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US (NY): Intergrow's new greenhouse worries local residents

Intergrow Greenhouses' plans to establish a new 25 acre greenhouse facility near the town of Webster in the State of New York, are worrying some local residents. During a Planning Board meeting last Tuesday, neighbors expressed their concerns about the proposed property. They feel that it is not the right location for the new greenhouse because the facility may impact nearby neighborhoods with noise and light pollution.

Located in Monroe County in the town of Webster, the 3 phase expansion of Intergrow could encompass approximately 75 acres of greenhouse under glass, bringing Intergrow's total acreage to 150 acres in New York state. Similar to Intergrow's existing greenhouses in Albion and Fillmore NY, the new facility will include grow lights for winter production, and a new packing house. The new expansion will allow Intergrow to provide more locally grown produce to meet the Northeast region's growing demand for year-round production, according to the company.

The proposed property for the new greenhouse is part of an open space agreement with the town, created in 2005, which allows only agricultural development, not residential. This makes the tomato greenhouse concept valid. But according to an article on democratandchronicle.com, some neighbors don't see greenhouse cultivation as agriculture.

During the meeting, which eventually was postponed due to attracting too many visitors, the local residents learned from Intergrow representatives that the grower will do as much as they can to prevent issues with traffic and noise. One representative spoke about installing black out curtains in order to prevent light pollution from the greenhouse. The hearing is now postponed to August 30, to be held at a larger location.

Intergrow's phase 1 construction includes 25 acres of greenhouse and is scheduled to be complete in 2017. The additional acreage will allow Intergrow to increase its distribution and expand on its current product line of Tomatoes On the Vine, Beefsteak tomatoes, and Cherry tomatoes. The new greenhouse facility will reportedly bring new employment to the area with 50 jobs in phase 1, and additional positions as future phases are completed.




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