Assemblyman Schmitt Introduces Modernized Village Creation Legislation
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt of New Windsor, Ranking Member of the Assembly Local Governments Committee, today announced he will be introducing legislation that would update and change the village creation process in New York State.
Schmitt says that currently the process to create a village is outdated and too simplified. It can very easily be exploited by a small group of individuals. There is only a minimum requirement of 500 residents. In regards to the validation of petition signatures to form a new village, either 20% of residents in the proposed area need to sign a petition or the persons submitting the petition have to be landowners that own more than 50% of the land in the proposed village area.
In Assemblyman Schmitt’s proposed legislation, the minimum resident requirement would increase to 2,000 residents. In regards to the validation of petition signatures, a new village would need 51% of residents to sign the village creation petition. The landowner provision would be completely removed.
In addition to these changes, Assemblyman Schmitt is proposing a change to the qualification of voters in regards to the creation of the new village. This proposal would state that all qualified voters in the town where the land is coming from would be eligible to vote on the referendum, not just those within the confines of the proposed village as the law currently states.
Recently in Orange County the proposed Village of Seven Springs has spurred the need for action in changing the village creation process. Also the most recently created village in New York, Mastic Beach, is the most recently dissolved village, suggesting that the village creation process in far too simple, with no checks and balances in place.
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt stated, “The outdated law that controls the process of creating a new village needs to be amended and modernized. This simplified process lacks a system of checks and balances and can be easily exploited by a small group of individuals or land owners”
My legislation will increase the minimum number of residents needed to form a village, increase the minimum number of signatures from residents of that area needed to validate a village creation petition and eliminate the ability for a small group of landowners to validate a village creation petition. My bill will also require that all residents of the town where the village would be created from would be able to vote in a village creation referendum. A entire town would deal with the consequences, negative or positive, from the creation of a proposed village regardless if they live within the proposed village boundaries.”