Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Elk County in the case of Application of Benjamin T. Roberts and Janet M. Roberts for Retail Dispenser Eating Place Liquor License, No. 85-02, Criminal Miscellaneous.
Vernon D. Roof, for appellants.
Edward J. Osterman, for appellees.
Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
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Appellants seek review of a decision by the Court of Common Pleas of the 59th Judicial District*fn1 which reversed the order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board*fn2 (Board) denying Appellees'*fn3 application for a resort
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area liquor license. This identical case had previously come before this Court in Commonwealth, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. Roberts, 79 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 368, 468 A.2d 1140 (1984) wherein we reversed the order of the 59th Judicial District approving a resort liquor license on the grounds that Benezette Township, Elk County, where Appellees' restaurant is located, was not a resort area. The parties agree that the physical characteristics of Benezette Township have not significantly changed since our decision four years ago. Appellees contend, however, that the additional evidence taken by the trial court meets the standard subsequently set by this Court for resort area liquor licenses in Commonwealth, Liquor Control Board v. Spring Gulch, Inc., 87 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 395, 487 A.2d 472 (1985).
Benezette Township is a rural, wooded community with a year round population of 314, up from 310 in 1983. In addition to the 108 year-round residences in the township, there are 666 campsites used by nonresidents during the various hunting and fishing seasons. Seventy-five percent of Benezette Township is publicly owned in the form of state game lands or state forests. During hunting and fishing seasons the township experiences a substantial increase in visitors with corresponding increase in restaurant and campsite business.
The PLCB restaurant liquor license quota for Benezette authorizes one liquor license which is owned by Appellant Sam Crocco. There are also two hotel liquor licenses owned by the other two Appellants' which are not counted against the PLCB quota.*fn4 Appellees
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seek a retail dispenser eating place license under the "resort area" exception of the Liquor Code.*fn5
The findings of fact noted remain unchanged from those involved in our 1983 opinion. However, Appellees now direct our attention to Spring Gulch, supra wherein this Court ...