Eagan voters on Tuesday were leaning against raising their taxes to purchase the former Carriage Hills golf course and use it for public facilities, recreation and open space.

Rejection of the purchase would clear the way for a controversial private development on the property.

The city had asked voters to choose between raising taxes to cover the $10.25 million tab to buy the golf course or allowing a developer to build as many as 480 homes on the site.

The vote, results of which were not final when this edition of the Star Tribune went to press, came out of a four-year legal battle over the golf course, with the city and many neighbors opposing a Wensmann Realty plan to develop the land.

The ballot question said that if the city buys the land, it will be used for public facilities, recreation and as open space. City leaders have not locked themselves into more specific plans, saying the contingent legal settlement that led to the vote did not leave enough time to consider all the options.

Voter rejection of the purchase would allow the developer to build a mix of single-family homes, apartments and townhouses on 90 of the site's 120 acres.