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PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD v. HILLTOP COUNTRY CLUB APPLICATION FOR NEW CATERING CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE. PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD (08/30/76)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: August 30, 1976.

PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD
v.
HILLTOP COUNTRY CLUB APPLICATION FOR NEW CATERING CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE. PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County in case of In Re: Hilltop Country Club Appeal, No. 10451 Misc. Docket, 1975.

COUNSEL

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellant.

David M. Kozloff, with him Eves & Kozloff, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 207]

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) brings this appeal from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County which reversed the Board's refusal of a new "catering club" liquor license to the Hilltop Country Club (Hilltop). We reverse.

It was established without contradiction before the Board and at the trial de novo that Lower Alsace Township, in which Hilltop is located, has exceeded its quota of retail liquor licenses under Section 461 of the Liquor Code*fn1 (Code), 47 P.S. ยง 4-461. Hilltop sought therefore to bring itself within the exception in Section 461(b) of the Code which provides:

[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 208]

"(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 court below correctly found that the facts as marshalled by Hilltop did not support a conclusion that Lower Alsace Township or the surrounding area was a "resort area" within the current judicial definitions of that term. See Petition of Springdale District Sportsmen's Association, 20 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 479, 342 A.2d 802 (1975). Nevertheless, the Court stated:

"[W]e are of the opinion that under the circumstances the applicant's [Hilltop's] facilities should be considered a resort area for its members and guests."

The lower court's sympathy with Hilltop's application is understandable from this record. However, without a specific finding of a seasonal influx of transients, necessitating an increased number of licensed establishments to serve them,*fn2 it was error for the lower court to sustain Hilltop's appeal.

Order reversed.

Disposition

Reversed.


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