By submitting plans for arrival on time the applicant is saying the wants to be scheduled. Nothing guaranteed however likely it may be scheduled at that hearing. The applicant can not insist that he/she be placed on the agenda however much thay wish to believe it to be so. IMHO the question is irrelevant.
It would be if the phrase were worded “…applications must be received at least four weeks before the meeting at which the application [sic] is to be scheduled for an initial hearing.” Now you’re doing the “watch where I get off and then just get off one stop before me” thing, demanding that applicants get their applications in four weeks before a meeting that would have on its agenda something that would only end up on the agenda if the application were submitted.
But the phrase “…would like to be scheduled” really changes things. If you, the applicant, would like to have the matter of your initial hearing’s schedule put on the agenda for a given meeting, you’d better have your application in our hands at least four weeks prior to that meeting. Now the matter of “which meeting” is defined by “when you’d like it”, not by “four weeks after the application is received” and you no longer have a definitional loop.
You cannot get scheduled for a hearing unless you have submitted the application at least four weeks in advance. This does not guarantee you will get the hearing at a date four weeks after your submission. It just tells your they will not schedule it before then - they might be legally restrained from doing so. The initial meeting for discussion of your submission is obviously not an automated process - it’s a matter of course to suggest when you would want to it scheduled when it was initially submitted. For instance, four weeks from now might fall on the Christmas recess or maybe your expert won’t be available until the week after, or maybe the convening authority are off on holiday. etc.
In fact, I believe the planning commission in our state was so far behind in considering applications (two years in several cases)that a judge ruled that if they hadn’t made said nay after a year, they could petition the court for summary approval.