Hideout Annexation On Hold While Judge Weighs Decision
After a nearly 12-hour hearing Monday, the future growth of a small town in Wasatch County remains uncertain.
Until March of this year, a city needed approval from the county it wanted to annex land from, if it was across county lines. But that changed after the Utah Legislature passed a bill in the final days of its 2020 general session. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law around two weeks later.
Now, Hideout — a town of about 900 people on the east side of the Jordanelle Reservoir — is considering taking more than 650 acres of land from Summit County against the county’s wishes.
It’s an area called Richardson Flat, near the interchange of U.S. 40 and S.R. 248 on the border of Summit and Wasatch Counties. It’s currently zoned for low-density residential development and open space, but developers Josh Romney and Nate Brockbank have proposed a mixed-use residential and commercial development there.
Hideout Mayor Philip Rubin said the town needs more land outside of its current boundaries to provide services — like a grocery store, parks and schools — that support its growing population.
But Summit County argued the annexation would undo a long-held plan to preserve the area as open space. They also asserted Hideout worked with Romney and Brockbank to pass the annexation amendments in the Legislature.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Cal Musselman, R-West Haven, but Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Sandy, supported a substitution during this year’s general session that paved the way for the Hideout annexation. Cullimore said he was told all stakeholders agreed with the amendment, and there wasn’t much debate about it.
Now, he said he’ll propose a repeal of the bill during an upcoming special session of the Legislature, likely beginning on Aug. 20.
“I ran the substitute based on the representation that was proposed to me and based on the wishes of the sponsor of the bill,” Cullimore said. “As far as the Senate is concerned, this was not anything intentional to sneak something in at the last minute for the benefit of anybody, any landowners or anything like that.”
Fourth District Court Judge Jennifer Brown postponed her decision on an injunction against the annexation until Friday. However, she allowed Hideout to move forward with a public hearing planned for Wednesday to discuss the potential annexation.
Emily Means covers politics for KUER. Follow Emily on Twitter @Em_Means13