Environmental group wants restraining order on soccer complex project

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SALT LAKE CITY -- There's a new development in the long struggle to build a soccer complex planned for Salt Lake's west side: Opponents have filed a motion for a temporary restraining order on the project.

The motion asks a judge to stop further proceedings or zoning changes involving the project until the city fulfills a GRAMA request filed in March.

We don't think the city is being honest about who the beneficiaries and the partners are in this project.

–Jeff Salt, Jordan River Restoration Network

The fight between the City of Salt Lake and the Jordan River Restoration Network plays out in hundreds of pages of documents, requests, appeals and court motions. From the looks of it all, the fight hasn't been pretty.

"We believe the city is violating our constitutional rights," says Jeff Salt, of the Jordan River Restoration Network.

At issue: a massive sports complex that would encompass 150-plus acres of land.

Voters approved a multimillion dollar bond in 2003, with Real Salt Lake pledging an additional $7.5 million. But the project has encountered problems, including cries from environmental groups that developing the proposed site along the Jordan River would destroy the land.

In addition, the Jordan River Restoration Network believes the city has not been upfront with taxpayers on the details of the project. The group filed three and a half pages of GRAMA requests in March.

"What we think is information regarding the inadequacies of the project. We don't think the city is being honest about who the beneficiaries and the partners are in this project," Salt says.

So far, the environmental group has received about 10,000, but leaders say the majority of the documents they requested are still missing.

Salt Lake City's attorney said Friday he does not comment on pending litigation, but he told the Deseret News back in June the delay was due to the "overwhelming" scope of the GRAMA request.

A judge will hear the Jordan River Restoration Network's arguments Monday. Another hearing to forward the sports complex is scheduled for the next day.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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