Municipal staff

Lake residents and municipal staff continue discussions on greenhouses

Greenhouse agriculture is intensifying in southwestern Ontario with large-scale greenhouse operations increasingly springing up on Highway 77 toward the lake.

Many Lakeshore residents say, “Keep them out.

Municipality officials held a town hall in Comber on Thursday evening as it continues a process of public consultation on how bylaws and guidelines should address the issue…

“The opinion of the municipality is not stopped on this. We are looking for feedback a lot. We know there are strong opinions now, so there is certainly no final document, no final recommendation for the board. We want to hear what people have to say,” said general manager Truper McBride.

Zoning regulations and agricultural guidelines are already in place in the municipality, but with concerns about this particular facet of the growing industry, a moratorium has been put in place to prevent the construction of large-scale greenhouses until in March 2023 at least.

But time is running out to put all the papers in order.

“There’s really good potential for this to be a conversation we want to continue. We won’t be able to finish it tonight,” McBride said.

Avid residents say they are concerned about everything from light pollution to the smells of cannabis growing and discarded products.

Lakeshore’s plan now is to hear these concerns until September 6, but consultation may continue.

“We’re going to review everything we received tonight, and there’s a possibility that we want to go back to the public,” McBride added.