Last Updated: August 24th, 2022
The Municipality is hosting a series of consultations to gather feedback on a draft study regarding the potential effects of large scale greenhouse farm development in Lakeshore.
- August 23rd – Online at 2:30PM
- August 23rd – In Person at the Atlas Tube Recreation Centre from 6:30-8:00PM
- September 1st – In Person at the Comber Community Centre from 5:30-7:00PM
The final report and recommendations for consideration and decision will be presented to Council on October 11th, 2022.
All information on this study can be found at Lakeshore.ca/GreenhouseStudy and all questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
What should everyone know going into this study?
- Council has put a moratorium on greenhouses – prohibiting any applications from being reviewed – so that we can update our by-laws and official plan to include necessary regulations.
- Without this proactive moratorium, greenhouses would technically be permitted, and our current by-laws are silent on the regulations that Council wants to have in place.
- It is so important to understand how we are different from Kingsville and Leamington.
- Both communities have been experiencing greenhouse development for the better part of 20 years, with a growth rate of about 5% per year.
- Greenhouses, at the time that they were initially developed were not built in particularly designated zones that considered the residential, mixed-use or commercial land use needs that would come up in those same 20 years.
- There were not appropriate bylaws in place to regulate light pollution or odour when the facilities were built.
- Some greenhouses built for vegetable farming have been retrofitted to grow cannabis, and are not able to control the smell.
Resident questions from the consultation on August 23rd:
- What is the recommended light / shade coverage for greenhouses should they ever be allowed to build?
- What is happening in Kingsville and Leamington that is different than what is happening in Lakeshore?
- Kingsville and Leamington are in a position where they are going after the greenhouses retroactively through nuisance bylaws and through the planning act.
- Where Lakeshore’s standard for light coverage is 100%, Kingsville and Leamington are believed to have compromised around 90% for retroactive applications.
- Also important to note that new greenhouses are built with these features to be compliant
- How did the study identify a no-build zone?
- The no-build zone takes into consideration the growth patterns and primary settlement nodes identified in the Official Plan.
- This will minimize any girdling (sprawl) that would prohibit any necessary residential growth planned for the foreseeable future (20+ years), as after the Wallace Woods subdivision is built out, there is a chance that development would move South between the CN line and County Rd 42.
- Instead of a no-build zone, can’t we just identify where we would want them?
- Potentially, yes. It was recommended that Council bring this question to the consultants and administration for the October 11 meeting.
- Why was cannabis omitted?
- While the summary likely doesn’t speak to it as frequently as most readers anticipated, the recommendations certainly contain multiple references to cannabis – and the inclusion of non-medical marijuana.
- What level of government determines that greenhouses should be taxed as agricultural properties – even though they seem commercial and require far more infrastructure than traditional farming?
- The Province.
- What about smell?
- The report recommends that any approved greenhouse be designed to mitigate the impact of any odours generated from the growing of or processing of cannabis.
- It should be noted that retrofitting is one of the leading causes of odour concerns because the greenhouses weren’t originally constructed with cannabis in mind.
- Retrofitting is not recommended for Lakeshore.
- What types of penalties would they be subject to if they didn’t follow the regulations?
- If violating the Zoning By-Law or a Site Plan Agreement, it will be up to the municipality to set the fines.
- Can’t we just charge high development charges to deter the development?
- Not legally. All DCs have to be justified by the costs incurred by the Municipality to support growth and development.
- Note: With Site Plan Agreements, there are typically conditions that require developers to upgrade and maintain affected roads and other infrastructure.
- What about Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
- Greenhouses will be required to follow any Ministry requirements set by the Province
2 responses to “Greenhouse Study”
After the lifting of the moratorium will small scale less the 5 acres food producers be able to erect small hoop houses or caterpillar style [season extending only] and grown in the soil food for lakeshore residents and not be lost in the shuffle with the big guys thx
Ps these types of operations do not use lights or gas or fuels to heat just nature with a little plastic or glass help and no migrant workers usually
Hi Mike, I will have to bring this one to administration for consideration. My understanding is that this study is specifically focusing on those large scale greenhouses (over 5 acres) so I will come back with a fuller response!