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The original item was published from 7/10/2023 9:20:09 AM to 8/13/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: July 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Town Bd to vote to regulate Bamboo on Wednesday evening

Invasive bamboo is an ongoing yard nuisance for many residents
link to comments at public hearing below
link to proposed legislation below

Greenburgh Town Board to vote  to regulate Bamboos on Wednesday July 12--link to community comments at public hearing and some correspondence from residents highlighting need for legislation

The Greenburgh Town Board held a hearing on June 28th about regulating invasive bamboo (banning new plantings and controlling existing ones), an ongoing yard nuisance many residents are facing, and have urged the town board to take action on.  It is anticipated that the Board will vote on the legislation this coming Wednesday July 12th.  There seems to be substantial support for the proposed law from the community.   Link to the legislation is below:

This is the link to the hearing that the Town Board had recently

This is a summary of the proposed law:

It will be unlawful for owners or tenants anywhere in unincorporated Greenburgh to plant running bamboo into the ground, or allow existing running bamboo to migrate onto any adjoining property including public property or Town right-of-way.

In order to prevent the bamboo from migrating into another property, the owner should install sheathing impenetrable by running bamboo a minimum of three feet deep within the subject property lines where the running bamboo exists.

Running bamboo that does migrate to another property will be considered a public nuisance and negates the right of the owner to keep it. In this event, the building inspector will notify the bamboo owner that they have 30 days to remove all the existing bamboo on both properties. The fine applied for not complying within the 30-day window will be anywhere between $100-$500; with a second violation for the same offense at a maximum of $1,000. Each day the violation is committed constitutes a separate offense.

Also any new plantings of running bamboo shall be treated similarly as a public nuisance if found on any property, with procedure and fines the same as above. 

This is the correspondence we’ve received below from additional residents and a letter of support from the Conservation Advisory Council.

Yes please, I’m looking forward to a resolution as well. Bamboo on my side have reached over 20 feet.

Need your help.  A neighbor in the Town of Greenburgh has had bamboo growing in their yard for many years.  In recent years its growth has gotten out of hand and has now invaded both my yard and my neighbor’s yard as well as damaged my neighbor's fence and now started to destroy my driveway.  Bamboo is classified as an invasive plant and can not be planted or transplanted in New York State.  

Please advise us what the Town of Greenburgh can do to stop this spread of the bamboo which is causing damage to our properties at 130 and 140 Bramblebrook Road and will result in my neighbor having to repair or replace his fence and in my case cause me to have to redo my driveway.

I would appreciate your getting into this matter again and seeing if the Town, County or State has some regulations that may address the problem of invasive bamboo that is destroying a residents property.

If this bamboo was doing to Bramblebrook Road what it is doing to my driveway and my neighbors fence and yard, I assume the Town would not be silent on this matter.

Thanks in advance for your additional assistance.

I am attaching an article written in 2011 by individuals from Rutgers University. Within that article, I have highlighted in yellow the issue of bamboo harboring mosquitoes and how the nature of the plant’s construction renders it impervious to insecticides.

So apart from the fact that this plant spreads itself insidiously, causing damage to neighboring properties, the greater harm has to do with the health hazard it presents. Controlling the plant is one thing but eliminating it would do a greater good to the community.

There is plenty of reason to resurrect this issue and deal with it once and for all.

As I’ve said before, in all likelihood, a stern written warning letter to offending parties should, in most cases, cause reasonable and rational people to correct the problem, thereby resulting in minimal enforcement requirements.

Unfortunately I will not be unable to attend the 6/28 meeting on the draft legislation regarding controlling running bamboo in Greenburgh.  I am offering these thoughts that hopefully can be included in the discussion.

I have lived at 168 Glendale Road for 38 years.  The former owner of the house at 165 Highland Road, which backs my property, planted a large stand of bamboo at the rear of his property.  I have waged an ongoing battle to keep the bamboo from invading my property for my entire time in Greenburgh.

I trenched and installed “bamboo guard” around the rear of my property.  It has done an adequate job of keeping much of the bamboo from encroaching into my yard.  There are many places near trees, for example, that I was unable to install the “bamboo guard” in a way that it would prevent the invasion of bamboo runners.

The current owners of the home (not the people who planted the original bamboo) have not restricted the bamboo from infiltrating my property.  It is an annual battle to try to dig out the runners.  Sadly, the runners often grow through the roots of established plantings which make them impossible to remove.

I would very much support a town regulation that would require the property owner to enclose and restrict the runners from encroaching onto other residents’ property.  I would be very happy to show you, or members of the board, the challenges that we face.  I would expect that my neighbors, who are also impacted, would support this legislation as well.

Many thanks for looking at ways to resolve this long-overlooked issue in the Town of Greenburgh.

I live next door to 164 Glendale for 11 great years now and also suffer the same affliction as that owner (from the same source).  In fact, the invasion onto my property would be an even clearer example of why plantings should be restricted.  Please feel free to show Paul what remains of my arborvide!

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend tomorrow's hearing.  However I am totally in support of eliminating Bamboo in our area. 

I look forward to voting in July.

Thank you for the prompt response.

The Conservation Advisory Council, CAC, at its June 22, 2023 meeting voted to support the proposed law regulating the planting and removal of running bamboo. 

At the June 8, 2023 and June 22, 2023 CAC meetings, the CAC reviewed draft versions of the law and offered suggestions to strengthen the law.  

The CAC believes the proposed law by banning the planting of running bamboo will protect the environment by eliminating the introduction of a non-native plant species which aggressively fills its habitat eliminating native plants needed to maintain a healthy balanced ecosystem.  

The law, also, provides a mechanism to provide relief for members of the community that may experience property damage resulting from the spreading of the bamboo onto their property from a neighbor’s property.  The bamboo renders any space it occupies unusable.   Its root system is so strong that it can damage foundations.  The removal of bamboo is very expensive.  Without this law, the cost falls on the homeowner whose property the bamboo has invaded.  

For these reasons the CAC believes Chapter 325 entitled “Bamboo” should be adopted.

_Conservation Advisory Council


Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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