June 19, 2008

Hideout Will Be Allowed to Incorporate As Town

By Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune

Jun. 19--HEBER CITY -- Bowing to an order from 4th District Court, the Wasatch County Council on Wednesday rescinded its denial of incorporation to the developers of a town to be called Hideout on the east shore of the Jordanelle Reservoir.

"We don't have any option," said Chairman Steve Farrell. "It's a court action."

The council, in a 4-2 vote, then granted municipal status to Hideout under a now defunct 2007 Utah law. It allowed a single landowner to incorporate if he owned 50 percent of the land and at least 100 people lived within the proposed city limits.

Hideout's initial petition was denied in February when owners of the Todd Hollow apartments said they wanted nothing to do with the proposed town. That left Hideout without the necessary 100 residents.

But in May, Judge Derek Pullan ruled in favor of Hideout developers who claimed they had been wrongly denied incorporation. The judge ruled Todd Hollow could not opt out of the town, under the statute that was replaced earlier this year.

On Wednesday, apartment manager Alfonso Flores said he is unsure that incorporation is in his tenants' best interest.

Hideout becomes the second town in Wasatch County to acquire municipal status under the old law. Earlier, the developers of Independence were granted incorporation after initially being denied.

The proposed town of Aspen, however, was denied incorporation after residents within its boundaries annexed into the town of Daniel. That left Aspen short of the required 100 residents.

The revamped small-town incorporation law, passed during the past legislative session, now requires five sponsors, rather than just one. It prohibits those five, as a group, from owning more than 40 percent of the land.

And the petitioners must certify that a majority of qualified voters approve of the incorporation.

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