The Town of Kingsville has laid out its plans for enforcing its bylaw to help mitigate odour and light pollution from area greenhouses.
The town said since discussions about the bylaw began, the “overwhelming majority” of commercial growers have shown they are receptive to working with the town.
They have presented plan, purchase receipts and given timeframes for installation for light abatement to the town’s bylaw enforcement officer.
These greenhouse operators will not be subject to fines, the town says, so long as their plans remain on track with what had been presented.
"It's important to recognize that many growers have already taken steps and made installations in support of Kingsville's public nuisance bylaw," Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos said in a news release. "These acts of compliance are making an impact in responding to our community's concerns."
Kingsville Town Council approved and adopted a bylaw on Oct. 26 to prohibit and regulate “public nuisances” related to odours and lighting from growing plants and cannabis.
A Town Hall style meeting was held in November to detail expectations with more than 30 greenhouse growers in attendance. Operators were told that light abatement methods needed to be installed immediately according to the bylaw.
The town says those remaining greenhouse owners that use grow lights and have yet to respond or present strategies to curb light may be subject to further enforcement.
“I had informed Town Council and the public when the Bylaw was passed that the process of enforcement could take a couple of years before we will see dark skies,” said Kingsville CAO John Norton.
“We have already been questioned on the legality of our bylaw so we have to do enforcement carefully. On the other hand, we have seen a very positive response from the growers who have responded to the Bylaw by ordering curtains and beginning the process of becoming compliant. So I think we are heading in the right direction.”
Complaints must be filed with the town. From there the bylaw enforcement officer will conduct and investigation to determine if enforcement is needed.
The town asks its residents to have patience with the process and report any complaints through the online system.