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Concerns with proposed Village of Seven Springs sparks bill to change state incorporation law

The proposed law would increase the minimum number of residents needed to begin a new village from 500 to 2,000 people. It would also require a financial review to make sure a proposed village is sustainable. 

Blaise Gomez

Jun 12, 2023, 7:04 PM

Updated 344 days ago

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New York could soon change its centuries-old law outlining the way villages are created amid concerns with the proposed Village of Seven Springs in Orange County. 
State Sen. James Skoufis and Assemblyman Chris Eachus held a news conference in Monroe about it on Monday. They backed the bills that just passed in both the Senate and Assembly last week.  
The proposed law would increase the minimum number of residents needed to begin a new village from 500 to 2,000 people. It would also require a financial review to make sure a proposed village is sustainable. 
“Village incorporation law does not exist for greedy developers to basically say ‘Well, we want our own zoning so we can make money.’ That’s not the point of village incorporation law, but in this particular case, the law has been weaponized by the Wagschal’s so they can make more money," said Skoufis. 
Proposed Seven Springs founder Herman Wagschal told News 12 by phone that he has nothing to gain by incorporating the village other than helping people living there with necessary services. 
Skoufis says Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to sign the bill into law. If that happens, current petitions, like Wagschals, would have to meet the new requirements. 
The state senator said he was “buoyed by findings of a recent report from Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law on the need to reform and refine the process of village incorporation.”


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