Signs of rules easing in Elizabeth

Food trucks, outdoor spaces, signage get a break


Temporary signage, food trucks and temporary outdoor events including sidewalk sales have an easier path now in Elizabeth, after the town's board of trustees voted unanimously to waive some regulations of the municipal code for three months.

The resolution approved on May 12 was described as an effort to help local businesses that are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and assist them in engaging with the community as they slowly reopen.

Grace Erickson, assistant town administrator, said Resolution 20R17 was made after board members communicated with other municipalities across the state, and was designed to be specific to businesses in the Town of Elizabeth.

“Our goal with helping local businesses was to provide flexibility, as well as options, such as expanding the use of their outdoor space, waiving fees and duration for signage, and allowing sidewalk and parking lot sales,” said Erickson.

All waivers of fees or codes will be effective through Aug. 11, unless extended by the board of trustees.

For a full list of regulations and waivers, including whether or not a business needs a permit, contact the town hall at 303-646-4166, or visit the municipal code at

Signs on nonresidential property

According to Section 16-12-80 of the municipal code, temporary signs will not require a permit, and the previous duration to display (30 days) has been waived. Sandwich board signs previously were allowed to be displayed only during business hours, but with the waiver they can be left out overnight. Temporary signs are often used to let customers know a business is open, describe delivery options, or announce restrictions in place.

Banners have been required to be securely attached to a building and could only be displayed for 30 days. The resolution allows banners to be securely attached to the ground or other structure, waives the 30-day limit and waives the permitting requirement.

Window signs were only allowed to be located in display windows and include a display of merchandise or services of the company, and could not exceed more than 25% of each window or door. The resolution still imposes the 25% rule, but signs no longer need to be promoting a product or service, but can be used to notify customers of business restrictions, amended hours or other information.

Section 16-12-90 waives the maximum total sign requirement of five signs per property. Small, temporary signs placed in the ground around a business were limited to five, but the waiver now allows for more than that, including signs that tell the public that a business is open, describe how to order using an app, detail the protocol to use when ordering, etc.

Section 16-12-160 waives permitting requirements for banners, temporary signs and window signs. Feather banners, or pennants, are allowed one for each business, with no maximum duration and no permitting requirement.

Food trucks

Section 6-10-30 waives the previous requirements regarding parking spaces where food trucks are allowed to operate, the maximum duration of the license and fees. Fees were $20 for 30 days, with an addition $20 renewal fee. Food trucks still need to acquire a license from the town, but will have more flexibility negotiating with business owners. Permits will still be reviewed by the health department and fire department.

Temporary structures and uses

Section 16-1-220 waives the time period permitted for sidewalk sales and parking lot sales. Previously such sales were not to exceed three consecutive days. The resolution also allows sidewalk sales on public rights-of-way along Main Street adjacent to businesses, subject to review and approval of a temporary use permit. Fees for the temporary use permits for sidewalk and parking lot sales will be waived.

According to Erickson, the measures taken under the resolution should help business owners take advantage of outdoor spaces adjacent to their businesses, including restaurants when they are allowed to reopen.

“These might really come into play when the state allows restaurants to open,” said Erickson. “We are preparing to allow restaurants and retail owners to use that outside area, including their parking lots if they choose to do so. That was really the thought behind the temporary use. We're still going to completely uphold all health and safety standards.”


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