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Hideout Planning Commission recommends 600-unit development

Integrated Planning & Design
Hideout Town
A development could turn about 112 acres off S.R. 248 into roughly 150 hotel rooms, a 20-room bed-and-breakfast and approximately 400 homes, as well as commercial space.

The Hideout Planning Commission recommended a 600-unit development across S.R. 248 from the Jordanelle Reservoir. The project moves next to the Town Council.

Where S.R. 248 bends eastward toward Kamas and the Jordanelle Reservoir overlook appears as a turnoff, 112 acres that rise up from the road may soon be developed.

On Thursday, the Hideout Planning Commission unanimously approved a concept plan for the Boulders at Hideout development. The commission also forwarded a positive recommendation to the Town Council to rezone the land and adopt a master development agreement.

The Town Council has final say over whether the development will be approved. It is scheduled to discuss the project on March 3.

Planning commissioners recommended capping the project at 577 ERUs, or equivalent residential units. ERUs are a way to calculate a project’s density but do not directly equate to a housing unit like an apartment.

Hideout planning staff said the development would likely include about 600 individual units spread among 150 hotel rooms, a 20-room bed-and-breakfast and approximately 400 homes. The plan also calls for some commercial development.

Commissioners expressed reservations with the amount of parking included in the plan, the lack of secured water rights and the lack of a connection across or under S.R. 248 to the rest of the town and the reservoir.

They also said the number of units was higher than they would like. One commissioner asked developer McKay Christensen to cut the number of residences from around 400 to around 200.

“Yeah, I’ve just got to tell you, there's no way that works for us. We've had these conversations with (Town Planner Thomas Eddington) on what we're going to have to do to bring the hotel in, and it's going to require a lot of giveaways on our part,” Christensen said. “It just doesn't make any economic sense for us to do that.”

The other developer presenting at the meeting, Todd Amberry, said the project included an amenities package worth tens of millions of dollars and other improvements to the land that cost more than $50 million.

They said some of those amenities include a 200-seat amphitheater and an acceleration/deceleration lane on S.R. 248. They said the project’s density is what makes those amenities possible.

“We are coming in with 112 acres, and offering more than anybody, or any development that I'm aware of, has ever done within this town,” Christensen said.

One of the conditions the commissioners included along with their recommendation was that the developers make a contribution to a proposed connection going underneath S.R. 248. Another condition was that the developers consider adding more businesses to the project and reducing the overall density.

The staff report accompanying the presentation states that this swath of land is the last large piece of developable property in Hideout and the only location where a town center or village square could be built.

Hideout attempted to annex 350 acres of Richardson Flat in 2020 to build a town center. Litigation over that annexation is ongoing.

The staff report also says that the hotel and commercial components could “ensure the future viability” of Hideout and provide “a desperately needed fiscal component to balance the Town’s existing heavy reliance on residential property tax dollars.”

Businesses generate more tax revenue for municipalities than primary residences.

Estimates provided by the developers show the project could bring in $24 million in tax revenue over its first 20 years and about $650,000 in its first year.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.