The Brick Township Council has declared war on inavders. At least, invaders that come in plant form.
Species such as bamboo, ragweed, multi flora rose, kudzu-vine and poison ivy are identified as the worst offenders in a new ordinance recently adopted by the township council aimed at controlling the spread of such species in town. While the ordinance includes those species of plants by name, Councilman Dan Toth pointed out at a recent council meeting that the ordinance includes all plants that "grow out of place and are competitive, persistent, and pernicious."
Township officials have said that bamboo is one of the most difficult plants to control – and remove – and it grows and spreads across large areas in a short amount of time. It has been known to damage pools, patios and anything else in its path if it is not controlled and segregated by a steel base around a planting area.
"We’ve had discussions on bamboo, and you can plant it, and before you know it it’s in your neighbor’s yard," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis.
The new ordinance calls for the removal of all of the species of invasive plants specifically included in the ordinance as well as those other "pernicious" species around town. Code enforcement officers can now inspect properties and issue orders to residents that they must clear away plants that violate the ordinance or face the township removing it and placing a lien on the property to recover the cost of removal.
Acropolis said the issue has spread in town recently and until now, homeowners whose neighbors' plants were spreading out of control had no way of obtaining a helping hand from the township.
"The only recourse currently to someone is to pursue it in the court of law, and then we’re talking about expenses incurred by the homeowner," Acropolis said. "We wanted to give the homeowner who’s affected some further recourse."
For homeowners seeking plants native to the Shore area that won't land them in hot water with neighbors, beach plum, prickly pear cactus and bayberry fit the bill. Those species were by Save Barnegat Bay's Willie DeCamp at a recent meeting of the Brick Township Historical Society.