A bill restricting invasive bamboo is up for review next month at the Babylon Town Board meeting. It comes as a number of other Long Island villages have placed bans on bamboo, including Malverne, Huntington, Brookhaven, Smithtown, Long Beach and other villages.
If the bill passes, property owners in violation can face a fine of $500 a day. The fine applies when bamboo from a property spreads beyond the property line to adjacent properties. Owners must keep bamboo a minimum of 10 feet away from the property line and any new bamboo must be kept in planters or behind barriers that prevent roots from spreading.
The bill is a response to complaints from residents, according to Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer. Bamboo may also pose a danger to children playing around or near it given sharp roots can grow and protrude from the ground.
If the legislation is passed, any property owners in violation of it would be given a month to comply before the risk of a summons. The bill also allows the town to remove the plants invading town property at the owner’s expense, if necessary.
While bamboo has grown popular in use as a form of a screen for privacy, a number of Long Island villages have placed restrictions and bans on it since 2011, according to reporting from Newsday.