[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of River Edge as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-25-2018 by Ord. No. 18-14]
It is determined that certain types of the bamboo plant are invasive, often difficult to control and can cause significant damage to property. The purpose of this article is to preserve and protect public and private property in the Borough of River Edge from the damaging spread of bamboo, to protect indigenous and other plant materials from the invasive spread of bamboo and to maintain the general welfare of the residents of the Borough of River Edge.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Woody perennial grass plant species classified under the taxonomic family Poaceae, that may be known as monopodial (running) bamboo, sympodial (clumping) bamboo, "common" bamboo, golden bamboo, and arrow bamboo, and including, but not limited to, the following species:
- BAMBOO OWNER
- 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 a property, prior to the effective date of this article.
- BOROUGH/CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Borough employee designated as the Code Enforcement Officer for the Borough of River Edge, or his designee.
- BUFFER ZONE
- A clear distance of 10 feet from any property line, street, public property or Borough right-of-way, or from any neighboring property, whichever is the most restrictive for the bamboo owner.
No owner, tenant or occupant of a property, or person, corporation or other entity, shall plant, install or cause or permit the planting or installation of bamboo upon any property located with the Borough of River Edge.
Any existing bamboo may not be replanted or replaced after any such bamboo has died or been destroyed, uprooted or otherwise removed.
Any person who plants or replants bamboo within the Borough limits after the effective date of this article shall be in violation thereof and subject to penalties as set forth herein.
In the event any bamboo is located upon any property within the Borough of River Edge prior to the effective date of this prohibition, the owner and occupant of said property shall jointly and severally be required to confine such species to prevent the encroachment, spread, invasion or intrusion of same onto any other private or public property or public right-of-way.
Within 60 days of the adoption of this article, bamboo owners shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, confirming the presence of bamboo on the property prior to the effective date of this article.
No existing bamboo shall be permitted to remain in any buffer zone, and it shall be removed.
Bamboo that has been confirmed to have already encroached onto another property prior to the effective date of this article shall be removed from the affected property by the bamboo owner, and the affected property shall be restored to preexisting conditions at the bamboo owner's expense, as well as ensuring compliance with the other provisions of this article.
In lieu of confining the species, the property owner or occupant may elect to totally remove the bamboo from the property and all affected properties.
Failure to properly confine such bamboo shall require removal as set forth below. The cost of said removal shall be at the bamboo property owner's expense.
This duty to confine shall not apply if the property owner and/or occupant can establish to the satisfaction of the Borough that the bamboo which is on his/her property at the time of the adoption of this article originated on another property.
Bamboo owners that fail to comply with the requirements of this article within 120 days from the adoption of this article shall be subject to penalties as set forth herein.
In the event any bamboo located upon any property within the Borough of River Edge, prior to the effective date of this prohibition, is found to have encroachment of bamboo plant or root, either by receipt of a complaint or as otherwise determined by the Code Enforcement Officer after observation and/or inspection, and the Code Enforcement Officer confirms encroachment or invasion on any adjoining/neighboring private or public property or public right-of-way (hereinafter, "the affected property"), the Borough shall serve notice to the bamboo property owner, in writing, that the bamboo has invaded other private or public property(ies) or public right-of-way (rights-of-way) and demand the removal of the bamboo from the affected property and demand confinement in accordance with § 140-4 of this article.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall provide notice to the bamboo property owner, as well as to the owner of the affected property(ies), by certified, return-receipt-requested, mail and regular mail.
Within 30 days of receipt of such notice, the bamboo property owner shall submit to the Code Enforcement Officer a plan for the removal of the bamboo from the affected property, which plan shall include restoration of the affected property after removal of the bamboo; a copy of which shall be provided to the owner of the affected property.
Within 60 days of approval of the plan of removal and restoration, the removal and restoration shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Borough.
If a bamboo owner fails to confine existing bamboo in accordance with § 140-4 or does not accomplish the removal of the bamboo from such other private or public property or public right-of-way in accordance with § 140-5, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause a summons to be issued and assess a penalty of up to $100 for each day the violation continues, enforceable through the Municipal Court of River Edge. Each and every day a violation of this chapter shall exist shall constitute a separate violation.
The Code Enforcement Officer may request, and the Municipal Court may grant, a specific performance remedy. The Borough may also institute civil proceedings for injunctive of civil relief.
Nothing herein shall be interpreted as limiting the rights of a private property owner to seek civil relief through a court of proper jurisdiction nor the institution of civil proceedings against the property parties.
When an encroachment is upon public property or a public right-of-way and the bamboo property owner and/or occupant has not complied with the written notice provided as set forth above, the Borough of River Edge, at its discretion, may remove or contract for the removal of such bamboo from Borough property or the public right-of-way. The cost of said removal shall be the responsibility of the bamboo property owner and occupant and shall be paid or assessed as a lien against the property on which the bamboo growth originated. The cost of said removal from Borough-owned property and/or the public right-of-way shall include the installation of an appropriate barrier to prevent future bamboo invasion or other suitable remedy approved by the Borough.
The requirements under this article shall be enforceable by the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee, including, but not limited to, the Borough Construction Official or Zoning Officer. The River Edge Police Department can also enforce provisions of this article.
All ordinances or parts thereof in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby repealed, but only to the extent of such conflict or inconsistency, it being the legislative intent that all such ordinances or part of ordinances now existing or in effect, unless the same are in conflict or inconsistent with any provision of this article, shall remain in effect.
The provisions of this article are declared to be severable; and if any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof for any reason is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, subsections, sentences, clauses and phrases of this article, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this article shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.