The Municipality of Leamington is dedicated to addressing community concerns about light pollution from greenhouses. We are actively implementing and enforcing the Greenhouse Light Abatement by-law 41-22, to reduce light pollution and enhance the quality of life for our residents.
Understanding by-law 41-22
By-law 41-22 is designed to address the issue of light emissions from greenhouses at night. While it aims to create periods of near 'dark sky' to reduce light pollution, it's important to note that these periods are not constant. Greenhouse operations are considered farming operations. As farming operations, they are permitted to engage in normal farm practices. The imposition of a complete "dark sky" by-law would be subject to challenge before the Normal Farm Practices and Protection Board.
The by-law sets out specific requirements for greenhouse owners to control light emissions, ensuring reduced light pollution while also considering the operational needs of the greenhouses.
- Curtain Installation: Greenhouse owners must install and maintain curtains on sidewalls, end walls, and ceilings, blocking 99% of light.
- Curtain Operation Times:
- Curtains must be fully closed from 5:00 PM to 8:00 AM.
- Exceptions: Between 5:00 PM-10:00 PM and 2:00 AM-8:00 AM, curtains should be at least 90% closed.
Adapting to Individual Needs and Compliance Timing
- Alternative Plans: For greenhouses with unique operational requirements, usually due to the age of the greenhouses, the by-law provides for an 'Alternative Compliance Plan,' allowing for tailored solutions. This enables the Municipality to work closely with these greenhouses on an achievable light reduction plan.
- Compliance Deadlines: Immediate compliance is required for new greenhouses, while existing operations are allowed a phased approach.
The Municipality is vigilant in monitoring greenhouse lighting and will enforce penalties for violations. It is important to note that there has been a substantial increase in compliance compared to previous years.
Addressing Non-Compliance Issues
We recognize that some greenhouses are not yet compliant and are working through legal avenues to rectify this. These processes can be both time-consuming and lengthy.
Our Pledge to the Community: We understand and take seriously the public's concerns regarding greenhouse light pollution. Our efforts are focused on effectively and justly resolving these issues. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work towards a balanced solution that respects both community needs and greenhouse industry challenges.