The Huntington Town Board voted down legislation meant to curb the rampant spread of bamboo for the second time on Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Susan Berland, was voted down 3-2 with Berland and Supervisor Frank Petrone in favor.
The legislation calls for stiff penalties should the plant, an invasive species, creep onto town or neighboring private properties. Penalties for the first offense would start at $250 and increase with each subsequent offense to $2,500.
Councilmember Mark Mayoka told the Times of Huntington that he was uncomfortable putting successive penalties on homeowners, calling it unfair and having a possible adverse impact on real estate values.
Councilmember Mark Cuthbertson agreed that the penalties proposed in the legislation were too strict. In February, prior to a public hearing on the first vote, Cuthbertson had vowed to fight legislation regulating bamboo: "I have concerns with the motion that we are going to regulate the bamboo," he said. "I don't know what would be next, poison ivy?"
Berland vowed to continue fighting for regulations, telling Newsday, "bamboo isn't going away and neither am I."