Voters in Timnath have boxed Topgolf out of their fast-growing town, voting overwhelmingly Tuesday to ban the type of tall fences the company needs for its high-tech driving range.
By a more than two-to-one margin, voters in this Larimer County town approved in a special election Ballot Issue 1A, which will prohibit fences that exceed 65 feet in height. Topgolf, which has three Colorado locations, erects mesh fences more than 100 feet tall at its facilities to catch balls launched by customers swinging away in an array of hitting bays.
“We are pleased that the citizens of Timnath have spoken and have determined that development in the town of Timnath needs to be aligned with our existing land use codes and the adopted 2020 comprehensive plan,” said Bill Jenkins, who helped lead the campaign against Topgolf.
A sizable group of residents started a campaign against the facility earlier this year, citing the nets at Topgolf as a potential hazard to birds as they move through the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, which runs for 45 miles from the edge of the Roosevelt National Forest in Larimer County to the river’s confluence with the South Platte River near Greeley.
According to an avian risk report published last year, 240 species of resident and migrating birds use the nearby Fossil Creek Reservoir, including bald eagles, great blue herons, ducks, geese, swans and cranes.
Instances of birds flying into and getting hung up in Topgolf’s nets have occurred across the country, including an osprey that died after getting caught in a Topgolf net in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 2019. Earlier this year, a hawk was rescued after getting tangled at an Orlando Topgolf.
The Topgolf facility was proposed as part of a 240-acre mixed-use project planned for the southeast corner of East Harmony Road and Interstate 25, called Pradera. Project spokeswoman Mishelle Baun said Wednesday that “Timnath voters have spoken at the ballot box.”
“The Ladera team will abide by the vote and proceed with developing this unique project,” she said. “Our belief in this project has not changed.”
Timnath, 20 miles southeast of Fort Collins in the fast-growing northern I-25 corridor, has exploded in population in recent years, growing from just hundreds of residents less than a decade ago to more than 8,000 today.
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