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Proposed Bamboo Regulations Eradicated, Pesky Plant Hangs Tough

Town Board votes down plan to regulate bamboo usage.

Bruce Lee once said the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind. 

But at Town Hall Tuesday, it was apparently the stiffest and most unwavering of opinions that helped to keep unregulated bamboo alive in Huntington.

With a narrow 2-2-1 decision, the Town Board put an end to months of passionate debate and voted down a resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Berland, which would have regulated bamboo growth in the Township.

If approved, the law would have held property owners liable failing to mitigate bamboo growth onto an adjoining property, regardless of preexisting conditions. Proposed fines ranged from $200 to $5,000 for repeat offenses.

Even before a public hearing was heard earlier this year, Councilman Mark Curthberston vowed to not support bamboo restrictions. 

"I have concerns with the motion that we are going to regulate the bamboo," . "I don't know what would be next, poison ivy?" 

Cuthbertson remained true to his word Tuesday and voted down the measure.

The bamboo debate has been contentious and divided from the start — from residents and Town Board members.

In May, Berland pushed for an extension on the bamboo vote. A month earlier she , which sent one resident in disgust. 

In a rare sight, Councilman Eugene Cook teamed up Tuesday with Cuthbertson in opposition against Berland and Supervisor Frank Petrone, who voted in favor of the restrictions. The 2-2 deadlock was broken by Councilman Mark Mayoka, who abstained.

Without a majority decision, the resolution did not pass.

BK13 June 20, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Jane sorry to hear this. Most of the statements above are based on ignorance, people just don't know how awful it is when the bamboo you didn't even want wrecks your property/possessions AND CAN'T BE ERADICATED. Good luck, hopefully they will find a way around it and come back with a better version of the bill.
BK13 June 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Rich, don't you hate it when people nitpick the most ridiculous non-important things? Personally, I think the bamboo is a problem only because I did some research and saw a house in Huntington that was getting hammered by bamboo. I originally laughed at it too. That's another problem in this town - if the problem doesn't pertain to people directly they scoff at it and make comments about poison ivy, etc.
JMN June 20, 2012 at 08:17 PM
For the bamboo haters (I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff) - controlling out of control is pretty straightforward - and actually really interesting. PRUNING: Early in the season, when the shoots are popping up, cut last years growth and older brown, dry stalks. It is unbelievable, if you do that – you will NOT get any new growth that year. I made the mistake of doing that one year (not to control - but to clean garden) and nothing grew. If you this – the new shoots will all wither and die. Very strange - but it is true. Good luck with your bamboo. Now on to Damn English ivy!
2 Turn Tables June 20, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I agree with an earlier point. Berland is jamming high density housing in the area, but all of a sudden has a huge concern over bamboo? She attends the Huntington Fall Festival with union goons and barrel chested members of the "Working Families Party" at her table to ward off any potential disagreements. Here is an idea for anyone who has a problem. Sue your neighbor if they are inconsiderate.
Carol Merritt September 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I am retired and living in Florida. My neighbor planted uncontained running bamboo on the property line, and it immediately started to grow in our yard. We spent 3 years battling rhizomes. We finally decided to have a concrete barrier installed last year at a cost of 3,000 dollars. The barrier is 75 feet long and 41 inches deep into the soil. We lost the landscaping, trees, lawn, and the inground sprinkler system on that side of the property. My husband injured his knee from the constant digging and had to have surgery. He now walks with a permanent limp. The barrier was installed last year and this year we watched the bamboo grow 10 feet past the ends of the barrier. The states say it is a matter for the counties to deal with, but the counties say it is up to the state. Sounds like a matter of "passing the buck" to me. Nobody should be allowed to destroy another's property. Those who liken Bamboo to Poison Ivy and Dandelions are only showing their lack of knowledge about this horrible plant. There needs to be a law!

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