way, namely the sidewalks directly in front of any food establishment, or where permitted on private property as provided in this chapter.

Requirement of a license. It shall be unlawful for any food establishment to create, establish, operate, maintain, or otherwise be engaged in the business of operating a sidewalk cafe upon the sidewalks of the City of Camden, or on private property, unless such food establishment shall hold a currently valid license issued pursuant to the terms of this section.


General location. No license shall be issued hereunder unless the food establishment demonstrates that a minimum of four feet, beginning at the curbline, will be available for pedestrian traffic around such sidewalk cafe and that such sidewalk cafe be directly in front of a food establishment No food or drinks served at such sidewalk cafe shall be prepared or stored other than in the interior of the food establishment. Outdoor buffets and similar outside food storage and preparation outlets are strictly prohibited. The phrase "directly in front of," as used in this chapter, shall confine the sidewalk cafe to the area represented by an extension of each side of the building housing the food establishment projected directly to the curbline directly in front thereof.


Application for license. Application for the license required hereunder shall be made to the Zoning Officer and shall be signed by the applicant. The application shall contain the following information:


The name, residence, address, and telephone number of each individual, owner, partner, or, if a domestic corporation, the names, residences, addresses, and telephone numbers of the directors and officers owning a ten-percent or greater interest in the corporation and the chief operating executive of the corporation, and if a nondomestic corporation, the name, residence, address, and telephone number of the managing officer for service of process within the State of New Jersey and a copy of said nondomestic corporation's authorization to conduct business in the State of New Jersey.


A copy of the trade, corporate, business, or fictitious name upon which the applicant intends to do business pursuant to this section.


The address and description of each place where the applicant intends to establish or operate a sidewalk cafe.


The name and address of the food establishment owning the premises, if other than the applicant, and the consent of the owner of the premises to the application.


Thirteen sets of a proposed layout plan containing scaled drawings prepared by a licensed professional architect or engineer dearly illustrating the number, type of materials, color and location of all tables, chairs, umbrellas, or other furnishings or fixtures intended to be located in the sidewalk cafe. All tables and chairs must be constructed of material of sufficient weight so as to not be affected by high winds. The perimeter of the sidewalk cafe shall be defined and set off by a portable-type enclosure, which may include live potted plantings on City property. The enclosure shall define the perimeter of the area to be used as a sidewalk cafe and shall separate it from the pedestrians traversing the adjacent sidewalk. The enclosure shall not contain doors or windows nor air-conditioning or heating equipment and shall be open at all times to the air, and the barrier shall not have a height of more than three feet. Awnings or outdoor umbrellas extending over the enclosure are permitted, provided that the lowest portion of the awning or umbrella is not less than seven feet above the adjacent sidewalk and does not extend more than one foot beyond the enclosure. The scaled drawings shall also illustrate the following:


The location of any doors leading from the food establishment to the sidewalk cafe. No such doors may be obstructed in any manner.


The number of feet and location of unobstructed space permitting free passage of pedestrian traffic around each sidewalk cafe.


The location of the place where any food or drink is intended to be prepared.


The enclosure or protective barrier separating the eating and serving area of each sidewalk cafe from pedestrian traffic.


The location of all bus stops, fire hydrants, utility poles, benches, handicap ramps, street furniture, trees and any other fixtures permanently located on the sidewalk in front of the food establishment or within 10 feet thereof on either side or any side.


The type and location of any proposed outdoor lighting fixtures and should include the following information: mounting height, lamp type, and lumens. Any open-flame-type fixture shall only be permitted with the approval of the Fire Official.


An application fee as set forth in the Code of the City of Camden.


Zoning Officer review of application. The Zoning Officer will review the application for completeness and compliance with the terms of this section. If the application is complete, the Zoning Officer will act upon the same within 10 business days of the submission and specifically detail the areas in which the application lacks compliance with the requirements of this section.


Issuance of license. If the application complies with this section, the Zoning Officer shall issue a license strictly subject to the terms and conditions of this section.


Transfer of license. The license is issued to and held by the applicant, and any change or transfer of ownership of the sidewalk cafe shall terminate the license and shall require a new application and a new license in conformance with all of the requirements of this section.


Inspection of sidewalk cafe. Acceptance of the license by the applicant shall operate as a consent to the health, fire, police, and building officials of the City of Camden to inspect the sidewalk cafe for continued compliance with the terms and conditions of this section and any federal, state, county or local law, ordinance or regulation affecting the same.


Indemnity. No license required by this section shall be granted to any food establishment to operate a sidewalk cafe until such food establishment shall have filed with the Zoning Officer a statement agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Camden, its agents, servants, representatives, or employees from any or all claims, damages, judgment costs or expenses, including attorney's fees, which they or any of them may incur or be required to pay because of any personal injury, including death, or property damage suffered by any person or persons as a result of or related in any way to the operation and maintenance of the sidewalk cafe for which the license is issued.


Revocability of license. Any license issued hereunder is issued solely as a revocable license which shall be subject to revocation or suspension pursuant to all applicable provisions of the Code of the City of Camden for failure of any licensee to comply with this section or for violation of any other applicable federal, state, county or municipal law, regulation or ordinance. Any license issued hereunder is issued upon the express understanding that the licensee obtains no property rights thereunder and no interest in the continuation of said license.


Unlawful operation of sidewalk cafe. It shall be unlawful for any food establishment to operate a sidewalk cafe after the suspension or termination of the applicable license.


Cleanliness of area. Each licensee is responsible for keeping the area of the sidewalk cafe and the adjacent sidewalks and streets free and clear of debris or litter attributable to the sidewalk cafe. Areas must be cleaned as needed and at the time that business is closed and at the beginning of each business day.


Vending machines. No vending machines of any kind are permitted on the exterior of any building operating a sidewalk cafe.


Signs. No signs shall be permitted in the area of the sidewalk cafe except easel and awning signs complying with this section and all other applicable provisions of the Code of the City of Camden.


Modification, suspension or revocation of license. In addition to the powers of suspension or revocation as set forth above, the City of Camden reserves the right to modify, suspend, or revoke any license on 10 days' written notice if the City determines that the sidewalk cafe has violated the terms and/or conditions of its approval, is a hazard to public safety or because of any other safety issue within the City because of such operation. The license may also be suspended or revoked on 10 days' written notice in the event that the City determines that it is necessary to utilize the area or any part thereof for the maintenance or installation of underground utilities. In the event of an emergency, which emergency is certified by the Director of Code Enforcement, the license may be suspended or revoked without notice.


Duration and renewal of license. The license, when issued, shall be valid for one year. If there is no change in use, a renewal license, upon payment of renewal fee as set forth in the Code of the City of Camden, may be issued by the Zoning Officer upon submission of a renewal application. The applicant shall certify on the application no change in the scope or use from the previously issued license.


Outdoor equipment. No tables, chairs, or other equipment used in the sidewalk cafe shall be attached, chained or in any manner affixed to any tree, post, sign, curb or sidewalk or property of the City of Camden within or near the licensed area. All equipment used in connection with the operation of a sidewalk cafe shall be of sufficient size and weight to avoid being blown about by the wind. No food items shall be served upon paper, styrofoam, plastic or with plastic utensils. All equipment, tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc. pertaining to the outdoor seating area shall be removed at the end of each and every evening and secured within the confines of the building. No equipment, tables, chairs or any other material of any kind shall be permitted to remain outdoors during hours in which the business is not open to the public and operating.


Termination of license. The licensee agrees at the end of the license period, or in the event that the license is temporarily or permanently suspended or revoked, that the licensee will at his own cost and expense vacate the sidewalk space and promptly remove any property placed thereon. Failure to do so on five days' written notice shall grant to the City the right to remove any property on the sidewalk, and the licensee agrees to reimburse the City for the cost of removing and storing the same.