[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Britain 4-12-2017 by Ord. No. 380. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Property maintenance — See Ch. 310.
The Borough Council of New Britain Borough recognizes that a variety of vegetation in the Borough is desirable as it promotes soil and air quality, prevents erosion, and is aesthetically pleasing. Borough Council also recognizes that bamboo and other noxious or invasive plants do not promote a variety of vegetation. In some cases, noxious or invasive plants emit pollens and irritants into the air; in other cases, noxious or invasive plants overtake native plants and wildflowers. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to encourage the propagation of wildflowers and native species by controlling the planting, cultivating, or growing of certain running bamboo grasses and certain other noxious and invasive species in the Borough, and requiring barriers to prevent the invasive spread of existing running bamboo and other noxious and invasive species into other areas of the Borough.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any monopodial (running) tropical or semitropical grasses from the genera Bambusa, including but not limited to Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Fallopia and Pseudosasa as well as common bamboo, golden bamboo, arrow bamboo, and Japanese bamboo.
- NOXIOUS AND INVASIVE SPECIES
- In addition to bamboo, any species listed on the most recent Pennsylvania Noxious Weed Control List, maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, or its equivalent; also, the following species:
- A. Cannabis sativa, commonly known as "marijuana."
- B. Cirsium arvense, commonly known as "Canadian thistle."
- C. Rosa multiflora, commonly known as "multiflora rose."
- D. Sorghum halepense, commonly known as "Johnson grass."
- E. Carduus nutans, commonly known as "musk thistle."
- F. Cirsium vulgare, commonly known as "bull thistle."
- G. Datura stramonium, commonly known as "jimsonweed."
- H. Polygonum perfoliatum, commonly known as "mile-a-minute."
- I. Pueraria lobata, commonly known as "kudzu vine."
- J. Sorghum bicolor, commonly known as "shattercane."
- K. Heracleum mantegazzianum, commonly known as "giant hogweed."
- L. Galega officinalis, commonly known as "goat's rue."
- M. Lythrum salicaria, commonly known as "purple loosestrife."
- N. Polygonum cuspidatum, commonly known as "Japanese knotweed."
- PROPERTY OWNER
- Any legal owner, resident, occupant, or responsible entity, who has planted and/or grows bamboo or other noxious and invasive species, or who maintains bamboo or other noxious or invasive species on his/her property, or who permits bamboo or other noxious or invasive species to grow or remain on the property even if the bamboo or other noxious or invasive species has spread from an adjoining property. Any property owner or resident at property on which bamboo or other noxious or invasive species is found will be considered a property owner, except any property owner, resident, occupant, or responsible entity who/that:
- A. Has provided satisfactory proof to the Borough that, within a reasonable period of time after discovering the encroachment of bamboo or other noxious or invasive species onto the property, from an adjoining or neighboring property, he/she/it has advised the owner of such property of his/her/its objection to the encroachment; and
- B. Has initiated steps for the removal of the encroaching bamboo or other noxious or invasive species, including notifying the Borough of the encroachment or otherwise exercising private remedies at law.
For purposes of this section, bamboo or other noxious and invasive species found growing upon a property shall constitute presumptive evidence that the bamboo or other noxious and invasive species was planted and/or grown by and/or with the consent of the property owner, tenant, occupant, or other individual, entity or corporation having control over the property.
Prohibition. Except as provided herein, upon the effective date of this section, the planting or growing of bamboo or other noxious and invasive species shall be prohibited within the Borough and no persons, property owners, tenants or other individual entities or corporations having control of property within the Borough shall plant, cultivate or cause to grow any bamboo or other noxious and invasive species on any lot or parcel within the Borough, including the spread of bamboo or other noxious and invasive species onto the property of another. Any person who plants or grows, or causes or allows to be planted or to be grown, bamboo or other noxious or invasive species within the Borough shall be deemed to be in violation of this section and shall be subject to the penalties provided herein.
This chapter shall not be deemed to alter any rights of any property owner at common law or otherwise to recover the cost of removal of bamboo or other noxious or invasive species on their property that has run over from a neighboring property.
Any bamboo that has been planted or otherwise permitted to grow on any property within the Borough prior to the effective date of this section may remain on such property only subject to compliance with the following:
The bamboo shall not be closer than 10 feet from any property line, pavement or sidewalk and no closer than 40 feet from any public or private roadway within the Borough.
Any property owner whose property contains bamboo shall remove and abate the growth of any bamboo within 40 feet of the edge of pavement or traveled portion of any roadway within the Borough.
Each property owner shall be responsible to ensure that the bamboo planted or growing on the property prior to the effective date of this section is maintained such that it does not encroach or grow upon any adjoining or neighboring property or properties, including all public property and public rights-of-way.
If the Borough determines that any portion of such bamboo has been allowed to grow upon, extend root across, or extend branches, stalks, or leaves over any public right-of-way or any private property not owned by or in possession of the property owner, the property owner shall be required to comply with the provisions of §§ 430-3B and 430-3D hereof.
The New Britain Code Enforcement Officer, or any officer or employee of the Borough of New Britain designated by Borough Council for this purpose, is authorized to give notice, by personal service or by United States mail, to the property owner of any premises in violation of this chapter, directing and requiring compliance with the terms of the chapter within five days of receipt of the notice. Whenever, in the judgement of the New Britain Borough Code Enforcement Officer, or the designee thereof, it shall appear to be impractical to give notice as above-provided, notice may be given by posting conspicuously on the property where such offending plants exist, a notice or order directing and requiring that such offending plants be removed or abated within 10 days.
In the event the property owner does not remove or abate, or contract for the removal or abatement of the offending plants within the time period provided in the notice, the Borough may take such steps it deems appropriate to abate the violation, including removal or abatement of the plant(s) by Borough personnel, removal or abatement of the plant(s) by contract, charging the costs of removal or abatement as liens against the property remediated or filing an appropriate action in equity to abate the violation. Nothing herein shall be construed to create an affirmative obligation on the part of the Borough to abate or remove any bamboo or other noxious or invasive species within the Borough.
Any bamboo or other noxious or invasive species which is removed after the effective date of this section, whether by death, destruction or other method, may not be replanted unless such replanting is consistent with the provisions of this section that apply to new plantings.
Any person, firm or corporation found to be in violation of any of the terms, conditions or provisions of this chapter shall, in addition to any other remedies provided hereunder, upon conviction before any Magisterial District Judge, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be required to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution. Each day that a violation continues after due notice shall constitute a separate offense.