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Residents fight plan to turn golf course into farm

Associated Press
November 27, 2012
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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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  • No right
    Q, the owner does not necessarily have the right to use the land however they want. Zoning laws are their for a good reason. Just imagine if your next door neighbor put in a sewage plant or landfill on their land... I'm guessing you'd fight that tooth and nail. The farmer clearly understood this when he purchased it (as is evident by the 120 day clause). There are other alternatives to those you proposed, and really it's the previous owner's issue if the sale gets voided because the proposed use is not accepted. They can find a different buyer with a different purpose (at potentially a different price/profit point).
  • Crazy
    If the adjacent property owners wanted to preserve their property values then they should have raised the money to buy the land at an open auction and run the golf course at a loss which is what's happening. If Mr. Rinker can put it to better use as farmland and make money (which he apparently seems very adept at doing), then so be it. What's the alternative? Have the taxpayers buy the golf course to 'preserve' it? Have the golf course sit empty and 'preserve' property values of the non-participating landowners? It's the owner's property, not the adjacent property owner's. The owner has the right to dispose of the property which he did at auction. It's the buyer's right to use the land as he desires. It was an open auction; that was the time to be interested, not after.
  • So Buy It
    So why doesn't this Jerry fellow buy it himself?

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