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FANTASTIC PLASTIC v. CITY PITTSBURGH (09/22/77)

decided: September 22, 1977.

FANTASTIC PLASTIC, INC., A PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION
v.
THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION; PETER F. FLAHERTY, MAYOR AND PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH; AND ROBERT COLL, SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Fantastic Plastic, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, v. The City of Pittsburgh, a municipal corporation; Peter F. Flaherty, Mayor and Public Safety Director of the City of Pittsburgh; and Robert Coll, Superintendent of Police of the City of Pittsburgh, No. GD 76-06443.

COUNSEL

Eugene B. Strassburger, III, Deputy City Solicitor, with him Mary Ann Kenny Pidgeon, Assistant City Solicitor, and Mead J. Mulvihill, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellants.

John L. Laubach, with him David A. McVey, and Stevens, Clark, Laubach & Semple, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 42]

Fantastic Plastic, Inc. (Plastic) is a discotheque in the City of Pittsburgh where patrons are permitted to bring onto the premises intoxicating beverages for their own consumption. For some time, officials of the City have been of the view that the business operation conducted by Plastic is somewhat less than fantastic, as evidenced in part by disputes over entertainment and dance-hall licenses and zoning matters.*fn1

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 43]

This appeal has been taken from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which held that the City's bottle-club ordinance, directed at Plastic's operation, was unconstitutional. Since we agree with that decision, we will not disturb the grant of an injunction restraining enforcement of the ordinance by the court below.

Prior to the enactment of Ordinance No. 18, Series 1976, the discotheque had operated by charging an admission fee and serving food, soft drinks, and mixes. In 7 months of operations, it had over 47,000 admissions and experienced no vandalism or disorder. Minors were excluded from the club,*fn2 a dress code was enforced, and a security staff was maintained.

Ordinance No. 18 provides:

Whereas, it is the public policy of the City of Pittsburgh to maintain the peace, to restrain disturbances and disorderly assemblies, and to secure the general safety and welfare of its inhabitants; and

Whereas, the operation of bottle clubs constitutes a menace to the peace, general safety and welfare of the ...


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