Annexation Developer Brockbank Speaks

Oct 20, 2020

Credit Hideout Utah

As we have reported, the Hideout Town Council voted last Friday for an annexation into Summit County of 350 acres near Richardson Flat.   

Before the vote, they heard a number of comments from Nate Brockbank, who proposes to develop on the annexed land.    He offered up his opinions on Summit County, Park City, the media, and the attacks against him.

Brockbank talked to the Hideout Council last week about a development with some 600 residential units and a net 95,000 square feet of commercial.

Looking back on the recent months of controversy, Brockbank said the one area where he fell short was defending himself against the criticisms launched at him.        

“I have been painted-- and hopefully you guys know me as someone that negotiates, and is good to work with, and goes the extra mile, and does the extra things in every development I have up here—I have been painted as a dishonest developer, land grabber.   And that is so far from the truth.”

He said he has worked his tail off, so that Hideout could become  viable.   He said the town won’t have to pay for anything in the project—including his offer last Friday to build its Town Hall and Community Center.   Brockbank contrasted the town, trying to get a few basic needs, with the priorities of wealthy Park City.     

“I remember sitting in one of the first meetings that we were talking about this.  And you guys were worried about how are you gonna pay a police officer, when Park City, in that same meeting, was wondering how they’re gonna get their $77 million, that they’re just a little bit short, to build their Arts Center.  The reason they have the money is cause they have the commercial.  And if you think there’s any way possible they’re gonna sit down with the town of Hideout and help them, I just don’t see it, cause they haven’t come to the table in the last 120 days that we’ve been talking about this.   They’ve made a lot of promises.”

And he said Summit County leaders are hypocrites, constricting Hideout while, he alleged, they have plans for a big development on the land they own along the Highway 40 frontage road.        

“And I’ll tell you what, I subpoenaed the documents.  And behind Home Depot, on 150 acres, they themselves, Summit County, is building 11, er 8, 1700 homes and over a million square feet.   And they want to fight the town of Hideout, and all the town of Hideout wants to do is be a legitimate city?  Shame on them.”

He told the Town Council that without the annexation, they have no leverage to get a seat at the table to discuss their problems and regional planning.       

“And you’re gonna think that Summit County and Park City are gonna sit at the table with you guys, when what do you have to offer?  They’re not gonna sit down.  I think you guys have asked em like 5 or 6 times in the Council meetings, “Call us.  We want to sit down with you.”  Not one time has it been called.  Not one time have they called you guys”

Critics of the annexation have said it was enabled by a bill that was misrepresented to legislators and passed in the waning days of last spring’s annual session.    The legislation, allowing Hideout to adversely annex into Summit County, was repealed in a special session last summer, but the repeal didn’t take effect until October 20th.    Hideout’s annexation came four days before the window closed.

Brockbank said he didn’t do anything wrong, adding, “If it’s dishonest to hire a lobbyist, then I’’m a dishonest person.”   He said legislators knew what they were doing.        

“I have no idea why this law was revoked, or repealed.   There’s one legislator who is the strongest gentleman up there.  He was for it, when we passed this.  He knew about it.  And then he changed his mind.   And he got—he single-handedly got this repealed.”

He repeatedly urged the Hideout Council to put his project up for a referendum next June, if one is organized.    He agreed to a provision in the Master Development Agreement that his Silver Meadows plan would be subject to the certified results of that vote.

While last week’s public hearing was overwhelmingly negative, he said he knocked on 50 doors in Hideout.    He said the few people in opposition just didn’t like the process.    

“People are against it because of the negative publicity that Summit County and Park City have done in the papers.  They’ve destroyed me in the papers.  They’re better at the b.s.  I try to avoid—I don’t like to talk to the newspaper, cause they twist and turn things.   And they’re Park City and Summit County’s newspapers.  They write whatever they wanna say.  I say something and they twist it.”

He said if a referendum is held, he will hold Open Houses, as he has done on other projects in the town.     He also said he will have environmental and economic feasibility studies prepared by then.

He said the controversy has been tough on the town, tough on him and tough on his family.    

“I’ve never read so much crap about me in the paper, cause I actually have a pretty high self-esteem.  I think I’m a pretty nice guy.  But you read the paper, and I’m just a scumbag.  And all I’m trying to do is help the town of Hideout survive and be a viable city for the rest of their lives.  What does Hideout want?  They want a little bit of commercial around the corner, and they wanna put some housing.  And they want to resolve some issues with traffic.   That’s bad?  When right down the street Summit County is doing 1700 homes and over a million square feet of commercial?”

Developer Nate Brockbank.