The AG has approved Lexington’s new By-Law controlling Running Bamboo as passed at the 2020-2 Fall Special Town Meeting. (see photo for a comparison of “Running Bamboo” which is now controlled and “Clumping Bamboo” which does not have the same invasive spreading characteristic.)
Summary of Article 5 – Running Bamboo Control
Under Article 5, a citizen-petitioned article, the Town voted to amend the Town’s general by-laws to add a new Chapter 131, “Running Bamboo Control” that prohibits “Running Bamboo,” as defined in the by-law, from encroaching on property other than the property where the Running Bamboo was originally planted. The stated purpose of the by-law is to protect private and town-owned property and to protect “indigenous biodiversity” from Running Bamboo. Section 131-1 “Purpose and applicability.” The by-law defines terms used in the by-law, including “Encroached or Encroachment,” “Running Bamboo Owner,” and “Running Bamboo” as follows:
ENCROACHED or ENCROACHMENT
The encroaching, spreading, invading, or intruding by Running Bamboo upon any property other than the property on which Running Bamboo was originally planted.
Any monopodial (running) tropical or semi-tropical bamboo grasses or bamboo species, and any other species of bamboo that is found to have encroached upon any property other than the property on which it was originally planted, including Town-owned property or a Town-owned right of way.
RUNNING BAMBOO OWNER
Any property owner, whether a person, firm, trust, corporation or other legal entity, at whose property Running Bamboo is located. Any property owner who provides satisfactory evidence to the Town Manager or their designee that the property owner did not plant the Running Bamboo on his or her property, and upon discovery of the Encroachment of Running Bamboo onto his or her property from an abutting property, informed the abutting prope1ty owner, by delivery of a written notice by certified mail within a year of the Encroachment being discovered, of an objection to the Encroachment of the Running Bamboo, and provides a copy of such written notice to the Town Manager within 5 days of mailing to the abutting property owner, shall not be considered a Running Bamboo Owner with respect to the abutting prope1ty so noticed , but may be considered a Running Bamboo Owner with respect to any other abutting properties, and shall be required to comply with the provisions of section 131-4 of this Chapter with respect to any such other abutting properties.
The by-law applies to new bamboo encroachment from a Running Bamboo Owner’s property onto any private or Town-owned property or right of way after the effective date of the by-law and exempts any encroachments that occurred before the by-law takes effect. Section 131-3, “Applicability.” Section 131-4, “Requirements,” requires Running Bamboo owners to “confine Running Bamboo in a manner that will prevent the Running Bamboo from any encroachment onto any other property or right of way.” Adequate barrier systems include: (1) a seamless barrier composed of high-density polypropylene or polyethylene or a metal barrier; (2) a fully enclosed above ground pot or planter; or (3) any barrier approved by the Town Manager. The by-law imposes a one hundred dollar fine per day for everyday the Running Bamboo is unconfined that may be enforced through G.L. c. 40, § 21D’s non-criminal disposition ticketing procedure.