The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

July 8, 2014

Residents unhappy with overgrown course

City awaits judge's ruling on zoning appeal by farmer

ALEXANDRIA — As an appeal involving the former Yule Golf Course property and the zoning of the property drags on through the courts, more Alexandria citizens are getting tired of seeing weeds where they once saw well-maintained fairways.

Residents of Fairway Drive, a subdivision in Alexandria built right next to the golf course, are especially upset the course is gone.

Denis Kuhn said at one point the grass and weeds bordering his backyard were 3 feet tall before the field was finally cut.

“It looks disgusting,” Kuhn said. “It’s attracted lots of wild animals like rabbits, racoons and coyotes.”

Even though the field has finally been cut, the former course is in obvious disrepair. Trees, untrimmed in two years, crowd the fairways, clumps of grass are everywhere and weeds 2 to 3 feet tall still stand in some places.

Randall Saatchoff built his house on Fairway Drive back in the 1970s in large part because of the golf course. He said the golf course was a big part of him getting to know people in the city.

“It was a social place that has now left,” Saatchoff said. “I don’t know if people realized how unique it was to have a small town with a nice golf course.”

Ralph Day, another Fairway resident, said having the empty fields just sitting there has depreciated his property.

“There’s no question it’s affecting our property values,” Day said. “Some neighbors who have moved away saw a significant drop in what they got back.”

Kuhn said he estimated the properties have depreciated by about 20 to 25 percent since the course shut down.

There is a definite sense of frustration from the men as the court continues to ponder the case. All of them want to see the land returned to a golf course and they believe they speak for a large majority of the Alexandria residents.

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