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Bamboo Legislation

The Worthington City Council recently enacted legislation to regulate the growth of running bamboo within the City. The new law goes into effect on July 8, 2015.

Uncontrolled running bamboo results in a rapid spreading and infestation through its root system and underground rhizomes. The growth of the bamboo may cause serious damage to structures and plant materials located in the path of the underground root system. Property owners adjacent to parcels containing running bamboo cite difficulty and expense in attempt to keep unwanted running bamboo from extending into their yards and spreading. Through this legislation, the City wishes to preserve and protect private and public property, protect indigenous plant materials and maintain the general welfare of the residents of the City.

Bamboo owners

A bamboo owner is defined as any property owner or resident who has planted and/or grows bamboo, or who maintains bamboo on the property, or who permits bamboo to grow or remain on the property even if the bamboo has spread from an adjoining property.  Any property owner or resident at whose property bamboo is found will be considered a bamboo owner, except any property owner or resident who:

  • Did not plant or grow or cause bamboo to be planted or grown on his or her property; and
  • Has provided satisfactory proof to the City that, within a reasonable period of time after discovering the encroachment of bamboo onto the property from an adjoining or neighboring property, advised the owner of such property, by delivery of a written notice, of an objection to the encroachment of the bamboo and a request for the bamboo to be removed; and
  • Has initiated steps for the removal of the bamboo from the property.

Bamboo Ordinance No. 21-2015 requires bamboo owners with running bamboo on their property to confine the bamboo in a manner that will prevent it from encroaching, spreading, invading or intruding onto any other private or public property or right-of-way. The owner is required to take reasonable measures to do so, including but not limited to the installation of a properly constructed and maintained underground physical barrier system.  A bamboo owner who fails to confine bamboo to the bamboo owner’s property shall be subject to penalty.

  • Penalties include a fine of $100 per day for each day that the bamboo remains after the expiration of the 10 day notice period established by the Director of Service and Engineering.
  • The City may also exercise the right to remove the bamboo or install a physical barrier system with the cost being charged to the bamboo owner.

Property owners affected by bamboo

In the event bamboo growing on a bamboo owner’s property encroaches or grows onto an adjoining or neighboring property, the adjacent property owner can advise the bamboo owner, in writing and request the bamboo be removed. If the bamboo owner fails to remove the bamboo following a request by the affected adjoining property owner within ten (10) days from the date of the request, the affected adjoining property owner shall notify the Director of Service and Engineering of such encroachment.  The Director shall be provided satisfactory proof from the affected adjoining neighbor that the bamboo owner was notified of the encroachment and had the requisite number of days to remove the bamboo.  The Director shall confirm the presence of the encroaching bamboo and shall notify the bamboo owner in writing of their responsibilities to remove the bamboo and the penalties for failing to do so.  

See full details contained in Ordinance 21-2015 here. For more information, contact the Department of Service and Engineering at (614) 431-2425.