Fairfax County is looking to crack down on running bamboo spreading to properties across the region.
Residents expressed both support for and concern about proposed fines for property owners who allow bamboo to spread during a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (Feb. 22).
The board deferred a decision on adopting an ordinance to March 22, suggesting ways to address the concerns raised about the new rules.
“I think it’s clear we’re going to address this. The question is making sure we get the language right,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said, thanking speakers for helping the county make the ordinance as effective as possible.
Under the county’s proposal, property owners who receive complaints for failing to contain running bamboo would be required to address the issue within 30 days of getting a notice of the violation. Fines would start at $50 for a first violation and go up to $200 for each subsequent incident, with penalties capped at $3,000 in a year-long period.
The county has considered an ordinance for years but pursued educational efforts simultaneously. In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing localities to regulate bamboo.
Complications with creating an ordinance were evident at the public hearing. Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw hypothetically noted that someone who had bamboo spread from a neighbor’s property to theirs and then to another neighbor’s would mean that both they and the original homeowner would be responsible.
“It’s not just the original planter of the bamboo,” Walkinshaw said.
He suggested the county should have a policy about not pursuing fines if it’s unclear who was initially responsible.
Fairfax County Director of Code Compliance Jack Weyant said the county would first pursue educational efforts, distributing flyers and working with homeowners, before fines were considered.
Speakers at the meeting, including Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, also raised concerns about how the amount of the proposed fines could affect residents.
“If you’re on a fixed income, you could lose your house over that,” resident Judi Johnson said, calling the maximum penalty horrifying. She added that bamboo isn’t a monster, saying it’s just people haven’t learned how to work with it.
In contrast, resident Petra Riedel-Willems says she has been inundated by bamboo on all sides around her property.
“I strongly, strongly support this ordinance,” she said, adding that she feared it might lead people to use environmentally harmful pesticides and wants to avoid that.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said that running bamboo is still sold commercially and allowed by the state.
“It would be nice to be able to turn the spigot off so that…we’re not at least seeing additional problems emerge,” he said.
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Are you ready for summer? Live Fairfax has a bucket list of indoor activities, outdoor escapades and trips to explore this summer.
Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road