Hearing set for liquor license transfer for Hoover House

October 12, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A public hearing on the transfer of a liquor license sought by the new owners of the Hoover House at 227 W. Main St. in Waynesboro will be held Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Borough Hall.

The Borough Council scheduled the hearing at the request of Robert and Barbara Persun, who bought the 92-year-old building this summer from Burke Realty.

The Persuns hope to turn the first floor of the building into an upscale period tavern, according to their request to transfer a liquor license from Chambersburg, Pa., to Waynesboro. The document is on file in the Borough Hall.


State law says only one license is permitted per 3,000 residents in any municipality and only in towns and boroughs that allow liquor to be sold.

The quotas were established in the 1930s following the repeal of Prohibition.

There are 46 liquor licenses in Franklin County. Eleven of its 15 townships are dry. It could not be learned Monday, a federal holiday, how many licenses there are in Waynesboro

State law permits licenses to be transferred from one municipality to another providing the receiving municipality agrees, said William Epstein, spokesman for the Bureau of Licensing of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The liquor control board also has to approve the transfer, Epstein said. If enough opposition exists, the board holds its own hearing, he said.

"The board considers local opposition if it's credible," Epstein said. "We usually err on the side of caution. We won't act on one letter, but if there is a handful then we hold a public hearing."

Such a hearing would be held in Waynesboro, he said.

The Persuns also are trying to comply with the borough's zoning regulations governing off-street parking in the Town Center District, according to a letter they wrote on Sept. 20 to their attorney in Harrisburg, Pa.

They said in the letter that they hoped the borough council will act quickly on their requests so they can decide "whether or not our vision is worth pursuing ... we don't intend to invest the time and money in a project that is not realizable. Alternatively, we'll simply renovate the Hoover House into a home of which the Borough of Waynesboro can be proud."

The Persuns did not return phone calls Monday and Robert Persun declined last week to comment further.

The Hoover House was last used as a personal care home for elderly residents until about a year ago when its then owner, Patricia Clark, sold it to Burke Realty.

Burke Realty owns Rose Manor, the former Leland Hotel on the corner of West Main Street and Cleveland Avenue, now an assisted living facility, at 120 W. Main St.

All 17 residents of the Hoover House moved to Rose Manor after the purchase. Burke Realty then put the three-story, 15-room Hoover House on the market for $230,000.

It was built as a private residence in 1912 by Ira and Ella Hoover. Elenore, their only child, inherited the house and lived there until she died in 1954.

Joseph and Carolyn Ausherman were the next owners. It was then sold in the early 1980s to Richard and Joann Eigenbrode, who turned it into a full-service restaurant. Clark bought it from the Eigenbrodes.

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