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Town of North Hempstead strictly prohibits planting new bamboo

Bamboo, a fast-growing invasive plant that originated in

Bamboo, a fast-growing invasive plant that originated in China, is favored by some homeowners as a privacy screen. Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden

Planting new bamboo is now strictly prohibited within the Town of North Hempstead.

The town held a public hearing on Tuesday to adopt a new law regulating the planting and growing of bamboo. The board voted unanimously, 7-0, to pass the resolution and amend the town's code.

Several residents expressed their support for the law, citing reasons such as falling home values and unwieldy bamboo overgrowth.

The law also calls for the regulation of existing bamboo and requires property owners to ensure that bamboo does not encroach upon neighboring properties. Failure to do so will be penalized with a fine between $100 and $500.

One resident of Port Washington, Joel Ziev, spoke about the difficulty of preventing bamboo from spreading and asked the town to delay the vote until a horticulturalist was consulted.

Councilwoman Anna Kaplan said the board had researched the ordinances of nearby towns. Town Attorney Elizabeth Botwin added that similar laws had been effective in other communities throughout Long Island. In case of enforcement issues, Botwin said that the law could be amended in the future.

The local law will take effect immediately upon filing with the secretary of state.

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