How to Make a Village in New York

If you do not live in a city, or a village, you and your neighbors can create a village, if you meet certain criteria and have popular support.

Is becoming a village right for you? That’s another question. This is about the process.

this is not legal advice nor written by a lawyer. sections of the law are cited. also, new york state has published a guide (also on GitBook) to to process.

Criteria to become a Village in NY

500 inhabitants, within five square miles that are not in a city or village §

Petition to Incorporate

20% of voting residents sign petition to incorporate and file it with the Town Supervisor, with a $6000 deposit §

Public Hearing

Town Supervisor announces date of public hearing to review if residents meet criteria to become a village and the petition is in order. If so, election is announced. §

Election

Vote “for incorporation” or “against incorporation” §

If more people vote for incorporation than against incorporation, you’ve just created a village. Congrats! § You also get your $6000 back, if you win. §

Now you have to make a government, normally a mayor, who runs with a slate of trustees, and other roles. The specific form of government is flexible and up to the residents. §

There’s laws and details to all of this, but basically, from the public’s perspective, those are the highlights.

New York State Village Law


Did you try out being a village and decided it’s not right for you?

It’s even easier to abolish! #AbolishTheVillage

A petition of 10% of the residents can be presented to the executive (mayor) and then an election is held. If more vote for dissolution, the village is no more. The mayor can also put it to a vote to the residents. §

Weird, huh?

Well, that’s the rules.