Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-02-13-.02 - AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENT AND APPLICATIONS

(1) No person shall engage in any commercial park activity without holding a current, valid commercial use authorization from the Commissioner authorizing such commercial park activity except in accordance with the terms of a special use permit issued pursuant to T.C.A. § 11-3-111(c), or as otherwise authorized in accordance with law.
(2) Any person who wishes to apply for a commercial use authorization shall file an application, accompanied by the required application fee, with the Commissioner that includes:
(a) The name of the applicant;
(b) The contact information, including phone number and email address for the applicant;
(c) A narrative description of the commercial park activity in which the person wishes to engage;
(d) The expected revenues from the commercial park activity per year;
(e) Proof of general liability insurance covering the commercial park activity in the amount of $1 million per occurrence with the State of Tennessee named as an additional insured, unless an alternate insurance amount is approved by the Commissioner based on the individual risk factors of the applicant's commercial park activities;
(f) Proof of operation plans and emergency operation plans for the proposed commercial park activity;
(g) Proof that the applicant is qualified to provide the proposed commercial park activity, including but not limited to training for all staff that will participate in the commercial park activities;
(h) A statement of the expected group sizes, if applicable, and frequency of the commercial park activity;
(i) The state park or parks where the commercial park activity is proposed to occur;
(j) If the applicant is requesting a term longer than one year, the length of the term requested, how the applicant satisfies one or more of the criteria in subparagraph (5)(b) of this rule, information that supports why the applicant should be granted a longer term, and any other relevant information the applicant believes justifies a term greater than one year;
(k) If the person to whom the commercial use authorization is to be issued is an individual, general partnership, or other business entity where individuals hold the right to all or part of the commercial use authorization:
1. The names and Social Security Numbers of each such individual or general partner; and
2. For each such individual or general partner, an attestation and documentation complying with the requirements of the Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act, codified at T.C.A. §§ 4-58-101 through 4-58-110;
(l) If the person to whom the commercial authorization is to be issued is a business entity other than those subject to subparagraph (j) of this paragraph, proof that the entity:
1. Holds a registration as a domestic or foreign business entity, as appropriate, in good standing with the Tennessee Secretary of State; and
2. Has obtained all permits and licenses, including business licenses, and paid all charges, fees, or taxes required by the State of Tennessee or its political subdivisions for the provision of the commercial park activity;
(m) A list of any conviction or entry of a plea of guilty by the applicant or, if the applicant is an entity, by any person that owns part or all of the applicant entity; and
(n) Any other documentation or information reasonably requested by the Commissioner regarding the commercial park activity.
(3) The Commissioner may issue a commercial use authorization to the applicant upon determining that, in the Commissioner's discretion, each proposed commercial park activity:
(a) Constitutes an appropriate use of the state park or parks;
(b) Will not exceed a park's or parks' capacity for conducting the commercial park activity based on other, existing commercial use authorizations to conduct substantially similar commercial park activities at that park or parks;
(c) Will have a minimal impact on park resources and values; and
(d) Is consistent with the park purpose, management plans, policies, and all laws and rules.
(4) The Commissioner may, in the Commissioner's discretion, deny an application for failure to meet all requirements listed in paragraph (3) of this rule or for any reason listed in Rule 0 40002-13-.06. The decision of the Commissioner to deny an application is only subject to review pursuant to a petition for common law writ of certiorari.
(5) A commercial use authorization shall expire up to one year after its issuance on the last day of the month of issuance, except:
(a) As set out in subparagraph (7)(b) of this rule; or
(b) Where the Commissioner determines, in the Commissioner's sole discretion, that an applicant's business model requires a longer term for one or more of the reasons listed in parts (1) through (3) of this subparagraph, the Commissioner may grant a term of up to five years.
1. The applicant's business model requires substantial capital investments in facilities or equipment and a one-year term would not allow sufficient time to recover the applicant's investment, thus disincentivizing the applicant and other potential applicants from entering the market and offering the proposed commercial park activity;
2. The applicant plans to apply for a loan from a financial institution and a longer permit term is required by the financial institution as part of its underwriting process; or
3. Based on the totality of the circumstances, a one-year term is not practical or will be detrimental to the applicant's business in a way not described above but that will materially and negatively impact the applicant's business or the applicant's customers.
(6) If a commercial use authorization application is incomplete, the Commissioner shall notify the applicant and the applicant shall have 60 days to complete the application. If no attempt to complete the application is made by the applicant within the 60-day period then the application shall be closed and any application fee paid shall not be refunded. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to allow any person to complete an application after the expiration of a limited timeframe for applications, except pursuant to subparagraph (7)(b) of this rule.
(7)
(a) In lieu of accepting rolling commercial use authorization applications at any park or parks, the Commissioner may establish a limited timeframe during which applicants must submit an application for a commercial use authorization in order to encourage efficiency in the Department's administration of applications. Such a limited timeframe may be effective at one or more parks and different limited timeframes may be effective at different parks. The Commissioner shall make the application timeframes public by posting them on the Department's website. The Commissioner may establish a single expiration date for all commercial use authorizations issued pursuant to the limited application timeframe. Renewals of existing commercial use authorizations pursuant to Rule 0400-02-13-.08 not initially issued pursuant to this paragraph (7) shall not be subject to any limited application timeframe established under this subparagraph.
(b) If the Commissioner establishes a limited timeframe for applications pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, the Commissioner may issue a commercial use authorization to a person who files a complete commercial use authorization application outside of the limited timeframe if the Commissioner determines that issuance of the commercial use authorization otherwise meets all requirements for the issuance of the commercial use authorization, is in the best interest of the park or parks where the commercial park activities are requested to occur, and the applicant demonstrates that application during the limited timeframe was impractical. If the Commissioner established a single expiration date as set out pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, a commercial use authorization issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall have the same expiration as the commercial use authorizations issued pursuant to the most recent limited timeframe and, if applicable, the anniversary date(s) for the purposes of paragraph (1) of Rule 0400-02-13-.05 shall be the anniversary date(s) of the commercial use authorizations issued during the limited timeframe application process, but the application fee shall not be prorated.
(c)
1. If a limited timeframe is established for a park pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph and the demand for commercial use authorizations to conduct a certain commercial park activity or class of commercial park activities exceeds the park's capacity for that activity, the Commissioner may establish that a limited number of new commercial use authorizations will be issued. If the Commissioner establishes a limited number of new commercial use authorizations to be issued to conduct a certain commercial park activity or class of commercial park activities, the Commissioner shall establish a system for determining which applicants will receive a commercial use authorization from among the pool of complete, valid applications received during the limited application timeframe. The Commissioner's method shall utilize a scoring system that ranks applicants based on the information provided in their applications and may take an applicant's prior experience conducting the relevant commercial park activity or class of commercial park activities at a park into account when scoring applications.
2. No application fee shall be refunded because an application was not chosen for a commercial use authorization pursuant to this subparagraph. Provided, however, that if the Commissioner decides to choose successful applicants using a qualifications-based scoring process under part 1. of this subparagraph after an application to engage in that commercial park activity or class of commercial park activities is received, the applicant shall be given the chance to withdraw that application and have the applicant's application fee refunded by making such a request in writing within seven calendar days of the Commissioner sending written notification to the applicant of the intent to choose applicants using a qualifications-based scoring process under part 1. of this subparagraph.
3. When the Commissioner has decided to choose applicants to receive a commercial use authorization to conduct a commercial park activity or class of commercial park activities in a park based on a qualifications-based scoring process under part 1. of this subparagraph, the Commissioner shall post notice of the Commissioner's intent to do so, including the park where such commercial park activities will be restricted, the class of commercial park activities to be restricted, and the number of commercial use authorizations to be issued on the Department's webpage.

Notes

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-02-13-.02
Emergency rules filed June 29, 2021; effective through December 26, 2021. New rules filed September 21, 2021; effective 12/20/2021.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-201, et seq., and 11-1-101.

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