Kingsville Approves Bylaw in Fight Against Greenhouse Light Pollution

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The Town of Kingsville is saying no to greenhouse light pollution.

Council has passed a bylaw to crack down on greenhouse growers using lamps that produce a nighttime glow that can often be seen from dozens of kilometres away.

According to a report from the town, several local greenhouse operations have site plan agreements that require "dark sky compliance," but some are not adhering to the rule.

Councillor Kimberly DeYong says the problem has gone on for far too long.

"This is really just pertaining to four greenhouses. They received letters back in the spring saying they had until the end of the year. So this isn't a surprise to anybody. Some of them in our area of Ruthven are very close to residences. They've been getting away with all kinds of nuisance for too long."

Councillor Larry Patterson says residents are fed up.

"We've been hammered by our residents and we all totally support what our residents have asked of us. People have waited for a few years to have dark sky compliance. We have greenhouse operators out there that should start worrying."

Mayor Nelson Santos says it's a fairly new problem many municipalities are dealing with.

"This is brand new. It's a challenge we're all trying to address across the region. It impacts our community. It impacts our neighbouring communities. We're trying to find a mechanism that deals with the complaints we're getting within the county and even internationally with the calls we're getting from Michigan and Ohio."

The bylaw, which also deals with odours, goes into effect immediately.

Council also approved spending up to $25,000 on overtime for its bylaw enforcement officers.

Kingsville CAO John Norton says the town will now set a short timeline for greenhouses to comply before any tickets are issued.