Two South Jordan residents who oppose commercial development of an office park in the Jordan River bottoms have filed suit challenging a recent state board decision that allows the development to move forward.

Brent Foutz and Drew Chamberlain asked 3rd District Judge Homer F. Wilkinson to void a resolution approved Jan. 22 by the State Parks and Recreation Board and permanently enjoin the board from such action in the future.Wilkinson on Thursday denied their request for a temporary restraining order, but the lawsuit remains intact.

The state board's resolution allows the trade of a city park in the river bottoms for adjacent land owned by Gerald Anderson, developer of the RiverPark project in the Jordan River bottoms west of the Jordan River and south of 10600 South.

The park land was formerly owned by the state but was deeded to South Jordan in 1983 with an agreement it would revert back to state ownership if it ever stopped being used for public recreation.

Under the resolution approved by a 4-3 vote, the parks board agreed to release the reversion agreement if the city trades the park, with the stipulation a similar requirement would be placed on property acquired in the trade.

If the board had not released the 1983 agreement, the park could not be traded without reverting back to the state -- effectively blocking the proposed swap.

But blocking the trade would not block the RiverPark project. Anderson maintains he does not need the park land but has agreed to trade the property to consolidate his land holdings.

Foutz and Chamberlain are both supporters of Save Open Space (SOS), a group of South Jordan residents who have been working for months to prevent the city from trading a city park west of the river and south of 10600 South.

In return for the land, the city would receive a parcel of ground immediately to the south while retaining the section of existing park property that lies within the 100-year flood plain.

Foutz and Chamberlain are asking the court to find the park board erred in agreeing to consider only the "recreation values" involved in the trade.

A South Jordan city appraisal determined the property swap would be an even trade in terms of the actual land values.

SOS disputed that finding and spent $3,000 for a private independent appraisal that contends the trade would cost South Jordan residents between $237,000 and $2 million in lost land value, depending on whether the property is zoned for residential or commercial use in the future.

The coalition claims the city's appraisal erred in counting acreage within the river's so-called "meander corridor" as buildable land. The corridor is the statistically projected course the river would take if it had not been altered by human action.

City officials passed an ordinance in 1997 that restricts Anderson Development, which plans to build the RiverPark office complex adjacent to the park, from building in the meander corridor.

But Keith Snarr, South Jordan's economic development director, says the SOS appraisal erroneously uses the restriction on the adjacent property to calculate land values on the park property.

There is no city ordinance prohibiting construction in a meander corridor, he noted, and the RiverPark ordinance restriction was a unique provision to satisfy a specific purpose.

A majority of the parks board agreed with city officials that the land trade will serve "a regional purpose" in furthering the completion of a trails system along the Jordan River Parkway.