Hideout Mayor Says Annexation Effort Will Continue After Judge's Ruling
Within the span of a few hours on Tuesday, July 22, Hideout’s proposed annexation into Summit County won a solid victory in the town’s citizen referendum — before being struck down in court.
The two parties in the lawsuit disagree on the implications.
Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson says this is the beginning of the end for the Wasatch County town’s annexation effort. But Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin says the effort has the support of the voters and will ultimately win in court.
On Tuesday, Fourth District Judge Jennifer Brown ruled in favor of Summit County and against Hideout, finding that the town didn’t complete the required legal process before the repeal of state legislation that enabled the move took effect.
Just a few hours later the same day, 72% of Hideout voters indicated their support of the annexation in the referendum.
In an email to KPCW, Summit County Attorney Olson said the judge’s decision trumps the referendum. She said the ruling voided the town’s annexation ordinance from its inception.
“There was nothing for the Hideout voters to approve,” she said.
Hideout Mayor Rubin also wrote to KPCW, saying he is confident the annexation will be upheld in the appeals process.
“Hideout did everything properly throughout the annexation process, and I continue to believe that Summit County’s claims are baseless,” he said.
He said the referendum shows that residents want local amenities. He noted that a 2019 survey showed they wanted local shopping, more trails and public spaces. The referendum, he said, is an important step to providing services closer to home.
“Today marks a big day in the future of our town,” he added.
The mayor said he hopes now to move past the bitter disagreements with neighbors and into a regional planning process with “collaborative dialogues.”
“Hideout has so much to offer the other surrounding communities,” Rubin said.
The conflict arose last year when Hideout absorbed roughly 350 acres of Summit County land east of Park City without the county’s consent. The goal is for developers to build homes and a commercial core, but has sparked multiple lawsuits over process and land-use limits.