Essex to Investigate Greenhouse Nuisance Bylaw

Greenhouse Glow in Essex County (Joe Strong / Facebook)

The Town of Essex is looking to take a proactive approach to policing greenhouse odour and light pollution.

Councillor Sherry Bondy has asked administration to investigate a bylaw similar to one passed in Kingsville last month.

Bondy says there aren't many greenhouses in Essex right now, but she'd like to see the town get ahead of the problem to avoid the issues being seen in Kingsville and Leamington where a nighttime glow can be seen from dozens of kilometres away.

"Kingsville, Leamington, Tecumseh has joined the discussion, Lakeshore is starting to join the discussion," she says. "So I just want to see if there's any opportunity or desire to show unity. We appreciate the greenhouse industry, but we also want them to be really good community citizens."

Bondy believes greenhouses are bound to start popping up in Essex.

"There's not a lot of greenhouses in our municipality, but that doesn't mean we won't start seeing small farms having greenhouse operations," she adds. "I think that this discussion could be proactive. We set the standard for what we want. Many of us field calls and complaints."

Bondy says a bylaw would provide a clear set of rules for all greenhouse operators.

"Some greenhouse operators are being good community citizens and they are putting money into their greenhouses to be good community citizens and then other greenhouse operators aren't," she says. "So it also creates an equal playing field for all of our greenhouse operators too. It just sets the stage for what we accept in our municipality."

Council gave unanimous support to Bondy's motion.

There's no word yet when the bylaw will come back to council for further discussion.