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SIBYL M. JANES WILDERNESS LODGE v. PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD (05/31/79)

decided: May 31, 1979.

IN RE: SIBYL M. JANES OF WILDERNESS LODGE, WEEKS VALLEY ROAD, R.D. NO. 2, WATTSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
v.
THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County in case of In Re: Sibyl M. James of Wilderness Lodge, Weeks Valley Road, R.D. No. 2, Wattsburg, Pennsylvania v. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 2543 of 1977.

COUNSEL

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Kenneth W. Makowski, Acting Chief Counsel, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

Dennis V. Williams, with him Hanes, Lucht, Kinter, Williams & Ungerman, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 166]

We have in this case an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, after a de novo hearing, reversing the Board's denial of appellee's request for a new restaurant liquor license for premises known as Wilderness Lodge. We affirm.

Located on a tract of land slightly in excess of 200 acres, appellee's establishment was developed primarily to provide suitable facilities for cross-country skiing.*fn1 Wilderness Lodge is located in Venango Township which at the time of this application had its retail liquor license quota full; counted against the quota were two retail licenses for taverns located four and six miles from appellee's premises.

By order dated November 29, 1977, the Board refused the application finding the requirements of Section

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 167461]

(b) of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. ยง 4-461(b), governing the discretionary issuance of liquor licenses beyond the established quota for a municipality, had not been satisfied.*fn2

Our scope of review in appeals such as the one now before us is limited, Penn State Faculty Club Liquor License Case, 33 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 320, 381 A.2d 1017 (1978). Nevertheless, we are convinced after a review of the record, including the testimony before the Board as introduced by the Board at the de novo hearing and the additional testimony offered by appellee, that the common pleas court's decision is supported by substantial evidence.

The evidence supporting the finding that appellee's establishment is located in a resort area is not only convincing, it is unrefuted. W. Robert Chandler, executive director of the Erie County Tourist and Convention Bureau, testified that Erie County, famous as a summer resort area, was actively seeking to establish itself as a year around resort area by stimulating the development of winter recreational facilities. Wilderness Lodge, in his opinion, constituted an integral part of that development. His testimony was corroborated by Michael J. Flatley, chairman of the Erie County Commissioners.

Apart from its broader role in the development of winter recreation in the county generally the testimony establishes Wilderness Lodge as a resort area in its own right by virtue of its development of cross-country skiing trails. Reverend Thomas ...


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