Brian Gardner saw the pointy green shoots sneaking into his yard from the neighbor’s.
He’ll take care of them when he returns from Florida, he told himself.
Two weeks later, he came home to Park Boulevard in Worthington to find a stand of bamboo 10 feet high on his side of the fence.
“It grows a foot a day,” Gardner said. “You can actually watch it grow.”
The shoots came from next door, where bamboo canes 15 feet tall take up a third of Tena and Tom Singley’s backyard on Loveman Avenue. The canes send out rhizomes, stems that travel horizontally for several feet just below the surface and send up shoots that sometimes appear as conelike nubs.
They’re also sprouting neighborhood discord.
“I told her to contain it but was ignored,” said Gardner, who lives behind the Singleys in the Colonial Hills neighborhood. He took his complaint to the Worthington City Council, which is researching an ordinance requiring homeowners to contain running bamboo to their side of the fence.
“There’s no desire to ban it but to produce some regulation to encourage people to maintain it,” said City Manager Matt Greeson. City Law Director Pamela Fox told the council that her department has not found another community in Ohio that has passed a law regulating bamboo. Worthington might become the first in the state.
Connecticut passed a law this year requiring people to plant running bamboo within thick plastic barriers sunk 2 to 3 feet into the ground. Running bamboo cannot be planted within 40 feet of a neighbor’s property. Violators face a $100 daily fine.
Mrs. Singley said she and her husband lived in Hawaii and California, where they developed a liking for bamboo. Tom Singley, who has multiple sclerosis, said he enjoys watching the waving of the bamboo from his bedroom window.
“It would cost $100 to dig down and put a block in,” Mrs. Singley said. “I don’t want to spend my money for them,” she said, referring to her neighbors.
Neighbor Chuck Riddle doesn’t believe he should pay to install a barrier to keep out her bamboo.
Who has the property rights in this case?
WWCS? (What would Coase Say?)
How deep does a property line go?
Anyone else think there are long term issues here ('I don't want to spend my money for them.'?!?!)