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2 N.J.A.R. 417

Stonehenge Gardens, Inc. v. Phillipsburg, Mayor & Town Council of the Town of
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Citation: 2 N.J.A.R. 417
Decision Date: 1980
Agency: DIVISION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL
Synopsis: Stonehenge Gardens appealed from the denial of its application for a person-to-person and place-to-place transfer of a plenary retail consumption license by the Town of Phillipsburg. The appellant argued that the Town Council failed to state any grounds on which it could legitimately reject the transfer application and thus the Council's action was arbitrary and capricious. The administrative law judge noted that the action of the Town Council should not be reversed in the absence of mistake or abuse of discretion and that the burden of establishing that the Council acted erroneously rested entirely on the appellant. The judge found that the Town Council based its denial of the application on the objections of local residents and upon existing problems in the area stemming from the large number of liquor establishments already in business. The administrative law judge found that it was a reasonable exercise of the Town Council's discretion to limit the number of licenses in an area already heavily served by the liquor licensed failities. Accordingly, the action of the Town Council denying the transfer was affirmed. Donald W. Morrow, Esq., for Appellant (Morrow & Benbrook, Attorneys) Thomas J. Kelly, Esq. and Robert E. Frederick, Esq., for Respondent