LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville area’s chamber of commerce announced Friday it is no longer staying neutral on Topgolf’s plans for Oxmoor Center and is supporting the company’s proposed complex at the mall.

Greater Louisville Inc. previously had said it backed a Topgolf facility in the city but didn’t take a position on the Oxmoor location, the spot the Dallas-based company told WDRB News is the only place it’s considering.

“Not approving this development would be a monumental missed opportunity to gain 500 jobs and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue on what is today a vacant store,” GLI President Kent Oyler said in a statement. “Rejecting Topgolf at Oxmoor Center will send an anti-development message to others wishing to bring their concepts here.” 

Oyler said the chamber is urging city planners and the Metro Council to approve Topgolf’s plans.

"Obviously, we're pleased," said Gary Gerdemann, a Topgolf spokesman, adding that support is "growing by the day." 

A group opposed to Topgolf at Oxmoor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Topgolf is seeking to rezone 22 acres at Oxmoor where the shuttered Sears store now stands. The request was the debated during a 5 ½ hour meeting on Monday night. The hearing will resume on Oct. 15.

Opponents of the Oxmoor plan, including some neighbors, argue the proposal doesn’t comply with Louisville’s land development code and comprehensive plan, including requirements that the complex is compatible with nearby areas. The city of Hurstbourne has formally opposed the plan.

At the public meeting this week, neighbors raised concerns about increased light, noise and other effects of a Topgolf nearby. The company produced studies, not independently vetted, claiming there would be little impact on neighbors.

If approved for the zoning request and other waivers and variances, Topgolf would build a three-story, 62,103-square-foot building with more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays and poles for driving range nets of 175 feet. 

It would be the company’s first facility in Kentucky.

Late this week, Topgolf asked that its lighting plan get a waiver from city rules. An attorney for the company cited an apparent contradiction that won’t accommodate sports or recreational field lighting.

At issue is a requirement that light fixtures with an output of more than 3,500 lumens be fully shielded, but attorney Cliff Ashburner said such lights aren’t commercially available. That’s resulted in “obvious difficulty meeting this requirement,” he said.

Topgolf officials contend, however, that their lighting plan reduces overall light output by 1 million lumens.

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