HILLTOWN - Hilltown Township has a plant problem.

One thing it doesn't have yet: a solution.

The township is working to draft an ordinance to regulate the growth of bamboo. But the quick-growing grass, township officials have discovered, is more complex than they once thought.

When left uncontrolled, certain types of bamboo, most notably "running bamboo," can spread quickly, jumping property lines and invading yards, growing as tall as 30 to 50 feet. After residents complained last year, township officials began pursuing a possible ordinance, said Rick Schnaedter, township manager.

An ordinance was introduced during the township's December meeting, and supervisors are to revisit the issue this month.

Township officials now are working through many issues, Schnaedter said. Bamboo regulations could be difficult to enforce, and he said officials must determine who is responsible for clearing it - the individuals whose yards have been invaded, the residents who own the property from which the bamboo originated, or even municipal workers.

And some residents don't want any regulations at all.

"It's a very difficult situation to deal with," Schnaedter said.

Hilltown joins other municipalities throughout the region that have considered bamboo ordinances. Delaware County's Haverford Township and Bucks County's Tinicum Township, among others, have regulations in place.

- Caitlin McCabe