The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

July 16, 2014

Judge denies plan to turn fairway into farmland


Judge Angela Warner Sims ruled in favor of Alexandria's Board of Zoning Appeals denying Dale Rinker's appeal to turn the former Yule Golf Course into farmland.

The ruling, issued Wednesday afternoon, found the BZA was within its discretion when it denied Rinker's appeal to turn the 162 acres from residential to agricultural.

Sims concluded there was "substantial evidence presented to support the BZA's findings of fact" and that the decision "was not an abuse of discretion" as Rinker had claimed in his appeal of the ruling.

Some of the Alexandria residents remonstrated against the zoning change. Many of the residents in the Yule Estates subdivision complained farmland would flood the area, attract wild animals and increase pollen and dust levels.

Denis Kuhn is one of the Fairway Drive residents upset about the condition of the land since the golf course shut down. Kuhn has said the unkempt fairways are attracting raccoons, deer and coyotes near his house.

"Everyone here is just elated," Kuhn said Wednesday. "We've been waiting a long time to hear something and it's a good first step."

Kuhn said he doesn't think this is the end of the appeals from Rinker but said he and his neighbors are glad Sims ruled in favor of the BZA at this early junction.

"Maybe Mr. Rinker will become disenchanted with the property after this," Kuhn said. 

Alexandria Mayor Jack Woods said the ruling confirming the BZA was within its legal rights was a win for the BZA and Alexandria.

Although he didn't want to speculate on what Rinker's next move might be, Woods did say he would like to see the land become a golf course once again.

"Obviously we have to wait and see what happens," Woods said.

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