Summit County's New Hideout Lawsuit Aims At Mayflower Parcel
Summit County has fired off another legal volley in its annexation fight with the town of Hideout.
On Wednesday, the county filed suit, declaring it has a property interest in a parcel owned by Mayflower near Richardson Flat. That’s one of the parcels targeted for annexation by Hideout and developer Nate Brockbank.
The new lawsuit in Third District Court is filed against the Dutch company Stichting Mayflower, under two corporate names, as well as Brockbank and five John Does.
Hideout isn’t named, but the suit alleges that the town has just launched its second annexation attempt, and is acting urgently, barely a month before a repeal takes effect for the bill that allows the Wasatch County town to annex into Summit County.
The suit says the annexation plan includes a portion of a Mayflower parcel, SS-86, and Summit County asserts they hold an undefined two acres, and two Rights-of-Way on that parcel based on a quit-claim deed from 1928. The county says that makes it a “tenant-in-common”, and they have to give consent for the parcel to be annexed.
The suit also says that without that consent, Hideout Town can’t connect to all the lands south of SS-86 in their proposed annexation, including other Mayflower Parcels.
The litigation repeats the allegations that Summit County has made in two other lawsuits about a “hostile annexation” launched at them. The suit says that Hideout, finding itself short of revenues to support itself, was approached by Brockbank in 2019 with a proposal for a high-density, mixed-use development in Summit County by Richardson Flat—despite the county’s General Plan, which calls for low-density residential there.
It says that Hideout, in league with the developer, amended their Annexation Policy in August of last year.
The suit also says that Brockbank engaged in a “misdirection campaign” with Summit County officials by feigning interest in developing in their jurisdiction and applying for a General Plan Amendment.
In addition, the county alleges Brockbank orchestrated a “bait and switch” at last spring’s Utah Legislature. A bill dealing with annexation issues in Weber and Davis Counties, HB 359, had consensus support.
The suit contends that Brockbank’s attorney, Bruce Baird, wrote a substitute bill, which stipulated that a city can annex into another county, without that county’s consent. It also allowed Hideout to enact a “cherry-stem annexation” along Highway 248.
Lobbyist Michael Ostermiller reportedly passed on the revised 359 to its Senate sponsor, saying it just had technical changes. The bill was approved in the 11th-hour of the legislative session.
Although the bill was repealed in the Legislature’s special session this summer, that doesn’t take effect until October 20th.
Summit County’s latest litigation, on Wednesday, came just hours after a court hearing where it faced off with Mayflower. The Dutch company had filed suit to nullify a lien the county had placed on SS-86 in August. Their attorney, Steven Bergman, said the lien was applied to the entire SS-86 parcel, of nearly 147 acres, and so was overbroad, inaccurate and wrongful.
However, Mayflower’s motion was denied by Third District Court Judge Richard Mrazik. He ruled that the county had given sufficient detail about its claims, and had not overstated or misrepresented them.
Summit County is asking for Declaratory Relief and an Injunction to prevent the annexation on SS-86, until they conduct discovery into the Defendants, and all legal actions and complaints on the property are fully litigated.