Opponents of Salt Lake County's proposed golf course at Dimple Dell Park say the possible development of another course between Sandy and South Jordan is reason enough for the county to stop preliminary work at Dimple Dell.

County officials haven't agreed to halt environmental assessments at Dimple Dell, but they say they may have to re-evaluate the need for the county course if the two cities can make their golf course project work.A group calling itself Citizens for the Preservation of Dimple Dell Park this week asked county commissioners to suspend all work on the proposed 18-hole Dimple Dell course for two years while the two cities explore the viability of the Sandy-South Jordan development.

But commissioners referred the request to the county Parks and Recreation Board, which has repeatedly supported development of the Dimple Dell course, for a recommendation.

"The Sandy-South Jordan course is in the exploratory stage," said Glen Lu, county Parks and Recreation director. "Even if things work out for them, that course is years away from completion. Unless the board or the commissioners tell me to stop work at Dimple Dell, we're going to proceed."

As proposed, the Dimple Dell course would lie roughly between 20th East and 30th East north of Dimple Dell Road (10650 South). The proposed site for the 27-hole Sandy-South Jordan complex is between 90th South and 106th South around the Jordan River.

The county has budgeted more than $300,000 this year to pay for design work on the Dimple Dell course and another 18-hole course proposed for 106th South and 13th West in Riverton. A third new county course is proposed for the Old Mill Valley area, on 62nd South between I-215 and Wasatch Boulevard. None of those courses can be playable before the early 1990s.

If the Sandy-South Jordan course becomes a reality, the county will have to study whether its three proposed courses are needed, Lu said.

In a letter to commissioners, preservation group chairman John R. Shakula said the proximity of the proposed city course to Dimple Dell Park demonstrates the lack of any need to develop a 150-acre golf course within the park's 650 acres.

The preservation group claims an 18-hole Dimple Dell course would cause serious environmental damage. The group was formed to preserve the park as a natural area, although it supports multiple use of Dimple Dell land and has said it would not oppose an environmentally sensitive 9-hole course.

The group has vowed to block development of an 18-hole Dimple Dell course, and has promised legal and administrative battles if the county tries to move ahead. County officials admit development of the Dimple Dell course could be tied up in court for years.