The Hideout Town Council hearing Monday night heard from dozens of people. Among those, the Council heard from their legislative representatives, and leaders of Summit County and Park City, past and present.
The hearing attracted lots of critics for the town’s proposed annexation into Summit County. It comes with scarcely a week left for the town’s legal window.
A bill allowing a town to adversely annex into a neighboring county, HB 359, was passed in the waning days of this year’s Legislature. After critics said the bill was a bait and switch, a special session of the Legislature repealed it, but that didn’t take effect for 60 days. The deadline is October 19th.
The House Representative for Wasatch County and Park City, Tim Quinn, disagreed with the attorney for developer Nate Brockbank, who said the two-month window was left open by legislators to allow Hideout to continue annexation. He said he talked on Monday to Senator Kirk Cullimore, who sponsored 359, and also its repeal.
“And he wanted me to relay that, under no circumstances did he speak to the developer’s counsel about this, and that it was not his intent to leave the 60-day window open so that Hideout could proceed, that the legislature did not leave that open so that that could happen.”
Quinn said the 60-day window was just a normal procedure for legislation.
During the hearing, Summit County Council Member Roger Armstrong said what happened was the intersection of an opportunistic developer and a town desperate for services.
But, he said, annexation will leave Hideout with a lot of service and infrastructure challenges.
“When stripped bare, that Emerald City proposed to Hideout is hundreds of additional rooftops, likely with a lower tax base than you currently have, long school commutes for your children, unknown water and sewer sources with unknown service charges that will be borne by the residents, unknown law-enforcement and emergency services and their unknown associated costs, also which will have to be borne by your revenues, and a commercial zone and Town Center located adjacent to a toxic-waste facility that when capped, will require at least 30 years of ongoing operation and maintenance costs. That same commercial zone will be an isolated location and not likely to be a significant contributor to Hideout’s tax base, due to that isolation. When the developer finishes, Hideout will be left with problems, and no more solutions.”
Park City representatives said if Hideout wants a seat at the table for regional planning, they should come to the table.
Mayor Andy Beerman said another challenge they will have involves roads.
“You’ve been told by the developer that two new roads will go in to 248. Park City has been negotiating over a decade with UDOT to install a new road to 248 from that park n ride, and it’s been a no-go. So I think counting on those roads is dangerous. And if the traffic is intended to go through Black Rock and Park City Heights area, not only will the commercial fail, but it’ll be crushing to those neighborhoods. I’ve heard from the Hideout Council that you’re concerned about growth, and you need this growth. But you’re not gonna grow your way outa this. Growth does not pay for itself. Developers are here to make money, so it’s naïve to believe that they’re gonna come in and solve your town’s needs.”
And Dana Williams, who was Park City Mayor for three terms, offered this advice.
“This whole thing is based on relationships. And the biggest thing that I learned in 12 years was about honor and respect, and that we could completely disagree on certain ideas, but we need to leave the table going, “I respect that person.” Your history of how this has been dealt with, the comments of Bruce Baird about the people of Park City and Summit County have done nothing to help you guys at all.”
Dana Williams, who added that he had studied the soils around Richardson Flat in the 70’s, and said that heavy metals are everywhere.