Reopen News: Nassau County plans to fast track outdoor business applications

FARMINGDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday the county will begin fast tracking applications for small businesses seeking to use outdoor county road space under the county's new Open Streets pilot program.

"There's no extra paperwork, snail mail, fees or additional approvals needed to secure this permit," she said. "And we're committing to approving these permits within a week of receiving an application."

Curran said the county is getting ready to approve an application from the Village of Farmingdale to convert its downtown into a dining plaza.

The application calls for 424 socially-distant seats and tables to be spread throughout the downtown. People would have to make a reservation with a restaurant, and their food would be delivered to their table.

No waiter service will be permitted because that is not allowed until Phase 3.

"Using the same protocols of delivery and takeout, we can do the same thing with our main streets," Curran said.

Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said the village's engineers have designed the layout of the tables.

"You will not have anybody violating the 6-foot rule while they're at a table," he said.

Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said he doesn't see any problem with the proposal.

"It is just a variation, not a loophole, of what already is allowed," he said. "I think it is a creative way of letting the community work its way back."

The owner of Frankie's East Side Pizza in downtown Farmingdale said the restaurants need all the help they can get.

"We're going backwards," Daniel Romano said. "We're not paying the bills. We're barely covering the rent. The costs are just piling up."

In Bellport Village Thursday, small business owners and local leaders called upon New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to speed up the reopening of small retailers.

"We don't need rules that work against mom and pop businesses when there's no need to do that," Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said.

Retailers on Long Island were allowed to open Wednesday, but only for curbside pickup. No one is allowed to shop inside their stores until Phase 2.

"I feel like I could open safely today," said Alison Buck, the owner of boutique store TOLA in Bellport Village. "I feel like I could have opened safely yesterday for that matter."

Small retailers said it isn't fair that the big box retailers are fully open for business while they cannot be.

"Our communities and our businesses are suffering," Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright said.

Businesses can apply to Nassau County's Open Streets pilot program by visiting


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