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The processing of new permit applications will include the following phases:
(A) Phase 1 — Prescreening and criminal history.
(1) Upon close of the application period, town staff shall review each complete application for general compliance with the town's Municipal Code, and shall reject any application which does not meet such requirements or is incomplete. Rejected applications shall not be scored. The town shall also disqualify any application that contains any false or misleading information.
(2) All exterior building improvements, including façade improvements and proposed signage, shall be reviewed for conformance with the town's zoning and land use standards. If required, the applicant shall apply for any design review approval, traffic impact permit and/or sign permit necessary under Chapters 17.020, 17.056 and/or 17.064 concurrently with the application for the commercial cannabis business permit. The prescreening approval may be conditioned upon the applicant submitting complete application materials for design review, traffic impact and/or sign permits. All applications will be required to comply with environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") (Cal. Public Resources Code §§ 21000 et seq.).
(3) Each applicant shall submit to the Chief of Police a recent photograph of the applicant (if an individual), each owner and current or prospective manager. The applicant, owner(s) and manager(s) shall also submit fingerprints pursuant to "Livescan" procedures and pay all costs associated with such submittal. Upon receipt of the Livescan results, the Chief of Police shall review and report if the criminal history of the applicant, owner(s) and manager(s) satisfies the minimum criteria pursuant to § 5.56.080.
(4) The applicant prescreening decisions will be made by the Town Manager within 60 days of the close of the application period or receipt of Livescan results, whichever is later. Only applicants who receive approval of the prescreening review may proceed to the next phase of the selection process.
(B) Phase 2 — Application scoring.
(1) Upon approval of the prescreening review, the Town Manager or designee shall refer the application to the Planning Commission for preliminary scoring of the application(s) and recommendation to the Town Council. A public hearing on a commercial cannabis business permit application(s) may be consolidated with any required hearing for design review approval, traffic impact permit and/or sign permits.
(2) The Town Council will issue the final score on the commercial cannabis business permit application, relying only upon the written application itself, any other written town materials generated in connection with the review, and the applicant presentation and representations at the public hearing. The decision of the Town Council will be made at a duly noticed public hearing and may be consolidated with any required hearing for design review approval, traffic impact permit and/or sign permits.
(3) The specific scoring criteria, weighting (points per criteria), minimum qualifying scores and any additional application procedures will be determined by resolution of the Town Council prior to the commencement of the application period and posted publically on the town's website.
(4) If the number of applicants who receive minimum qualifying scores at Phase 2 exceeds the maximum number of permits available, then applicants will be selected and issued a commercial cannabis business permit based on highest score.
(5) Qualified applicants that are not selected will be placed on a qualified applicant list. Applicants placed on the qualified applicant list will be notified when future applications are accepted. A qualified applicant will remain eligible for three years.
(C) Issuance of a commercial cannabis business permit does not create a land use entitlement. Furthermore, no permittee may begin operations, notwithstanding the issuance of a permit, until all of the state and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to the requirements of this chapter and of the permit, have been complied with and the town verifies such compliance. The issuance of a commercial cannabis business permit does not excuse compliance with any other requirement in the Zoning Ordinance or Building Code. Any additional permits required may be obtained after the business permit is issued but before operation.
(D) The town reserves the discretion to not grant any applications in the interest of the health, safety, or general welfare of the town.
(Ord. 835, passed 9-4-2019)