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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.

Efrron YU June 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Bamboo ... ?? Really is this what the town is concerned with .. There are people starving and losing their homes .. Shame on these politicians.
Linda Otta June 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Mrs Berland felt it was important enough to offer the resolution. Petrone 2nd'd it. Which means the entire board is required to vote on it. You can thank these 2 career politicians for caring more about bamboo then helping the tax payers of the town they reside over. Maybe you should tell your friends and neighbors to vote them out at the next election. Still boggles my mind how they keep getting in. Now they just voted in 21 units per acre in Melville when 14.5 was our highest density in the town. More tax payers (or dependents) to bring in when they can't take care of who is here already.
kate June 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM
from fire hydrants to bamboo....seriously!
judy avena June 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I think all this hubub about Bamboo is an example of where our officials priorities are. We need to take care of the low income families and our aging out population in this town. Also if they had taken the time to do some research Mrs. Berland would have discovered that there is something called clumping Bamboo which is non envasive. If your going to step up on an issue you need to have all the facts.
jane June 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM
to judy, Ms. Berland did an incredible amount of research. If you had attended or even watched the meetings or read the bill you would have seen that clumping bamboo would not have in any way been restricted by this bill. The only thing this bill would effect is that which neighbors allowed to encroach on their neighbors property because they did not install it properly. This law was to protect those from spreading bamboo only! You should ck the facts.
jane June 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM
And I am low income who is caring for an aging father that has neighbors with bamboo that are costing me a fortune because they do not believe they should spend the money on the barrier needed to keep it from my property. So again Ms. Berland was looking out for my money. I can't afford to remove bamboo and the value of my house is going down with every shoot that comes up.
Linda Otta June 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Do you really think regulating bamboo is going to increase your house value while Ms Berland shoves in as much high density housing as possible thus LOWERING your house value? Talk about messed up priorities. Trust me, Mrs Berland is NOT looking out for your money unless it is to shove in her pocketbook.
ArtP June 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Those of you who feel this was frivolous might think differently if a neighbor's bamboo was consuming your property.
ArtP June 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Judy, do you think the existance of clumping bamboo will make any difference if your neighbor plants the spreadding kind?
Ex Parkie June 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Bamboo is a invasive grass. The only way to stop it, is to dig down at least 3' and use concrete as a barrier other wise it will spread thru out your yard. It can do damage to your swimming pools & cesspools.
jane June 20, 2012 at 01:34 PM
yes, right now other towns think its important enough. Homeowners are starting to raise your bill if neighbors have bamboo and people do not want to buy a house that has bamboo on the border. So yes unless you live with that its very hard to understand. Your issue with Ms. Berland has nothing to do with this. This would have made many peoples lives better. There were people in tears at the meeting, from the stress their neighbors bamboo has placed on them. All in all I am not defending Huntington. They have not come through on any issue important to me either. So I'm not arguing your overall points.
Hikerr June 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Susan is very concerned, she started the fire hydrant adoption program. Just think how many poor hydrants are out there all alone.I'm dressing my little one in Red White and Blue. He's such a cutie.
Laura June 20, 2012 at 03:09 PM
You would think BAMBO is The New Love canal. It was are you kidding law. Just an exuse gain more REVENUE. Berland tooo much time right now. Is she bored. Tell her put a sign " It's the economy stupid and jobs stupid". I want to thank Mayoka, Cuthbertson and Cook. We the people gave our opinion and they listened. Laura
Arlene Gross June 20, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Rich -- Berland pulled the vote from the April meeting, not May. You might want to correct that. Arlene
Rich Jacques (Editor) June 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Arlene: The story is correct as written ... "In May, Berland pushed for an extension on the bamboo vote. A month earlier she angrily uprooted the item from the agenda ..." In other words, she pulled it in April.
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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