The Town of Hideout will be holding a town council meeting at 6:30 Friday evening to discuss Thursday’s ruling by Utah’s 4th district Court over the town’s attempted annexation of 655 acres of land in Richardson Flat. The town will be examining their future options.
Although Thursday’s ruling by Judge Jennifer A Brown does prevent Hideout from attempting any annexations related to the town’s July 9th pre-annexation agreement with developers Nate Brockbank and Josh Romney, she did leave the door open for Hideout to pursue a new agreement and try again.
But with the repeal of Utah House Bill 359, which is the law that allowed Hideout to make the annexation move in July, set to go into effect on October 19th, time is running short.
Soon after the ruling on Thursday afternoon, Hideout’s Town Council notified the public they would be meeting on Friday evening to discuss the ruling and their options regarding any future annexations.
The Richardson Flat land is also in Park City’s annexation policy plan and Mayor Andy Beerman said the city wants Richardson Flat to remain open space. He says he worries about the direction Hideout could take going forward.
“Well, I mean, we’re really concerned about tonight’s meeting because we’re not sure the nature of it,” he said. “Our hope is they’re pulling together to examine the fact that the legislature has told them that they are repealing this legislation because it shouldn’t have happened and that the judge said that their process wasn’t appropriate and they would have to do a new process if they wanted to approach this. But we are concerned about the timing. Any meeting that’s at 6:30 on a Friday night on a holiday weekend makes me nervous.”
Beerman added he does want to give Hideout the benefit of the doubt, but was not able to reach Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin to discuss the nature of Friday’s meeting.
Mayor Rubin also did not respond to KPCW’s request for comment but Hideout Town Councilmember Chris Baier told KPCW via text message the time to understand Hideout’s voice will be at Friday’s town council meeting.
Summit County considers Thursday’s court ruling a win, despite the open door for Hideout to try again before October 19th. County Manager Tom Fisher told KPCW Summit County is prepared to preserve the county’s authority over Richardson Flat.
“Their past statements over the last week show their intent to continue to try and annex the Richardson Flat area,” said Fisher. “I think just as our statement said last night, we’re going to continue to try and preserve Summit County’s land use authority in that area.”
Summit County’s written statement from Thursday night says in part: “It would be unconscionable for Hideout to attempt any further efforts on Richardson Flat, given the legislature’s and the judge’s action.”
Judge Brown acknowledged that her ruling could mean Summit County and Hideout are back in court in the near future if the town decides to move forward with another annexation. Fisher says the county believes the ruling means Hideout cannot pursue annexation of any lands contained within Hideout’s July 9th pre-annexation agreement and would need a new agreement with new property owners to move forward.
“Since the properties are listed in that pre-annexation agreement and the parties are listed, we believe that they’re enjoined from moving forward with what’s in the contents of the pre-annexation agreement,” he said.
Hideout’s Town Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. If you are interested in attending the meeting, a link to the agenda and instructions to join the Zoom meeting are available here.