Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in the case of Paul Bankovich v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 783 of 1984.
Felix Thau, Deputy Chief Counsel, for appellant.
Frank J. Aritz, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) appeals here from an order of the Court of Common
Pleas of Luzerne County which reversed the LCB's denial of a restaurant liquor license requested by Paul Bankovich. We reverse.
The record before us contains the following facts which are pertinent. Bankovich desired to open a seafood specialty house in Dallas Borough which would serve only crabs. On December 18, 1983 he applied for a restaurant liquor license for his proposed crab house. The liquor license quota for Dallas Borough is one and there are currently five restaurant liquor licenses in effect which are counted against this quota. Bankovich applied for his restaurant liquor license pursuant to the resort area exception specified in Section 461(b) of the Liquor Code (Code), Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-461(b). This provision empowers the LCB to increase the number of licenses in any municipality which, in the opinion of the LCB, is located in a resort area. After a hearing, the LCB denied Bankovich's request making the following findings of fact:
1. The quota for Dallas, Luzerne County is 1 and there are 5 restaurant liquor licenses in effect counted against this quota. There is also 1 catering club liquor license in effect which is not counted against the quota.
2. The Board is not satisfied that the establishment proposed to be licensed is located in a resort area.
3. There is no evidence of necessity for an additional restaurant liquor license in Dallas, Luzerne County.
Bankovich appealed the denial to Luzerne County Common Pleas Court. After a de novo review of the LCB's decision, the common pleas court reversed. In its decision, the common pleas court noted that the proposed establishment is in the "environs" of a resort ...