It was a surprise for Summit County to find out last week that the town of Hideout was taking steps to annex into the area near Quinn’s Junction.
But Summit County manager Tom Fisher says the county is taking a step back to look at the ramifications of what’s happened and get some idea of the young Wasatch County town’s intentions.
Last week, the Hideout Town Council authorized mayor Philip Rubin to pursue a pre-annexation agreement with developer Nate Brockbank.
Fisher said Summit County is still not sure exactly how many acres are involved. But the prospective annexation is in the quadrant to the southeast from Quinn’s Junction—between that and the Summit-Wasatch county line.
He said that instances of a city annexing into another county have occurred in the past.
“If a community is going to annex across a county border, there has to be essentially an OK from that other county in order to do that annexation,” Fisher said. “There has been a change in legislation that gives a path to a city to use publicly owned property to effect an annexation without the permission of the other county.”
He said the process usually has some transparency and studies to make sure it’s done correctly.
Fisher said it looks like the legislation that enabled Hideout’s decisions originated in this year’s regular session of the Utah state legislature.
“So a late substitution changed some language,” Fisher said. “That seems to have created the path for Hideout to take the path that they have, or they’re choosing to take now. And then something happened in the special session. I’m not clear yet whether there was something that happened in the special session, or whether just the timing of the implementation of the signing of the implementation of that bill kind of coincided at the same time as one of the special sessions that allowed this to happen. So we’re still sorting that out. That’s one of those items that we really need to nail down.”