Bill to allow Hideout ‘land grab’ was misrepresented, now it may be repealed

HIDEOUT, Wasatch County — What some have called sneaky legislative maneuvering to allow a “land grab” has legally paved the way for what critics worry could be another Kimball Junction-like expansion on about 655 acres for commercial development on the other side of the highway from Park City.

And it could happen without buy-in from any of the surrounding counties.

Despite protests from Summit County, Park City and Wasatch County leaders, Hideout’s Town Council voted earlier this month to move forward with a process to annex those 655 acres, which developers Nate Brockbank and Josh Romney, son of Sen. Mitt Romney, want to develop but haven’t gained the support they’d need from Summit County to do so.

So, Romney and Brockbank went to Hideout, a small town nestled east of Jordanelle Reservoir across the highway from Park City, where the idea was warmly received.

Hideout’s move to possibly annex the land — which was included in an over decade-old Park City land deal to be set aside for open space and recreation — would clear the way for a commercial development that Hideout Mayor Philip Rubin said would help employ residents of thousands of future homes already headed for construction and help alleviate Park City traffic.

But Hideout leaders are the only local elected officials on board.

“This is quite the land grab from our perspective,” Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson told the Hideout Town Council the day of its vote, saying county officials had a “great deal of concern” with the proposal. “And we’re a bit chagrined that city government wouldn’t at least give us some notice of this action.”

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