Questions About Development in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) – Environmentalists demand records on the City Council’s plans for a $44 million sports complex near the Jordan River. The Jordan River Restoration Network says the city refused to release an undisclosed number of files, calling them “protected” or “private,” leaving citizens in the dark about the project.

     Plans for the complex have been significantly modified, and reduced by nearly half since voters approved them in 2003 – but the costs have nearly doubled, according to the complaint in Salt Lake County Court.
     Taxpayers approved funding the project through a municipal bond. But the sports complex is on a floodplain and the city does not have a plan to protect the site, according to the complaint. And the city has not “provided a viable nature education, wildlife habitat or outdoor recreation component to replace the values impacted by development,” as it promised during the bond election.
     “The proposed complex conflicts with several city policies regarding the environment and sustainability,” according to the complaint.
     The Jordan River Restoration Network says the city initially told it that its Open Records request could not be completed within 10 days due to the “voluminous volume of records.” The City Council then engaged in a 45 day back-and-forth before releasing portions of the documents requested.
     “The city’s conduct has created uncertainty regarding the viability of the Prop. 5 project that must be clarified by close examination of the public records before any further actions can be taken or approvals granted,” the complaint states.
     Jordan River Restoration Network wants to see the documents, and wants an in camera review to determine if they were reasonably withheld.
     It is represented by Karthik Nadesan with Nadesan Beck.

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