Neighbors concerned over Saddlebrook golf course auction

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 15, 2016) - Neighbors in the Saddlebrook community in Pike Township are concerned about what may replace a now abandoned golf course.

The Saddlebrook Golf Course closed last year after the previous owners went into millions of dollars in debt. The bank now owns the more than 130-acre property and it's being put up for auction next week.

Hundreds of Saddlebrook residents attended a meeting Tuesday night to learn more about the possible outcomes of the abandoned golf course.

"We would like to preserve our golf course," said Bob Cole, Saddlebrook homeowners association president.

Currently, golf course is zoned for its current use of residential houses next to a recreational golf course. The land will have to be rezoned if the auction winner wishes do something different with the golf course.

"Saddlebrook is one of the most tightly written [codes] I've seen, so there's very little wiggle room with what can be built there and where it can be built," said Keith Holdsworth with Department of Metropolitan Development.

The community has more than 350 homeowners, and many of them have lived in Saddlebrook for more than 20 years. Neighbors say part of the attraction to the community was the golf course.  However, many neighbors said the condition of the course deteriorated greatly over the last few years and they saw fewer and fewer golfers each season.

"They haven’t really kept it up very well, which is what I think led them to the problem they have," said resident Dennis Eckert.

Eckert's yard backs up into hole 3 of the golf course. He said the course is now dangerous. A broken and rotted fence lines the division between homeowners property and the golf course. In addition to concerns over dangers, he's also worried about what could be built in it's place.

“I don’t know what they would be able to do. They would have to put in a road there," he said describing the lack of access to the part of the course where he lives.

Eckert, among others, are also concerned about a decrease in property values. According to town zoning regulations, the property could be regulated as residential, commercial, or even industrial. The neighborhood association estimates around $3 million in property value losses if a golf course isn't reinstated and redone.

"We all enjoy the value it brings to our homes and if we were to lose the golf course we would lose that value and lose a lot of the reasons we moved here," said Cole.

The public action will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd at 10:00 am at the Saddlebrook Golf Course site. For more information on the auction, click here.

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