A dispute between two Saanich neighbours over bamboo was decided Monday (July 11) with a small claims decision by a civil resolution tribunal.
Charles Parker filed a $5,000 claim against his neighbours, Paul and Cindy Hsieh, after dealing with bamboo from their yard encroaching onto his property for several years.
According to the findings of the tribunal, the bamboo was planted along the 60-foot property line shared between Parker and the Hsiehs back in 2010 or 2011.
With no barrier installed before planting, it wasn’t long before Parker discovered the bamboo’s long, horizontal roots, known as rhizomes, spread to his yard, leaving him little choice but to continuously cut it back.
Over time, stalks of bamboo began sprouting up farther and farther into his yard, creating a nuisance and making it increasingly difficult for him to remove, the tribunal found.
Worried about possible damage to his property and unable to keep up with the plant’s rapid growth, he installed his own barrier last year.
Parker’s claim included all costs of its construction, including $3,174 for materials, $1,680 for labour and $164 for a new drip line to complete the project.
He further sought an order requiring the respondents to remove the bamboo or place a barrier on their side of the fence line, according to the decision document.
The Hsiehs countered by arguing Parker was free to remove encroaching bamboo at any time, and that any damage to structures on his property were likely caused by the roots of the laurel hedge in his yard.
They denied any responsibility for the installation of his preventative barrier.
The tribunal’s final decision ordered the Hsiehs to pay Parker $2,094.51 in damages and other fees.