The town of Hideout’s efforts to annex land in Summit County has caused rifts between the town, the county, and Park City. With time running out, Park City is urging Hideout to rethink their plans.
With the repeal of the state legislation that first allowed the annexation of hundreds of acres of land in the Richardson Flat area of Summit County officially becoming law on October 19th, the window for Hideout to complete the move is closing fast.
The Hideout Town Council claims they have an obligation to provide various services to their residents and the other communities around the Jordanelle reservoir. The area is projected to grow substantially in the coming years.
Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin told KPCW earlier in the summer that Hideout and the surrounding communities want to become self-sufficient. He said commercial development in their region will help relieve some of the crowding problems currently experienced in Park City and Kimball Junction.
Hideout only became a town in 2008 after the developer of the community northeast of the Jordanelle used a now-repealed piece of state legislation to incorporate into a town.
The town has approximately 1,000 residents and consists solely of a golf course and residential units. Hideout is in desperate need of taxable commercial services and currently relies on Wasatch County and the Jordanelle Special Service District for fire, police, water, sewer and other needs.
Park City Councilmember Max Doilney told KPCW Hideout’s desire to annex into Summit County in order to provide services like schools and a grocery store is not how annexations usually work.
“Normally, annexations happen when an extension of a community is in need of services, so, people live outside of the city limits or something like that and then the city annexes them in to provide that population with, you know, a school system, fire, safety, et cetera,” Doilney said. “In this case, they’re kind of doing it backwards. They’re going to vacant land and trying to build a city on that vacant land so that they can provide themselves with services.
Hideout Councilmember Chris Baier said in September the town has been forced into a corner and feels ignored by Wasatch County, despised by Summit County, and many of its residents consider themselves part of Park City.
Doilney says he welcomes a future relationship with Hideout when it comes to regional planning, but the town's actions this summer have left a bad taste in many of his colleagues mouths.
“I understand that they have some big problems out there that they’re trying to solve,” said Doilney. “I can understand where they’re coming from, I just think that they should go about it the right way. We welcome them to be part of our regional conversations and to communicate about what kind of problems they have and how we can help them solve those problems, but it’s really hard to start a relationship this way.”
He says annexations typically take years to complete, not months, and Hideout’s urgency to rush through the process before the clock runs out is not the right move. If the opportunity opens back up at a later date with new legislation, he says, go for it.
“You know, that usually would take years,” he said. “These things are very complicated and very difficult, lots of questions to be answered. We’re saying you should hold off, pause, do this the right way. If they pass this law through the legislature in a future session and it goes through the right way, with the right amount of public input, then move forward. But the way that this is going, it looks a little crooked by pretty much every metric.”
The Hideout Town Council has repeatedly told KPCW the town stands by their general plan, which was adopted in 2019 and includes much of the Jordanelle area and the land in Richardson Flat.