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Summit County Rebuts Baird Accusations, Says no Major Developments Along Highway 40 are in the Works

The attorney representing developer Nate Brockbank, Bruce Baird, is claiming Summit County is opposed to any development in the Richardson Flat area east of Park City because the county has commercial development plans of their own along Highway 40. Summit County says no such plans exist.


Brockbank and his business partners are hoping to develop a mixed-use commercial area on roughly 350 acres of land currently in Summit County. The land is part of the ongoing and highly controversial annexation plans by the town of Hideout in neighboring Wasatch County. 


Hideout is currently in the process of potentially annexing the land into the town in order to allow the development project to begin. Summit County has filed several lawsuits in Utah’s 3rd and 4th District Courts against Hideout and Brockbank in an effort to stop them.


Bruce Baird is an attorney for Brockbank and told KPCW this week that Summit County is opposed to any development in Richardson Flat not because they are concerned about preserving open space, but because they have plans for a large commercial development project of their own along Highway 40.


Baird claims the county plans to further develop the land around the Home Depot at the Highway 40 and Silver Creek Drive interchange and sent KPCW a “master plan” map as evidence. 


Summit County Manager Tom Fisher told KPCW those plans don’t exist.


“I mean, I listened to his interview and his complete accusation is that we have made a decision, or the council has approved, his word, a mixed-use development on our property and that is completely false,” claimed Fisher. “The county is not -- has not and is not -- in the commercial development business.”


Fisher said the county did purchase 460 acres of land in the area in 2019 from the Florence Gillmor Foundation, but only about 125 of those acres are suitable for development. Fisher said the land could be used for future county needs like expanding transportation or other services.


Developer Henry Sigg also has 19 acres of land adjacent to Summit County’s property and Fisher said the county did work with Sigg to look at the carrying capacity of the land and future infrastructure needs if there ever was any future development. He said Baird’s map looks to be one of the ones used to help them in that process.


“So, we have a responsibility to know, going down the line as we contemplate different things, whether they be public uses, whether they be uses that support our strategic planning,” Fisher said. “We need to understand, with adjacent land uses and possibilities of land use, what the infrastructure would be needed in order to do those types of things.”


The land surrounding the Home Depot is currently zoned as rural residential on Summit County’s zoning map and only allows one residential unit to be built for every 20 acres of land. Sigg is currently applying for a zone change with the county for the 19 acres of land he owns.


Fisher said Sigg’s zone change request is still before the county council and no decision has been made on whether or not Summit County even wants to develop the land they own.


“We have looked at the carrying capacity of the property to see what type of infrastructure would need to be done but we have not moved forward with any development because we don’t have any money to develop anything, nor have we decided to develop anything,” he said.


If either Summit County or Sigg wants to develop on the land at the Silver Creek interchange, it would first have to be rezoned and then development plans would have to be approved by the county. Fisher said Summit County would have to go through the same process Sigg or any other landowner would in order to develop the land owned by the county.


KPCW reported in August that initial discussions on the possible zoning change of Sigg’s land at the Silver Summit interchange were met with resistance. Summit County Council decided on August 19th to table further discussion on the issue until a later date.

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.