Sag Harbor Trustees Withdraw Bamboo Ban

Posted on 16 December 2011

Following both praise and criticism by Sag Harbor residents over a proposed law that would have banned bamboo in the village, on Tuesday night the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees voted to withdraw the legislation from consideration.

“I have been talking to different people and I think the best thing to do is to advise people not to plant invasive species,” said trustee Robby Stein, first suggesting the proposed legislation be tabled and then suggesting it be withdrawn completely.

The rest of the village board supported Stein unanimously, including Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride.

The legislation was originally introduced in September after the village board heard the pleas of resident Pat Field this summer. Field said she has done almost everything imaginable in an effort to kill bamboo spreading onto her Madison Street property from a neighbor’s yard. The bamboo, said Field, was threatening her very home.

Originally, the legislation targeted all invasive species of plants, but was quickly scaled back to address only bamboo. According to the last version of the draft law, if adopted residents would not have been allowed to have bamboo “planted, maintained or otherwise permitted to exist within 10-feet of any property line, street, sidewalk or public right of way.”

However, the legislation was criticized by some in the village — including homeowners facing a similar battle as Field — as being too far reaching for the local municipality, and potentially costly for village residents who bought properties that already contained bamboo.

“I think the discussion we have had was  a great discussion, but it showed clearly this is a neighbor to neighbor issue and the bigger issue here is there are residents who have bamboo and have done everything right,” said Mayor Gilbride. “It is the encroachment onto neighbor’s properties that really needs to be addressed.”

Prior to the meeting, Mayor Gilbride said he would ask Sag Harbor Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. to explore what options the village has to ensure property owners are properly maintaining their bamboo and not negatively impacting their neighbors.

Village to Take Closer Look at Municipal Building

Following a special Sag Harbor Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, December 8, the village has agreed to spend $15,000 to explore the structural integrity of the Municipal Building on Main Street.

According to Mayor Gilbride, the goal is to ascertain whether the third and fourth floors of the building — now used for solely storage and not open to the public — could be made accessible through an elevator in the building.

Currently, the Municipal Building has a lift installed to help disabled residents gain access to the second floor, which houses the village justice court, building department, main meeting room and the mayor’s office.

While much depends on what this structural assessment shows, Mayor Gilbride said it has long been a dream of his to have the third floor opened up for use by village government. An elevator is required by law for the village to place any entity needed by residents on the third floor.

Mayor Gilbride said he envisions moving the building department to the third floor, if an elevator could be installed, so that department would have more space in which to work. A mayor’s office and conference room for the village boards could also be carved out of that space, he added.

The village’s justice court has largely taken up most of the office space traditionally used as the conference room, as well as the mayor’s office.

According to Superintendent of Public Works Dee Yardley, he will work with engineers to first try and locate the original schematics for the Municipal Building, which dates back to at least 1850, he said.

After that, ascertaining the possibilities for the Municipal Building should happen rather quickly, said Yardley.

“These are all new thoughts,” cautioned Mayor Gilbride. “The toughest part will be seeing if we can get an elevator in here at all.”

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58 Responses to “Sag Harbor Trustees Withdraw Bamboo Ban”

  1. Selling online Phyllostachys no warning containment says:

    The issue is this. Selling 10 inch rhizomes of yellow groove
    PHYLLOSTACHYS AUREOSULCATA online ( below ) by the hundreds without telling the public it is invasive running bamboo, or for that matter the seller not even knowing himself it is yellow groove is not what the
    ABS would approve of ! These are just the actual LINKS to the sellers advertisements.

    What is not truthful about this? Do you care how many people ten years later will have massive problems with neighbors, and damage ? Are profits that important? Tell the truth : it is Phyllostachys being sold online
    WITHOUT responsibility BY the SELLER .The American Bamboo Society would approve this statement. ***If you disagree then state here “WHY “.

  2. Steve Lau says:

    As stated before, the only thing I did was help identify the bamboo for this guy which is all he asked for. I also let him know it was one of the most aggressive types out of the phyllostachys, and this was a few years ago. Since he is using my name to represent his operations I will email him about adding a section on how the bamboo can spread into neighbors yards, and how it be contained, or tell him not to use my name to represent his operations because it looks like he very well might be in it for making a quick buck.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    . Also it should be impossible for him to import rhizomes from Thailand because there are import roles against that, unless he’s doing it illegally.

  3. Comments 1-50 on prior page says:

    Readers: Please be sure to click on the tab above that says :

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    to be able to view comments 1 through 50.

  4. Steve Lau has redone the blog to add containment information ..just as of today . AU says:

    We see you have just added containment information to your blog, and
    this is only as of today. 2-28-2012 What about all the people you sold it to
    online using ebay – before today without this information on containment?
    What about all the people that learned how to sell running bamboo online from your instructions on your blog before you added containment information.
    Are you just finding this out , or doing this because this has been
    exposed ?

  5. Steve Lau says:


    You really are just an despicable internet troll as mentioned by Barbalang and many other people. You don’t even know me and you make all these false accusations against me and other bamboo growers. Just because you are one of the few people who have had a problem with a neighbor’s bamboo, you don’t have to antagonize the entire bamboo community, or the plant itself.

    You haven’t even seen any of my eBay pages because I haven’t even been selling for half a year as I don’t have much time for that anymore, and I can guarantee that all the buyers were well informed on the containment information which is only a part of the instructions. Do you want to ask them yourself? Here are a few, go ahead and ask them.

    Most people that grow bamboo or sell it are already well aware of the capabilities of running bamboo because they grow it themselves unless they dig from another source, and most people will mention that they can travel by rhizomes. This is something I am assuming, but looking at the page that you put out, there are irresponsible sellers out there. They should also know how to contain it themselves.

    The intention of my blog is to help bamboo sellers sell bamboo to sell it much more efficiently as most of them don’t know about flat rate shipping, and they are paying too much in the shipping process which translates into higher costs to the buyer. If I was trying to make a quick buck off selling bamboo, would I even lend a helping hand to other sellers and stiffen the competition for myself?
    If you were not so closed minded, you would be able to see that I’m trying to make a positive impact on the world as there are millions of people out there that love growing this plant.

    The reason that I added the containment section is because you did actually bring up a good point with Powerman11 using my name in association with his sales and I want to make sure that my blog has absolutely no negative impact whatsoever on the society. If you see anything else on my blogs, tell me about it. I’m not afraid to admit it when I make a mistake or leave out anything important. I am not perfect. I already emailed Powerman11 about the usage of my name and the importance of containment information, but it looks like he hasn’t done anything yet; are you asking me to sue him or something? Since I have thousands of bamboo pictures, I’ve seen websites using them without my consent many times, but I have more important things to do than worry about every detail in the media I have generated on the internet.

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