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Protesters rail against planned sports complex

SALT LAKE CITY (Deseret News) — An e-mail campaign and online petition have been launched by Jordan River enthusiasts opposed to a Salt Lake City proposal to build a sports complex at approximately 2200 North along the Jordan River.

The group, which is being led by the Jordan River Restoration Network, also is urging residents to attend the City Council's meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday to voice opposition in the allowed two-minute comment period.

The City Council is scheduled to discuss the soccer complex and the issuance of $15.3 million in voter-approved bonds for the project during a work session Tuesday. The council is expected to set a public hearing for Feb. 2 to allow the public to weigh in on the project before making a decision.

Real Salt Lake has kicked in another $7.5 million for the complex, which would include soccer fields and baseball diamonds.

Opposition, which includes the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, stems from the complex's planned location.

"This is the last, relatively large, publicly owned land remaining on the Jordan River," said Mark Clemens, Sierra's Utah chapter manager said. "It should be preserved in its entirety for its great ecological value."

Additionally, conservationists contend that planning behind the project has been absent meaningful public input and that no alternative site locations were seriously considered.

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