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WILLOWBROOK COUNTRY CLUB (11/13/62)

November 13, 1962

WILLOWBROOK COUNTRY CLUB, INC. LIQUOR LICENSE CASE.


Appeal, No. 5, March T., 1963, from order of superior Court, April T., 1962, No. 142, affirming decree of Court of Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County, July T., 1961, No. 26, in re appeal of Willowbrook Country Club, Incorporated, from decision of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Order affirmed; reargument refused January 18, 1963.

COUNSEL

George G. Lindsay, Assistant Attorney General, with him John E. Caputo, Special Assistant Attorney General, and David Stahl, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.

A. C. Scales, with him Scales and Shaw, for appellee.

Edward B. Bergman, for Pennsylvania Tavern Association, under Rule 65.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Keim, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 409 Pa. Page 372]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

The Willowbrook Country Club, Inc., a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, filed an application with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) for the issuance of a catering club liquor license for its premises located in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County, allegedly located in a resort area. The Board denied the application. Upon appeal, the Court of Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County reversed the decision of the Board and directed that the license issue. The Superior Court affirmed the order of the court below, 198 Pa. Superior Ct. 242, 181 A.2d 698 (1962). We allowed allocatur.

The township in which the premises are located is permitted, under the quota restrictions fixed by law, to have at one time a maximum of three licenses for the retail sale of liquor and malt beverages. However, the Board in the exercise of a wise discretion is authorized to issue additional licenses, which are not counted against the quota, in any municipality located in a resort area. See, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, ยง 461(b).

On all dates relevant five licenses counted against the quota were in existence in the township, plus one club liquor license not counted in the quota. The Board concluded: (1) that the premises proposed to be licensed were not in a "resort area"; (2) that the evidence did not justify the conclusion that an additional license was necessary in the township; and (3) that

[ 409 Pa. Page 373]

    the issuance of the license must be refused because the quota of licenses permitted was already exceeded.

The factual background of the club, the nature of its membership and facilities are cogently detailed in the opinion of Judge WRIGHT, for the Superior Court, and need not be repeated here. We thoroughly agree with the conclusion of that distinguished court that the proof in the record clearly sustains the conclusion, that the proposed licensed premises are in a "resort area" as contemplated by the legislature at the time this ...


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