EAST ROCKHILL — The township has new guidelines allowing existing businesses to have outdoor sales of merchandise and/or outdoor dining during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's mostly towards dining, just making sure they have enough parking and to really allow them to function during these difficult times,” Township Manager Marianne Morano said in a telephone interview.

The resolution was passed at the East Rockhill Township Board of Supervisors June 23 meeting, she said.

It will be in effect for 90 days.

Along with making sure the businesses have enough parking spaces for customers, the resolution says businesses using part of the sidewalk for outdoor sales or dining must leave enough space for persons using the sidewalks.

“If a business uses spaces in a parking lot, excluding handicap spaces, the business shall provide safe separation between its customers and vehicles with the use of physical barriers (Jersey Barriers, concrete dead weights, etc.) approved by the Zoning Officer and shall not occupy any handicapped parking area. Emergency Services shall not be impeded by use of sidewalk or parking lot areas. A plan shall be remitted for approval prior to using outdoor areas,” the resolution says.

The landlord or property owner must give written approval for the business' use of outdoor space, the resolution says. County, state, federal and township regulations must be met.

With the move into the green phase of the state's coronavirus guidelines, the board is expecting to hold its July meeting at the Pennridge Regional Police building, she said.

“Due to social distancing, we will probably have people register to attend and we will have to limit attendance so there's not overcrowding,” Morano said.

If that is done, it will be similar to a planning commission meeting held during the pandemic, she said.

The supervisors have been meeting at the township building in meetings that were closed to the public. Members of the public who wanted to comment at the meetings could do so by filling out a comment form or by email.

“We try and get the agenda out early,” Morano said.

If there is limited seating for a meeting and people have to register, the seating will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis with the seats going to the persons who register first, she said.

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