Outdoor dining may be limited in Hoboken amid rat infestation

UPDATE: The Hoboken City Council voted Wednesday evening to no longer approve new applications for parklets. This new rule will go into effect on Nov. 7.
Original story below:
Outdoor dining opens in Hoboken may become limited as the city deals with a rat infestation.
Councilwoman Jen Giattino is pushing to ban new construction of outdoor wooden structures known as “parklets.” These structures became popular during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to sit outside restaurants to eat.
However, Giattino says that rats are multiplying in the city and that these wooden structures have become home to these rodents. She says that in some cases, they are penetrating residences.
“I have several residents who have rats now in their house now and are trying to conquer that issue,” says Giattino.
Giattino states that only “streeteries” should be allowed. These are set-ups of chairs and tables on the actual pavement that can be taken down.
“They are not losing the opportunity to have outdoor dining in the street, because streeteries still exist and I have had several restaurants reach out to me and they would like to see the parklets gone because they feel if a neighboring business has a parklet they will need a parklet to be competitive with them,” the councilwoman says.
The City Council will vote on this effort to prohibit new parklets on Wednesday. Businesses with existing ones will be given a time frame of probably up to two years to make the switch or take them down.