Bethlehem ponders bamboo ban

April 4, 2017 by  

Like many other cities, Bethlehem is considering banning the planting of bamboo in rural areas where the fast-growing plant can reach into neighboring yards.

The popular plant has advantages and disadvantages, but homeowner complaints are causing the board to investigate a ban.

Should the ban take place, the city council could take advantage of the direct mail printing services of a local print company to notify residents and answer the frequently asked questions that they may have.

Bamboo, although loved for privacy and shade, can grow as much as 30 feet in one season. This fast growth is hard to manage and can cause havoc with underground pipes, patios, foundations, and fences. Should the ban take place, residents who currently have the plant would be able to keep them as long as they make a barrier so the plant does not encroach upon neighboring yards and common areas.

Many other cities have enacted a bamboo ban, including several in Pennsylvania and New York. Compliance with the ban would take place through neighbors’ complaints. Those driving by an area and seeing bamboo are not allowed to file complaints. The city will not have employees patrolling areas in search of offenders. Violators of the ban could face a $100 fine.

The City Council will vote on the first ordinance of this ban today, April 4th.