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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM T. PICCIOTTI AND JANE L. PICCIOTTI (03/17/81)

decided: March 17, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
WILLIAM T. PICCIOTTI AND JANE L. PICCIOTTI, T/A PICCIOTTI'S PIZZA RESTAURANT, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of William T. Picciotti and Jane L. Picciotti, t/a Picciotti's Pizza Restaurant v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 77-1976-06.

COUNSEL

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him James J. Fitzgerald, III, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

Robert W. Valimont, Power, Bowen & Valimont, for appellees.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 530]

This is an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County reversing a Board decision refusing an application for a new restaurant liquor license. We reverse.

After two days of hearings, the Board refused the application finding, inter alia, that the proposed licensed premises were located within 300 feet of the Buckingham Monthly Meeting of Friends and Buckingham Friends School (Objectors) both of which are restrictive institutions under Section 404 of the Liquor

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 531]

Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. ยง 4-404.*fn1

Following a de novo hearing at which additional evidence was received, the court of common pleas made a finding of fact as follows:

3. The premises proposed to be licensed are located within three hundred feet of the premises on which both the Buckingham Friends School and Buckingham Monthly Meeting of Friends are located.

In its memorandum filed on April 15, 1980, in support of its earlier order of May 11, 1979, there is considerable confusion as to the measurements the common pleas court used in determining whether any restrictive institution is within 300 feet of the proposed place to be licensed. We are spared the necessity of resolving the conflict between finding of fact 3 and the discussion in the court's memorandum by able counsel for the applicants conceding at oral argument that the distance from the proposed location to be licensed to the Friends School was, in fact, less than 300 feet.*fn2

This critical fact having been established, we are presented with the very narrow issue of whether, under these circumstances, the Board abused its discretion in ...


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