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Anticipating the abrupt arrival of winter last weekend, the Town, County, Health Department, and joint Fire/EMS Department spent the prior week mobilizing to support local businesses to put up temporary tents near their indoor locations to increase occupancy during the winter months. The COVID-19 virus remains a concern in our community and surrounding areas, which means that physical distancing will still be a necessity for months to come. The Town and County heard local businesses as they expressed appreciation for being able to have parklets this summer and fall and their need for something similar as temperatures drop. Tents, though temporary, are considered indoor spaces per fire and building codes and trigger the need for life and safety regulations that were not necessary for outdoor parklets in the warmer months. Town and county departments worked together to sort through details and necessary parameters to ensure that through mitigating for COVID-19, larger life and safety hazards will not be created. Various departments assessed necessary minimum requirements and worked together to develop a streamlined application and review process for businesses to apply to put up Temporary Tents starting today. These temporary permits will be for tents or structures larger than 120 square feet and erected for less than 180 days. If the structure is attached to an existing building, elevated deck, or is up for more than 179 days, a Commercial Building Permit must be used. Businesses applying for Temporary Tent permits will also need to apply for temporary permits from the Health Department. Both applications are available on the town’s website here:
Temporary Tents - Membrane Permit Application
Increased occupancy will allow businesses to continue to adhere to COVID-19 State Health Order #1, which calls for businesses to provide space for customers to maintain physical distance between parties.