16-4-105. (Temporary) Limit on retail beer licenses -- wine license amendments -- limitation on use of license -- exceptions -- competitive bidding -- rulemaking. (1) Except as provided in 16-4-109, 16-4-110, 16-4-115, 16-4-420, and chapter 4, part 3, of this title, a license to sell beer at retail or beer and wine at retail, in accordance with the provisions of this code and the rules of the department, may be issued to any person or business entity that is approved by the department, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) The number of retail beer licenses that the department may issue for premises situated within incorporated cities and incorporated towns and within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the cities and towns must be determined on the basis of population prescribed in 16-4-502 as follows:
(i) in incorporated towns of 500 inhabitants or less and within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the towns, not more than one retail beer license;
(ii) in incorporated cities or incorporated towns of more than 500 inhabitants and not over 2,000 inhabitants and within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the cities or towns, one retail beer license for every 500 inhabitants;
(iii) in incorporated cities of over 2,000 inhabitants and within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the cities, four retail beer licenses for the first 2,000 inhabitants, two additional retail beer licenses for the next 2,000 inhabitants or major fraction of 2,000 inhabitants, and one additional retail beer license for every additional 2,000 inhabitants.
(b) The number of inhabitants in each incorporated city or incorporated town, exclusive of the number of inhabitants residing within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the city or town, governs the number of retail beer licenses that may be issued for use within the city or town and within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of the city or town. The distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits of any incorporated city or incorporated town must be measured in a straight line from the nearest entrance of the premises proposed for licensing to the nearest corporate boundary of the city or town.
(c) When the 5-mile boundary of one incorporated city or incorporated town overlaps the 5-mile boundary of another incorporated city or incorporated town, the quota area for each city or town terminates in a straight line equidistant between each city or town.
(d) Retail beer licenses of issue on March 7, 1947, and retail beer licenses issued under 16-4-110 that are in excess of the limitations in this section are renewable, but new licenses may not be issued in violation of the limitations.
(e) The limitations do not prevent the issuance of a nontransferable and nonassignable retail beer license to an enlisted persons', noncommissioned officers', or officers' club located on a state or federal military reservation on May 13, 1985, or to a post of a nationally chartered veterans' organization or a lodge of a recognized national fraternal organization if the veterans' or fraternal organization has been in existence for a period of 5 years or more prior to January 1, 1949.
(f) The number of retail beer licenses that the department may issue for use at premises situated outside of any incorporated city or incorporated town and outside of the area within a distance of 5 miles from the corporate limits or for use at premises situated within any unincorporated area must be determined by the department in its discretion, except that a retail beer license may not be issued for any premises so situated unless the department determines that the issuance of the license is required by public convenience and necessity pursuant to 16-4-203. Subsection (12) does not apply to licenses issued under this subsection (1)(f). The owner of the license whose premises are situated outside of an incorporated city or incorporated town may offer gambling, regardless of when the license was issued, if the owner and premises qualify under Title 23, chapter 5, part 3, 5, or 6.
(2) (a) For a period of 12 years after November 24, 2017, existing licenses as of November 24, 2017, in either of two quota areas that were established as provided in subsection (1)(c) may be transferred between the two quota areas if they were part of a combined quota area prior to November 24, 2017.
(b) If any new retail beer licenses are allowed by separating a combined quota area that existed as of November 24, 2017, as provided in subsection (1)(c), the department shall publish the availability of no more than one new beer license a year until the quota has been reached.
(3) A license issued under subsection (1)(f) that becomes located within 5 miles of an incorporated city or town because of annexation after April 15, 2005, may not be transferred to another location within the city quota area for 5 years from the date of the annexation.
(4) When the department determines that a quota area is eligible for a new retail beer license under subsection (1) or (2)(b), the department shall use a competitive bidding process to determine the party afforded the opportunity to apply for the new license. The department shall:
(a) determine the minimum bid based on 75% of the market value of retail beer licenses in the quota area;
(b) publish notice that a quota area is eligible for a new license;
(c) notify the bidder with the highest bid; and
(d) keep confidential the identity of bidders, number of bids, and bid amounts until the highest bidder has been approved.
(5) To enter the competitive bidding process, a bidder shall submit:
(a) an application form provided by the department; and
(b) an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution establishing the department as the beneficiary of the bid amount.
(6) In the case of a tie for the highest bid, the tied bidders may submit new bids. The minimum bid must be set at the tied bid amount. To submit a new bid, a tied bidder shall submit:
(a) an application form provided by the department; and
(b) an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution establishing the department as the beneficiary of the new bid amount.
(7) The highest bidder shall:
(a) submit an application provided by the department and applicable fees for the license within 60 days of the department's notification of being the highest bidder;
(b) pay the bid amount prior to the license being approved;
(c) meet all other requirements to own a retail beer license; and
(d) commence business within 1 year of the department's notification unless the department grants an extension because commencement was delayed by circumstances beyond the applicant's control.
(8) If the highest bidder is not approved to own the license, the department shall offer the license to the next highest bidder. That bidder shall comply with the requirements of subsection (7).
(9) If no bids are received during the competitive bidding process or if a quota area is already eligible for another new license, the department shall process applications for the license in the order received.
(10) (a) The successful applicant is subject to forfeiture of the license and the original license fee if the successful applicant:
(i) transfers the awarded license to another person or business entity after receiving the license unless that transfer is due to a death of an owner;
(ii) does not use the license within 1 year of receiving the license or stops using the license within 5 years. The department may extend the time for use if the successful applicant provides evidence that the delay in use is for reasons outside the applicant's control; or
(iii) proposes a location for the license that had the same license type within the previous 12 months.
(b) If a license is forfeited, the department shall offer the license to the next eligible highest bidder in the auction.
(11) A person holding a license to sell beer for consumption on the premises at retail may apply to the department for an amendment to the license permitting the holder to sell wine as well as beer. The department may issue an amendment if it finds, on a satisfactory showing by the applicant, that the sale of wine for consumption on the premises would be supplementary to a restaurant or prepared-food business. Except for beer and wine licenses issued pursuant to 16-4-420, a person holding a beer and wine license may sell wine for consumption on or off the premises. Nonretention of the beer license, for whatever reason, means automatic loss of the wine amendment license.
(12) Except as provided in subsection (1)(f), a license issued pursuant to this section after October 1, 1997, must have a conspicuous notice that the license may not be used for premises where gambling is conducted.
(13) A successful applicant shall pay to the department a $25,000 original license fee and in subsequent years pay the annual fee for the license as provided in 16-4-501.
(14) The department may adopt rules to implement this section. (Terminates December 31, 2023--sec. 17, Ch. 5, Sp. L. November 2017.)