- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - An eastern Pennsylvania city has narrowly approved an ordinance banning future planting of a fast-growing form of bamboo and levying penalties against those who don’t contain existing plants.

The Bethlehem City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday night to approve the measure aimed at curbing running bamboo following weeks of debate. Officials have said the plant grows rapidly, invading neighbors’ yards and damaging property.

The measure prevents residents from planting running bamboo. Residents who already have it can keep it but must build barriers to keep it at least 20 feet away from property boundaries, easements and rights of way.

The ordinance doesn’t apply to clumping bamboo, which doesn’t spread as quickly, and will be enforced only if a neighbor complains, not if a passer-by reports a bamboo problem.

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