Record editorial: Hideout has time to reverse course on annexation
The most important chapter in the Hideout annexation affair to date is about to be written.
On Monday, the Town Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on its proposal to annex hundreds of acres of Richardson Flat for a mixed-use development that would reshape the eastern entrance to Park City, the final statutory hurdle before a potential vote.
All indications are that the town is primed to plow ahead, despite the frustration it has sparked in the Wasatch Back and the Legislature’s repeal of the short-lived legislation that made this type of cross-county annexation possible.
But as Hideout confronts an Oct. 19 deadline to approve the annexation before the repeal takes effect, there is still time for the town to reverse course.
We encourage the Town Council to do so. The officials would be better served to abandon the attempt, mend fences with their counterparts in Summit County and Park City and get busy collaborating with them to solve the problems facing the region.
The town has said all along that it wants to be a good neighbor. But moving forward with the annexation despite the opposition from Summit County and Park City officials — not to mention rank-and-file residents — is the antithesis of that. It would reveal Hideout’s professed desire to work with other communities in the Wasatch Back to be disingenuous.
It’s hard to deny that the evidence so far points to that conclusion.
Regardless of the town’s motivations — officials say they want the land so Hideout residents will have easier access to services like grocery stores and gas stations, which is a reasonable desire — nothing about this process has been on the level. That’s best illustrated by the reality that Monday will be the first real opportunity for residents to provide public input on the annexation, which is astounding given that the town unveiled its plan to take the land more than three months ago.
Of course, even if Hideout ultimately votes to proceed, the outcome is not yet set in stone. Multiple lawsuits from Summit County seeking to prevent the annexation are ongoing, meaning it may be a while until the future of the land is determined.
But the members of the Hideout Town Council can, and should, end the suspense by coming to their senses, opting against pushing through the annexation and beginning to repair the vital relationships with their neighbors that have been damaged during this regional squabble.
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Our view: In putting their differences aside and agreeing to share a message of unity and democracy, Spencer Cox and Chris Peterson rose above the mudslinging that has come lately to define our politics.