Summit County Respond To Hideout Plans To Expand Annexation Area

Aug 28, 2019

It’s normal for county governments to be notified when their local cities change annexation declaration areas.

As we’ve reported, though, Summit County is facing a new wrinkle with the news that the town of Hideout, located in Wasatch County, wants to expand its annexation zone into Summit County.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher and the Summit County Council have sent letters to Hideout, asking the town not to extend its annexation area into Summit land.

At the same time, the council this week is being notified of Park City’s intention to modify its declaration area.

“It’s a difficult lift for a county, for a city and a county within that county boundary, if the property owners do desire to annex in, there’s a lot of reasons why a county can’t refuse that. But sometimes there’s revenue equities that need to be made along the way. It’s a little different for, like Hideout, that’s in Wasatch County, if they’re trying to annex land within Summit County, across a county border. It’s a totally different deal just by state law.”

Fisher said it is perfectly legal for a town to extend its declaration area into a different county. At the same time, that county can have input.

“Now, when a property owner that is in another county comes in to apply to Hideout, in this case, for annexation, they have to realize that Summit County will be involved and has to authorize that if that’s going to go forward. There’s a lot of different reasons why a property owner might want to deal with that municipality vs the county. Some of those is ease of development. Some of those might be a desire to develop differently than what the county’s General Plan is.”

He said that could lead to some tension in the future.

“That’s one of the reasons why we want to be talking closely with Hideout and with Wasatch County. So if those tensions do come to fruition through land-use applications, that we can deal with those in a logical manner.”

Fisher said though he’s not a lawyer, his understanding is that the county can veto a town’s annexation. There are circumstances, though, where the county would agree to it.

“If the proposed development follows the county’s zoning that is already applied to that property there may be a reason for the county to agree with that, if different kinds of revenue-sharing are agreed to. I mean, there’s a lot of different possibilities. I think the point is that process of annexation slows the governments down enough to ask the questions and really talk to each other about what those possibilities are.”