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HANOVER BOWLING CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/24/86)

decided: October 24, 1986.

HANOVER BOWLING CENTER, INC.
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD. CAROL SPONSELLER, T/D/B/A PENN VILLA ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, in case of Hanover Bowling Center, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 56 M.A. 1985.

COUNSEL

Victor Dell'Alba, for appellants.

G. Steven McKonly, with him, Ruth E. Robey, Buchen, Wise, Dorr & McKonly, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 523]

This is an appeal by four liquor licensees (Protestants) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County which reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) denying a liquor license to the Hanover Bowling Center (Applicant). We reverse.

Applicant operates a 32-lane bowling alley located in Penn Township, York County. The premises also contains a food service area, a pro shop, a game room with video games and pool tables, and a nursery. The bowling

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 524]

    alley handles approximately 500 bowlers per day, or about 1700 league and 800 "open" bowlers per week. Every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Applicant runs bowling tournaments attracting entrants from a number of states; in 1984, the tournaments had over 7,700 entrants.

While ordinarily 90 percent of the Applicant's patrons are local residents, during tournaments the percentage of tourists in the bowling alley increases to 88-90 percent of the patrons. Applicant currently operates at about 65 percent of capacity.

Applicant applied for a liquor license under the "resort area" exception of Section 461(b) of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code (Code), Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. ยง 4-461(b), since the number of liquor licenses in Penn Township exceeded the quota permitted under Section 461(a) of the Code.*fn1 It was conceded that Penn Township is located within a "resort area." See In re D. E. Weinbrenner III and James B. Weinbrenner, t/a South Hills Golf Course, No. 25 Misc. Action (York County 1979).*fn2

At a hearing before a PLCB hearing examiner, three of six licensees within ten miles of Applicant's premises testified. Basically, they testified that there was no need for an additional license to be granted since their establishments were operating under capacity. ...


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