A view of a bamboo grove and how the rhizomes travel.
If you have been following the Board of Selectmen’s meetings over the past few months, you most likely are aware of a growing problem in Orange that demanded their attention.
Bamboo may be beautiful, with its graceful stalks and flowing leaves, but in a town such as Orange, where many residents have septic systems and homes in close proximity to their neighbors, one simple planting of bamboo can lead to a nightmare situation for the homeowner and their neighbors.
Bamboo roots spread and travel underground far from the visible plants and new shoots can pop up just about anywhere. They are strong enough to tear up patios and foundations and destroy septic systems.
After much consideration, the Board of Selectmen came up with an ordinance for the town of Orange that expands on the state statute defining running bamboo as a nuisance.
Look over this entire ordinance so you will be aware of your rights if you have bamboo on your property or if a neighbor has bamboo that is invading your space.
Existing bamboo will appear on land records, so potential new homeowners won’t have any surprises.
TOWN OF ORANGE
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT OF SECTION OF CODE
In accordance with Section 3.4 of the Charter of the Town of Orange, notice is hereby given to the legal voters and those persons qualified to vote in Town Meetings of the Town of Orange that on February 12, 2014 the Orange Board of Selectmen amended a Section of the Code of the Town of Orange, by adding a new Chapter 175 – An Ordinance, adopted Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 7-148 (c) (7) (E), Defining Running Bamboo As A Nuisance And Adopting Regulations For the Control of Running Bamboo.
AN ORDINANCE, ADOPTED PURSUANT TO CONN. GEN. STAT. §7-148 (c) (7) (E), DEFINING RUNNING BAMBOO AS A NUISANCE AND ADOPTING REGULATIONS FOR THE CONTROL OF RUNNING BAMBOO
SECTION I. PURPOSE AND INTENT.
The Town of Orange, through Board of Selectmen, has determined that running bamboo, as defined herein, is a nuisance. The purpose of this Ordinance is to preserve and protect private and public property from the damaging spread of running bamboo grasses and to protect indigenous plants and the wildlife they support from the invasive spread of such bamboo.
SECTION II. DEFINITIONS.
Running Bamboo – Any bamboo in the genus Phyllostachys, including Phyllostachys aureosulcata, including rhizomes.
Running Bamboo Owner(s) – Any property owner(s) who, or which, have Running Bamboo planted in the ground on their property, even if the Bamboo has spread onto their property from an adjoining property.
Buffer Zone – A distance of at least 100 feet from any abutting property or public or private right of way.
D. Town – The Town of Orange, New Haven County, State of Connecticut.
E. Enforcement Officer – The zoning enforcement officer and/or the inland wetlands and watercourses enforcement officer may enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.
Notice – Any written notice by, from or on behalf of the Town, notifying the Running Bamboo Owner(s) that they are in violation of this Ordinance and directing them to cure or fix the violation. Such Notice shall conform with section 195-8 of the Town Code and shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the owner(s) listed on the current tax address on file with the Town. A copy may also be posted on the property in question.
Receipt of Notice – Receipt of the Notice required herein shall be three days after the date of mailing of said Notice, or, if applicable, posting of the Notice on the property in question, whichever is earlier.
SECTION III. NO PLANTING OF RUNNING BAMBOO.
A. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-148 (c) (7) (E), Running Bamboo is determined to be a nuisance and the planting of Running Bamboo is prohibited in the Town.
B. Any existing Running Bamboo may not be replanted or replaced after any such existing Running Bamboo has died or been removed.
Any person who plants or replants Running Bamboo within the Town limits after the effective date of this Ordinance shall be in violation of this Ordinance and shall be subject to the penalties set forth herein.
SECTION IV. REGULATION OF AND LIMITATIONS ON EXISTING RUNNING BAMBOO.
Any Running Bamboo already in existence on any property within the Town limits as of the effective date of this Ordinance, may remain on such property, subject to the following regulation: Running Bamboo shall not be permitted to exist within any Buffer Zone.
B. Running Bamboo Owner(s) shall take all necessary measures to ensure that any Running Bamboo on their property does not exist within any Buffer Zone. Such measures shall include, but are not limited to, cutting down Running Bamboo existing in the Buffer Zone and physically removing or applying herbicide the rhizomes or spraying any regrowth for several years until the Running Bamboo is dead and, if the removal of the Running Bamboo is impracticable, then by installing a barrier of impenetrable material and placed no less than 25 feet from the property line at a sufficient depth to prevent any growth of Running Bamboo within any Buffer Zone.
No person shall cause Running Bamboo or the rhizomes of Running Bamboo to be deposited, discarded or otherwise placed into compost or mulch or disposed of at the Town Transfer Station.
This Ordinance shall not be deemed to alter any rights at common law, as provided by P.A. 13-82 or otherwise that any property owner may have to recover the cost of removal of Running Bamboo on their own property from another property owner from whose property the Running Bamboo has spread.
SECTION V. REMOVAL OF RUNNING BAMBOO.
If Running Bamboo on any property grows in or into any Buffer Zone or if Running Bamboo is discovered to have been deposited, discarded or otherwise placed into compost or mulch, the Town, through its Enforcement Officer(s), shall give Notice to the Running Bamboo Owner(s), as required by this Ordinance, that the said Owner(s) are responsible for the extermination or removal of such Running Bamboo from the Buffer Zone.
Any Running Bamboo Owner(s) receiving Notice under this Ordinance shall remove all Running Bamboo that is in violation of this Ordinance within thirty (30) days of the Receipt of Notice, as defined herein.
In the event that any Running Bamboo Owner does not remedy and correct the violations set forth in any Notice issued by the Enforcement Officer, then Town, in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-148 (c) (7) (E), may, upon the action of the Board of Selectmen, abate and remove any Running Bamboo that is in violation of this Ordinance, take all reasonable action to eradicate its re-growth and restore any real property to its natural condition. The Running Bamboo Owner(s) shall be liable to the Town for the costs of the abatement and removal of the Running Bamboo.
SECTION VI. PENALTIES.
Any property owner, whether a person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity, violating any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be subject to the following penalties, upon conviction of such violation:
A. A fine in the amount of $250.00 shall be assessed for each day on which a noticed violation remains in existence beginning thirty (30) days following the Receipt of Notice.
Each day on which the violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense under this Ordinance.
SECTION VII. APPEAL
Any property owner receiving Notice under this ordinance may contest his or her liability before a citation hearing officer in accordance with section 195-8 of the Town Code.
SECTION VIII. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.
If any part of this Ordinance is found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, for any reason, such unconstitutionality, illegality, or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining provisions or parts of this Ordinance and those remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION IX. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Ordinance shall become effective twenty-one (21) days after its publication in a newspaper having circulation within the Town.
Notice of Amendment of Code adding a new Chapter 175 – An Ordinance, Adopted Pursuant To Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 7-148 (c) (7) (E), Defining Running Bamboo As A Nuisance And Adopting Regulations For the Control of Running Bamboo dated at Orange, CT this 14th day of February 2014.
Originally Published on: Feb 14, 2014 @ 15:05