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Park City Municipal files annexation intent for Richardson Flat

Richardson Flat Map

Park City has filed a notice of its intent to annex 1200 acres of  property in Richardson Flat – all located within the city’s annexation boundaries.

The property addition largely follows the property lines that the town of Hideout had originally sought to annex last year. After Park City filed a lawsuit arguing that Hideout couldn’t annex property that the city already had a development agreement on, Hideout dropped the parcels from its annexation plans. The lawsuits between Hideout and Summit County for other parcels Hideout is looking to annex are continuing.

If the annexation of these 1200 acres is ultimately approved, the additional property would increase the city’s total acreage by about 10%.

City manager Matt Dias says the notice of intent of annexation is just the first step of a complex 3-step annexation process. The notice of intent, he said, was filed with the Summit County recorder’s office. Adjacent property owners and affected entities will also be noticed.

The second phase of the process is the filing of an annexation petition. This is when the Park City council will have to decide whether to accept the petition in order to continue the annexation process. Dias says the public will get involved during the third and final step of the annexation process.

The annexation includes the 344 acre Clark Ranch holdings that Park City Municipal already. Untied Park City Mines is the owner of the rest of the land.

Given the pause in litigation between Summit County and Hideout over what Summit County thinks is a hostile annexation, Dias said the city saw this as a decent opportunity to start the process.

There was standing directions from the city council, and they are to be heavily engaged in this area and be monitoring all of the different property owners and land use of appetite for development out there,” Dias said. “There was also a brief pause in the litigation that's taking place between Summit County, and ourselves and the property owners. And so why not now to be honest. They [the council] just saw this as a decent opportunity, sort of call the question and obviously this will have to be a legislative decision made by the council and Mayor if they want to continue to explore it, but given sort of the brief pause of the litigation, given the land use intensity out there, we said If not now – when? This seemed like a good time for us to try to bring to fruition the agreements under the Flagstaff development covenants that we have.”

Under a 1998 development agreement between Park City and the developer of Empire Pass, the Richardson Flat property was to be used primarily for open space and recreation – including a possible golf course and trails.

If annexed by the city, Dias said it remains to be seen if the property could be zoned for residential development.

You know, I guess anything is conceivable we would obviously have a change in the restrictions under the development agreement that could only be done through the legislative process," he said. "Ultimately the council and the mayor would work with other entities and determine what happens out there currently though. The land we believe is bound by those restrictions and I'm not aware we have any intent out of the gate to change those restrictions.”

The Clark Ranch borders the Park City Heights Development. Some of it could be used for residential development if it’s annexed and rezoned.

Dias added that the 1200 acres also includes the EPA approved soils repository. Even though that would be within the city’s new boundaries if the annexation goes through, United Park City Mines remains the owner of the repository and the city Dias said wouldn’t assume liability for the repository even though it would be located in city limits.

Dias said the city reached out to Summit County officials before initiating the annexation. He said the county is supportive of starting the public process and they are well aware of the existing commitment of the property under the existing development agreement on the property. Dias added that the city and county will benefit from the annexation by reducing uncertainty and speculation in the area.

Summit County Attorney Margaret Olsen said she had no comment at this time when asked by KPCW if the county has any issues with the city’s intent to annex.

KPCW was unable to reach County Manager Tom Fisher, or council chairman Glenn Wright for comment.