South Jordan's recent protest over a Riverton annexation bid wasn't much of a border skirmish.

No fisticuffs, no tantrums, not a single word of municipal trash talk.Call it a "polite protest," said South Jordan administrator David Millheim.

South Jordan city planners say they challenged Riverton's annexation of about 69 acres at 4500 West and 11800 South in front of Salt Lake County's Boundary Commission simply because they want their neighbor to the south to enter into a formal boundary agreement.

The cities share an amicable relationship, and there's been informal talk and letters exchanged about ongoing development and annexation issues. Still, no formal boundary agreement exists.

Such an agreement would ensure a long-term development plan for the two rapidly changing communities, Millheim said.

"Riverton's given us their word they they won't come across 11800 South, and I believe them," he said.

Still, city councils change and staffers move on. Without a formal boundary agreement, annexation issues would be left to ever-changing political whims, Millheim warns.

Millheim said a similar agreement reached between West Jordan and South Jordan several years ago has been respected by successive councils and staffs.

"These agreements work, they force everyone to take a second look," at boundary and annexation bids, he said.

Riverton City leaders say they welcome a boundary agreement - if South Jordan is willing to do the work.

"Frankly, I think it's more important to them than us," said Riverton City Administrator Ken Leetham, adding his current staff just doesn't have the time to concentrate on drafting an agreement.

Staffers from both cities agree service-delivery plans are vital to mapping their respective futures.

Riverton's council approved the protested annexation last Tuesday, but city leaders say there are no immediate plans for more additions.