The Town of Hideout, which borders the Jordanelle Reservoir in Wasatch County, is in the process of creating an annexation policy plan, to guide its growth for the next 20 years.
Much like a municipality’s general plan, an annexation policy plan provides direction for a city or town’s long-term vision and is required by state statute. The plan anticipates growth and land-use needs, but it doesn’t mean a municipality will take action and annex the land at any point. Multiple municipalities can share the same areas within their annexation expansion areas.
Hideout was incorporated as a town in Wasatch County in 2008, under a law that briefly allowed a majority landowner and at least 100 residents to incorporate. Since then, Hideout has been slow to come into compliance with state law by creating an annexation policy plan to accompany its general plan. The proposed annexation expansion area would triple the size of the town, with its boundaries generally described as all properties south of SR 248 and east of U.S. 40 beyond the Jordanelle State Park boat ramp.
Town Manager Jan McCosh says Hideout is currently more of a development than a town, which is one reason the municipality has set its sights on an expansive annexation policy plan.
“We have no public spaces; we have no public parks; no school, no amenities that a typical town has," McCosh said. "In fact, most of the landmass is owned by the developer who incorporated, so in order to achieve some of our goals of community and community spaces and livability and quality of life, we need to annex more land.”
The expansion proposal also includes the Quinn’s Junction area, featuring Park City-owned Clark Ranch and Richardson Flat, which is under development restrictions with Park City as beneficiary. Park City Manager Diane Foster says Hideout hadn’t notified the City about its intention to include those properties in its annexation policy plan, as required by state law. As a result of conversations between Hideout, Park City and Summit County, the Town has hit the rewind button on the process. McCosh says the reason Hideout has included those areas in the plan is due to some geographical difficulties the Town experiences being located technically in Wasatch County but sandwiched by Summit County.
“Our kids have to travel an hour to get to schools because we're part of the Wasatch County system," McCosh said. "Our residents come into Park City on 248 for gas and groceries or go to Kamas, but in a survey it seems we’re more a bedroom community of Park City.”
Much of the land Hideout has proposed in its annexation expansion area overlaps with the Military Installation Development Authority, or MIDA, resort project area. McCosh says it’s complicated working with MIDA because those land-use decisions are being made by a state authority, rather than at the local level. But by collaborating with MIDA and the developer of its project, McCosh says the Town hopes to create a functional community.
“It requires the town to really be forward-thinking again, but why would we do that?" McCosh said. "Because if you're a development with no park, with no public places, this is an opportunity to work with the developer and get those pieces of land.”
Under state law, a municipality amending its annexation policy plan must hold three meetings that are noticed to the public, neighboring municipalities and landowners—two with the municipality’s planning commission, one with its legislative body. The final public hearing at the Hideout Town Council meeting is planned for August 8, 6 p.m. at Hideout Town Hall.