Homeowners associations are exploring the possibility of buying the former Andover Golf and Country Club from a holding company of Whitaker Bank.
The golf course, completed in 1990, filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and closed last year. Whitaker Bank bought the course for $2.95 million at a master commissioner’s sale in April.
Residents in the Andover area of east Lexington want to ensure that the property remains a golf course or alternatively as green space available for recreational uses such as hiking, soccer or other outdoor activities.
Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr., who will retire Friday, ruled Wednesday in favor of the neighborhood associations on some underlying issues that could lead to a final resolution of litigation and eventual purchase of the property.
The money to buy the 169-acre course would come from a levy or “capital purchase assessment” for members of eight neighborhood associations, under a plan outlined during a 2-hour court hearing.
Nathan Billings, a lawyer who represents those eight associations, said they include 1,408 lots with a total assessed value of $278 million. The amount a homeowner would pay varies depending on the final purchase price and the values of their properties.
“Those people who live on the course are, in effect, paying more because they have more value to protect,” Billings said. “It’s much more equitable than saying everybody pays a flat rate.”
Billings would not discuss what it would cost to buy the golf course. Some homeowners might choose to pre-pay their assessments in individual lump sums, he said. Others might have their assessments financed over 10 years.
Property owners would also pay an annual, flat fee for the ongoing upkeep and repair of the property.
About 60 residents attended Wednesday’s hearing. Judge Ishmael said some residents had written letters to him questioning whether a neighborhood association has the power to levy a special assessment. Ishmael said “non-stock, non-profit organizations,” such as neighborhood associations, have that power.
Billings said he will meet with the neighborhood associations to discuss their next course of action. “I’m sure it will involve continued discussions with the bank on litigation issues and with potential settlement issues,” he said.
John Brice, the attorney for Whitaker Bank, had no comment after the hearing.
Homeowners groups may buy troubled golf club
The following homeowners and neighborhood associations may buy the 169-acre, $3 million Andover Golf and Country Club.
- Andover Forest
- The Golf Townhomes at Andover
- The Golf Townhomes at Andover Phase II
- The Golf Townhomes of Andover Estate Section
- The Villas at Andover
- The Reserve at Andover
- Andover Club Villas Owners Association Inc.