Regional News and Madison County

Residents fight plan to turn golf course into farm

November 27, 2012

Homeowners living near a closed golf course in central Indiana are fighting plans by its new owner to convert much of it to farming.

Most of the 158 acres that made up the Yule Golf Club in Alexandria was sold in an October auction for nearly $1 million to Yorktown farmer Dale Rinker, who is seeking city permission to use it for agriculture, The Herald Bulletin reported Tuesday.

The golf course first opened 45 years ago and surrounds the Yule Estates neighborhood on three sides. Neighborhood residents say they're worried about possible lowered property values if it's replaced with farm fields.

An Alexandria zoning board last week turned down Rinker's request for permission to use the property for agriculture in the 5,000-person city in Madison County about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

Jerry Kilgore, who's lived next to the golf course for about 35 years, said loss of the course not only would hurt his property value, but be "bad for the town."

Robert McCurdy, who owned the 18-hole golf course, said Rinker can void the sale if the property isn't rezoned within 120 days of purchase.

Rinker said he doesn't have any immediate plans to cancel the deal and wants to appeal the zoning board's decision to the city council.

McCurdy said he had to sell the course because it had been losing money.

"We just have to stop the bleeding," he said.

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