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Summit County Alleges Wrongdoing by Hideout Annexation Developers

Third District Court


Summit County filed a lawsuit against developers Nate Brockbank, Josh Romney, and others late Wednesday alleging continued wrongdoing by the developers over the attempted purchase and annexation of the Richardson Flat land east of Park City.


The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday evening in Utah’s 3rd District Court in Summit County and calls into question the developers’ apparent acquisition of two parcels of land in the Richardson Flat area from Wells Fargo in a foreclosure sale. Summit County is hoping to void the sale and is claiming the parcels were illegally subdivided.


Brockbank, Wells Fargo, United Park City Mines, and Brockbank’s business partner, Josh Romney, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit along with several other LLCs. 


Josh Romney is the son of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.


The parcels in question are located along S.R. 248, just east of the U.S. 189 interchange, and are currently zoned as rural residential land in Summit County. In a rural residential zone, only one home may be built for every 20 acres of land.


Summit County alleges Brockbank and Wells Fargo approached the town of Hideout in neighboring Wasatch County in 2019 about annexing the land into the town in order to build a large development area and solve the town’s existing revenue problems. 


The lawsuit alleges Brockbank, Romney, Wells Fargo, and Hideout then began an effort to sidestep Summit County’s laws and regulations regarding the annexation of the land in Richardson Flat.


Brockbank and Romney’s proposed “North Park” commercial development area in Richardson Flat would contain 3,500 new residences, 200,000 square feet of commercial space, and 100,000 square feet of office space. 


Summit County says the development would attract up to 10,000 new residents to the area. Hideout’s current population is estimated to be just under 1,000.


Summit County officials tell KPCW they cannot discuss the specifics of the lawsuit, but Summit County Councilor Chris Robinson says the county is prepared to do whatever it takes in order to keep the Richardson Flat land under Summit County’s control.


“I think our objective remains the same, which is that we had a bona fide general plan and have spent a long time planning that area,” he said. “It’s been in our jurisdiction and we want it to remain so and we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.”


Hideout and Brockbank have repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing and both parties have expressed a willingness to work with Summit County, Wasatch County, and Park City to resolve the Jordanelle area’s future needs.


Representatives for the developers did not immediately return KPCW’s request for comment and Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin tells KPCW the town does not have a comment on the matter at this time.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.
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