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Riverhead Town Board has its sights on bamboo ban

Following suit of other town governments in recent years, the Riverhead Town Board will vote Tuesday on legislation that would make it unlawful for property owners to allow bamboo to spread onto neighboring land.

If approved, this would apply to preventing the spread of running or clumping bamboo to both privately and publicly owned property, including public rights-of-way, according to the drafted legislation. Property owners must also remove and abate bamboo growth within 10 feet of the edge of public roads in town.

It would also prohibit new planting of bamboo types that are known to spread. The cost of maintaining bamboo is left to property owners, according to the proposed law.

The ordinance would be included in town code Chapter 251 on noise, public nuisances and property maintenance.

Other Long Island towns, such as Brookhaven and Oyster Bay, regulate bamboo growth. New York State prohibits two types of the invasive species, golden bamboo and yellow groove bamboo.

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