Township Liquor License Hearing Set May 19 for Royal Farms

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Construction of a Royal Farms fueling station and convenience store, first proposed during May 2021 for a portion of vacant land adjacent to the A.D. Moyer Lumber location at 300 Armand Hammer Blvd., is making progress on two fronts, Lower Pottsgrove officials indicate.

First, it is scheduled to be the subject of a May 19 (2022; Thursday) public hearing at 6 p.m., in the township municipal building on Buchert Road, regarding transfer of a liquor license to developer Two Farms Inc. from an East Greenville license holder, Schultheis Enterprises Inc. A legal advertisement announcing the hearing before the Board of Commissioners was published May 5 (Thursday).

And second, township Manager Ed Wagner reports plans for the Royal Farms project are anticipated to be filed for review by the township Planning Commission during its June 20 meeting at 6:30 p.m., also at the municipal building.

The developer had hoped to meet with planners this month, but township engineering representative Jim McCarthy said Two Farms had omitted necessary amendment information from earlier drawings and new ones were required. The Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Monday (May 16) was subsequently canceled Tuesday (May 10), according to the township website.

About the liquor license hearing

Pennsylvania Restaurant Liquor License No. R-19083 is currently held by Schultheis at 747 Gravel Pike, East Greenville, in Upper Hanover Township, the legal advertisement states. Wagner identified the company as the operator of the Carriage House Restaurant. Two Farms is asking township approval of an intermunicipal restaurant liquor license transfer from Schultheis for its use at the Armand Hammer site. Local approval of the transfer is required under Pennsylvania’s Liquor Code.

The hearing will occur a half-hour before the board’s regularly scheduled May 19 meeting. It is free to attend, and open to the public. Commissioners will “receive comments and recommendations,” if any are offered, concerning the company’s “intent to acquire and utilize” the license, and also will allow Two Farms to describe its business and intent in the license acquisition.

Under the code, commissioners must approve the transfer “through written resolution passed at a public meeting.” Without it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board “cannot transfer the license into (the) municipality,” its website explains. The commissioners’ primary hearing task is to determine whether the request would adversely affect “the welfare, health, peace, and morals” of township residents. If commissioners agree to approve such a resolution, it may be adopted the same night.

Could it be quick and quiet?

The event possibly sounds dramatic, but Wagner candidly doubts it will be.

The last liquor license hearing held by the township occurred several years ago when – like other grocery retailers at the time – Redner’s Markets Inc. in the North End Shopping Center, 1300 N. Charlotte St., was the subject of a similar intermunicipal license transfer hearing. It went quietly and took only minutes to complete, the manager recalled during the board’s April 21 meeting.

Redner’s license at North Charlotte Street was renewed in February, and continues through April 2023, liquor control board records show.

Municipalities may benefit, albeit slightly, when liquor license changes occur within their borders.

The liquor control board makes semi-annual distributions to Pennsylvania municipalities for their portions of license fee revenues. The last time Lower Pottsgrove received a distribution was in 2020, for the period of Feb. 1 to July 31. The board said it sent the township a check for $1,850 following the renewal of seven licenses.

Editor’s Note: This story was published Thursday (May 12) at 6:45 p.m., and re-edited at 8:46 p.m.