Town & County

Utah Supreme Court grants approval for Hideout annexation to proceed

The recent Utah Supreme Court ruling allowing Hideout to annex land from Summit County has the potential to set a precedent for development strategies statewide

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – The town of Hideout, Utah, has been embroiled in a contentious legal battle over its attempt to annex 350 acres of Richardson Flat from Summit County. On Friday, the Utah Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hideout, allowing the annexation to proceed. The decision marks a significant development in a long-standing legal conflict that has drawn considerable attention within the state.

Hideout initially attempted the annexation in October 2020, aiming to expand its boundaries to include land near the Jordanelle Reservoir. This move was met with immediate resistance from Summit County, which argued that the annexation was illegal due to the non-contiguous nature of the land and the lack of proper authorization under state law. The county’s objections led to a ruling from the 4th District Court invalidating the annexation, a decision that Hideout subsequently appealed.

The Utah Supreme Court’s ruling hinged on the interpretation of a temporary legislative change that allowed such annexations during a brief period in 2020. Despite the subsequent repeal of this law, the court found that Hideout’s actions during the window of legality were valid. This verdict has significant implications, potentially setting a precedent for similar cases and impacting local governance and development strategies across Utah.

A map showing county lines and the land in question, in blue. Photo: Summit County

For Hideout, the ruling opens the door to ambitious development plans, including the construction of a new town center with homes, commercial businesses, and municipal facilities. Proponents argue that this expansion is crucial for providing affordable housing and amenities for residents who work in Summit County but cannot afford to live there.

On the other side, Summit County residents and officials have expressed significant opposition, citing concerns over the lack of public notice and transparency in the annexation process. They argue that the annexation will lead to unwanted urban development, which could disrupt the county’s careful land use planning and harm the community’s quality of life.

“We fought this as hard as possible and ran it all the way to the top. We respect court rulings and will be evaluating the situation in coming weeks,” said Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson in a statement.

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