West Lampeter alcohol sales referendum (2009)

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A West Lampeter alcohol sales referendum was on the May 19, 2009 ballot in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

  • Yes: 2,320 (54.1%) Approveda
  • No: 1,969 (45.9%)[1]

A PAC called the West Lampeter Future Fund, which is supported by the Willow Valley Resort & Conference Center, circulated petitions to ask that the question be put on the ballot.[2]

The Willow Valley Resort & Conference Center wants to invest in an $8 million upgrade, separating the existing resort into a new $7 million DoubleTree Hotel (owned by Hilton) and another $1 million to upgrade the existing structure.

However, Doubletree/Hilton won't go along with the upgrade unless the hotel could serve alcohol in the proposed hotel's restaurant. Since the hotel would be in currently alcohol-free West Lampeter township, the corporation is seeing whether local voters are interesting in changing the township's "dry" status.

West Lampeter Township has been dry since 1935.

West Lampeter residents rejected similar ballot proposals to relax the alcohol sale law in 1943, 1947, 1951 and 1957.

Opposition

Rev. Barbara J. Seras, an Episcopal minister who lives in the township, has expressed concern about those in the township who might run into the "unexpected and unforeseen problems" that can arise as the result of liquor sales.

Seras told a local newspaper, "I'm not opposed to liquor; that's not the issue. But once we reverse this law, there will be other [establishments] in other areas where I don't think a liquor license would be appropriate, and residents would have a lot of little battles on their hands."[3]

Signature requirement

2,200 valid signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot. The signature collection deadline was March 10.

References