The Hideout Town Council approved its annexation policy plan Thursday, after a false start and multiple meetings with neighboring governments.
Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin says the reason the 11-year-old town is updating its annexation policy plan is because it needs a seat at the table, as the area around the Jordanelle Reservoir develops.
“What we see out these windows is why we're all living here," Rubin said. "Our belief is that, what comes over in that space, it would be better for us to have a say than not have a say, that we would have an opportunity to influence what was coming, if it’s in our plan area.”
Rubin also says landowners on the edge of town have approached Hideout with interest in being annexed into the town because their parcels straddle multiple government boundaries.
“A piece in Hideout; a piece in Wasatch; and a piece in Summit, and it sure would be nice if you could have a single land use authority to help us move forward, if we decide to do something,” Rubin said.
Hideout began discussing amendments to its 2009 annexation policy plan to accommodate future growth in Fall 2018, and in June 2019 scheduled a public hearing for its Town Council to discuss the plan. Hideout then restarted its annexation policy amendment process after Park City Municipal pointed out the town hadn’t followed state law by neglecting to notify the municipality about its proceedings. State code specifically outlines that affected landowners and neighboring government entities must be informed about the process before three public meetings—two with the planning commission and one with the city council—move forward.
The Hideout Planning Commission revised the annexation plan at its last meeting, adjusting the annexation expansion area map as well as adding comments from stakeholders to the document. Initially, the map had included Park City-owned Clark Ranch and the Quinn’s Junction area in Summit County. Both the city and county objected to that, and Clark Ranch and the contaminated areas of Richardson Flat were removed from the map. The plan had also included land owned by Extell, the developer for the Military Installation Development Authority’s resort on the Jordanelle. State law prevents MIDA’s project area from being annexed, so land outside Hideout’s boundaries and in MIDA’s project area was removed from the annexation boundaries.
Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson spoke during public comment. He thanked the town for removing Clark Ranch from the plan but noted that the development-restricted areas of Quinn’s Junction—of which Park City is a beneficiary—remained in the boundaries.
“The area that’s been excluded in the grey right up on the corner of U.S. 40 and [State Route] 248 is operating unit one, which is the mine site reclamation with the EPA," Erickson said. "The other 500 acres of [development]-restricted property under the Flagstaff development agreement are still included in your annexation policy. I just wanted to make sure that that was on the record for you.”
Summit County Manager Tom Fisher recently told KPCW that, should Hideout move to annex property within the county, it would first need approval from the county council—essentially giving the county veto power over the annexation.
“If that came to an eventuality, and we weren't in agreement on how something was going to move forward, we do have that ability in state law,” Fisher said.
Hideout Councilmember Kurt Shadle says, as the Wasatch Back continues to grow, it’s important for Hideout to be a consideration in Summit County, Wasatch County and Park City’s regional vision.
“It’s just the concept of everybody sort of working in their own little silos doesn't really help us, when in fact a lot of these issues cross," Shadle said. "They’re not just germane to Wasatch or Summit or to Hideout—they’re all together.”
The Hideout Town Council’s approval of the annexation policy plan does not equate to an annexation action by Hideout. In most cases, landowners must petition municipalities to annex their property into the town boundaries. Updating the annexation plan and expansion boundaries sets that up to happen.