Hideout Residents Say Yes to Annexation
Hideout residents turned out in droves and voted overwhelmingly to support their town’s annexation of Summit County land in a referendum vote Tuesday.
With 72 % voter turnout by mail-in or drop-off balloting, 178 people voted in favor of the annexation, 87 voted against it, and two ballots were invalid out of 358 total ballots sent.
Of those ballots, 190 were sent or dropped off early, and 67 arrived on Tuesday.
“This turnout was, actually, historically pretty high,” said Hideout Town recorder Alicia Fairbourne. “Typically, in a regular municipal election, you would probably get, maybe 13%.”
But it was not immediately clear what impact the residents’ approval of the annexation would have given a court ruling earlier in the day by Judge Jennifer Brown of the Fourth District. She ruled the annexation invalid because Hideout did not complete the process to legally enact it before the Utah legislature nullified the ability to annex across county lines without Summit County’s permission.
The conflict arose last year, when Hideout absorbed roughly 350 acres of Summit County land without its consent. The goal is for developers to build homes and a commercial core, but has sparked multiple lawsuits over process and land-use limits.
Fairbourne, who worked for 14 years in the Salt Lake County elections office before going to work in Hideout, oversaw the vote-tallying process Tuesday evening. Two other vote-counters came from Hideout - deputy clerk Kathleen Hopkins and town administrator Jan McCosh.
Wasatch County clerk Joey Granger, Heber City recorder Trina Cooke and Heber City deputy recorder Robin Raines-Bond also counted votes.
The group spent about an hour tallying at the Wasatch County administration building and finished around 10:15 p.m.
The results of Tuesday’s resident referendum are unofficial until certified. Fairbourne expected the certification to happen Wednesday, June 29. She added that a handful of other ballots could arrive by that time, which must have been postmarked by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday in order to be counted.