Hideout annexation plans up for approval Aug. 22, present threat to regional plans
What: Hideout annexation plan public hearing
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22
Where: Hideout Town Hall, 10860 N. Hideout Trail
On Monday morning in Hideout, leaders from Park City, Summit County and the ten-year-old Wasatch County town met over breakfast to discuss the issues the three neighbors face.
The impetus for the meeting was a plan the town put out for potential growth areas, but Summit County Council chair Roger Armstrong said the meeting’s focus was broader than that.
“It was a terrific opportunity to have everybody in a single meeting – to meet each other (and) talk about some challenges we all face together,” he said. “Transit, transportation, (S.R.) 248 is a challenge for all of us.”
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman echoed his comments, saying the three had more in common than issues that divided them.
But Hideout needs to grow to continue providing services for its residents: It relies on one business – a golf course – to supplement its residential tax base, and its general plan calls for adding more commercial development. Many of the areas the town is eyeing for potential development are planned by its neighbors to be a buffer against sprawl.
The town was incorporated under a short-lived law in 2008, and about 75 percent of the land in the current town boundaries is still governed by a development agreement between the town and Mustang Development.
Hideout approved future annexation boundaries in its general plan in April that included Park City and Summit County land holdings, and both governments expressed objections. Any landowner within a municipality’s annexation boundaries can ask to be annexed into it. If approved, that would give that municipality control over how the land is developed.
Amended boundaries were recommended by the town’s Planning Commission and are on the Hideout Town Council’s agenda for its Aug. 22 meeting.
The annexation boundaries aren’t a declaration that the town will seek to annex all of that land. Rather, it establishes the legal framework for a landowner to petition the town to be annexed into it.
But once land is annexed into the town, Hideout would have final land-use authority, meaning the town could approve projects as it sees fit. And its desire for growth is in opposition to the stated aims of both Park City and Summit County. Areas of direct contention could be around Quinn’s Junction and Richardson Flat.
Armstong said the county’s general plan and development code would no longer apply to areas annexed into a town. Those documents cover provisions ranging from how much affordable housing is required for a project to limiting the height of its buildings, its overall density, the nature of the development and requirements for open space and parks.
“Once land is annexed into the city, the county loses planning control over that area,” he said.
The amended annexation boundaries approved by Hideout’s Planning Commission no longer include the MIDA project area on the west side of the Jordanelle Reservoir adjacent to Deer Valley Resort, as MIDA has the same land-use authority as a municipality. Hideout has also removed all Park City holdings, some parcels in the Quinn’s Junction area and the Richardson Flat parking area.
But the boundaries still cover roughly the entire area surrounding the northern portion of the Jordanelle reservoir, including the mouth of Brown’s Canyon. Much of the land is in Wasatch County, and Armstrong said representatives from that county were not present at the meeting.
The new boundaries still include some Summit County holdings, which county manager Tom Fisher wrote in a June letter would not be acceptable. Armstrong reiterated that position in a letter last week signed by the entire County Council.
“Given the Town of Hideout’s stated goal to increase commercial density to expand its tax base, as well as the existing significant residential density that has already substantially impacted traffic and contributed to sprawl at Summit County’s gateway to the Snyderville Basin along Highway 248, we are deeply concerned about additional impacts from substantially increased density from the proposed annexation,” the letter states.
The amended annexation plans state some Summit County parcels have remained in the boundaries due to the request of the landowners.
Armstrong noted that thousands of units have already been approved and entitled in the area around the Jordanelle.
It will fall to the neighboring counties and cities to deal with the effects of that growth, including traffic, new students in schools and new employees seeking housing. These are already areas of intense focus for Park City and Summit County, and factor heavily into the approval process for new developments.
But the leaders said this meeting was a good first step in finding common ground. Leaders view mass transit as a key to alleviating congestion on the eastern gateway to the city, and Park City Transit has a bus line that heads right past Hideout into Kamas. But the route passes the town without stopping. Beerman said he hoped meetings like this and improved dialogue might pave the way for more regional cooperation on such issues.
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