US: Silt lettuce farm to reduce lighting hours, but increased intensity is trade-off

The operator of an indoor lettuce-growing facility south of Silt says he is altering the period of time when the greenhouses will be lit to try to lessen the impact on neighbors. But the intensity of the lighting during that time will be greater as a result, Spring Born owner Charlie Barr said during an update to Garfield County commissioners Monday morning.

Spring Born is located on Garfield County Road 331 south of Interstate 70 and the Colorado River. Some neighbors of the facility have complained about light pollution since the facility opened in summer 2021.

No formal complaints have been filed with the county, said Community Development Director Sheryl Bower at Monday’s meeting. Barr stated in a letter to the commissioners that he is operating legally under his permit requirements. But, “It is my intention to be a good neighbor,” he wrote.

“We need to run these lights, so it’s a matter of determining what the best time is to do that,” Barr said Monday regarding his efforts to work with neighboring residents who have complained to him about the amount of light emanating from the facility at night. A typical greenhouse operation would turn its lights on in the afternoon, which would remain on after dark until the desired light exposure is reached, Barr explained. His operation, however, has the lights come on around 1 a.m., staying on until the daylight hours. Some days that could be longer depending on natural light, others shorter, he said.

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