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RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE CASE. (06/12/63)

June 12, 1963

RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE CASE.


Appeal, No. 216, April T., 1962, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. C488 of 1962, in case of Riviera Country Club v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Lewis J. Nescott, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him George G. Lindsay, Assistant Attorney General, and Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.

Ralph S. Sapp, with him Alvin J. Porsche, for appellee.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 201 Pa. Super. Page 71]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

On March 13, 1961, the Riviera Country Club, a non-profit corporation, referred to hereinafter as Riviera, filed with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board an application for a club liquor license at premises

[ 201 Pa. Super. Page 72]

    in Wilkins Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the theory that the municipality in question is located within a resort area. The Board refused the application, whereupon Riviera appealed to the County Court of Allegheny County. The matter was submitted to that tribunal for decision on the testimony taken on January 25, 1962, before the Board's examiner. By opinion and order dated May 1, 1962, the court below reversed the Board and directed that the license should be granted. This appeal by the Board followed.

We are here confronted with a recurring problem arising under the exception to the quota limitation set forth in subsection (b) of Section 461 of the Liquor Code,*fn1 which reads as follows: "(b) The board shall have the power to increase the number of licenses in any such municipality which in the opinion of the board is located within a resort area". The reasons assigned by the Board for rejecting the application were as follows: "2. As provided by law, Wilkins Township, Allegheny County, has a quota of five licenses for the retail sale of liquor and malt beverages. There are eight such licenses in effect of the type counted against the quota. Accordingly, the legal quota for the township is exceeded. There are also four club liquor licenses in effect which, under the law, are not counted against the quota. 3. The premises proposed to be licensed are not in a resort area, as claimed by the applicant. 4. While the club liquor license applied for would be a convenience for the members of the applicant organization, there is no evidence of actual necessity for an additional license for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages in the township".

Riviera received its charter from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County on January 18, 1960. See Riviera Country Club Liquor License Case, 196 Pa. Superior Ct. 636,

[ 201 Pa. Super. Page 73176]

A.2d 704. Riviera owns a tract of eight and one-half acres in Wilkins Township, and leases another tract of approximately the same size. It is asserted in Riviera's brief, and not disputed, that some $600,000.00 has been expended thereon for existing facilities, which include swimming pools, ski slope and toboggan run, shuffleboard, tennis, volley ball, badminton and hand ball courts, plus a large ball field and a camp for children. The club house proper has a complete dining room, steam room, massage room, sleeping rooms, locker area, outside decks and lounge area. Riviera has a membership enrollment of 331 families, and attracts approximately 25,000 ...


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