The Summit County Council has sent a letter asking the town of Hideout to drop its plans to annex into Summit County, enabling a residential/commercial project from developer Nate Brockbank.
The county is asking the town to work with them and others in a regional planning effort.
Meanwhile, striking a different tone, the county and Park City, in a joint statement, is blasting Brockbank’s attorney Bruce Baird and is asking the town to renounce him, due to his controversial comments this week.
The statements come, as the Hideout Town Council is scheduled to meet Thursday night to consider a decision to annex, and to authorize Mayor Phil Rubin to enter into a Master Development Agreement with Brockbank.
Before that, however, all parties are awaiting a ruling Thursday afternoon from Fourth District Judge Jennifer Brown on the county’s request to halt Hideout’s annexation effort. It’s also a few days before the state law allowing Hideout to adversely annex into the county is due to expire.
The county’s letter on Wednesday noted that they have had weekly meetings with Hideout for a little over a month, and it’s evident that the two sides want to live and work as neighbors, not as opponents in bitter litigation.
But in the joint statement, members of the Summit County Council and Park City Council wrote that they were shocked and appalled that attorney Baird made threats of violence against opponents of the annexation, along with other disparaging comments.
Baird, as the development attorney for Brockbank, has been the point man in working out details of a prospective Development Agreement with the town. The statement said that during a meeting Tuesday night, Baird said of the protestors, “All those sons of bitches should have been taken out and shot.”
The city and county asked Hideout’s leaders if they “agree with this cavalier and erratic approach to engaging the public and their own residents.”
The statement said that, against the background of politically-motivated shootings around the country, Baird incited the use of weapons and beatings, and made a brutish attempt to intimidate and discourage protestors.
The statement asks the town to end any relationship, direct or indirect, with the attorney, and return to civility and collaboration.
The County Council, in their letter, said that if the Hideout Council hits “pause” and casts a No vote on annexation, the county will commit to engage meaningfully and seek regional solutions with partners that include Park City, Wasatch County, Kamas, Francis and others.
The county anticipates they will look at items like Hideout’s desire for neighborhood commercial and local recreation amenities, as well as regional challenges about traffic, energy, toxic soils and sustainability.
The county said the talks should consider all options, which could include consent to annexation and possible adjustments in county boundaries.
The county said they look forward to meeting at least on a monthly basis.
Meanwhile, the Hideout Council convened a special meeting Wednesday night. That came scarcely half-an-hour after Judge Brown ordered the town not to vote on annexation, pending her decision on Thursday.
Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin stated, as he has previously, that if the Council votes to annex, they want to be ready with a Master Development Agreement. They were in open session for over two hours, discussing details and document language with Brockbank, Baird, and private planner Eric Langvardt.