Huntington Moves to Regulate Bamboo

Filed under: Around Town,News |

            The Huntington Town Board, at its April 9 meeting, approved an addition to Town Code regulating running bamboo.

            The new section of Town Code, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Berland, prohibits the new planting of running bamboo. It also makes any property owner with existing running bamboo responsible for either removing the bamboo or taking reasonable measures to confine the bamboo to their own property. The resolution set a six-month moratorium so property owners can clear and/or contain their bamboo before any penalty provisions begin. After the moratorium expires, then penalties include a $1,000 fine for planting and/or replanting running bamboo and fines of $250 to $500 for failure to remove or contain bamboo.

            “As many are well aware, bamboo can be unruly and invasive when planted improperly and it is of the utmost importance that running bamboo be properly contained,” Councilwoman Berland said. “I appreciate the feedback from my colleagues that finally culminated in the passing of this bamboo ordinance. I would like to thank the residents that continually attended board meetings to voice their support for a bamboo ordinance in the Town of Huntington. If anyone is looking for more information about bamboo or how to properly contain and maintain it, I published a pamphlet entitled ‘Planting Bamboo: The ins and outs of responsible bamboo ownership’ and it is available on the Town’s website.”

            “The invasive nature of bamboo on residents’ property and in their lives was well documented in photos submitted to the Town Board and in the stories residents told at Town Board meetings,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “This ordinance allows residents to plant what they want on their own property, but makes it clear that they cannot adversely affect their neighbors. I supported this proposal from its inception, and I commend Councilwoman Berland for her persistence and flexibility in fine-tuning her proposal so it can become law.”

            Councilman Mark Mayoka, who cast the third vote in favor of the resolution, said, “While many feel that bamboo should be a civil matter to be settled between neighbors it has become increasingly invasive to the point where it has become a regulatory issue. I voted in favor of the revised legislation because it now provides for a six-month amnesty period and eliminates the onerous second and third offense penalties.”

            In other action, the Town Board:

            — authorized spending up to $5,000 to purchase and install a new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant chair lift at the Dix Hills Pool. The pool currently has a handicap ramp but no chair lift.

            — scheduled a May 7 public hearing on a proposal to amend Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking on designated trails in Town parks and to establish a procedure for reviewing proposed new uses of trails.

            — scheduled a May 7 public hearing on a proposal permitting the Town Assessor to grant tax exemptions for Green Building LEED certified capital improvements made after Jan. 1, 2013. The exemption, which would only apply to Town taxes, is aimed at encouraging measures that will  reduce carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels while encouraging the construction of structures with better designs for occupant health, reduce environmental impacts and promote the use of clean technologies.

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