United Monroe: State Legislature must address the 'grossly inadequate' process by which new villages are formed
New York State Law governing the process by which new villages are formed is grossly inadequate. As we have witnessed in Monroe, it permits small groups of landowners and developers to subvert the public interest for economic gain.
United Monroe has long advocated for changes to the law that would stop these abuses.
We were pleased earlier this year that N.Y.S. Senator James Skoufis and Assemblyman Colin Schmitt put forth bills that would make some of the necessary revisions to the village formation law.
They were elected to office because of their awareness of the unique circumstances we face and their stated commitments to prioritizing solutions in Albany.
The residents of Orange County, most especially those in Monroe, Chester and Blooming Grove, look to our state representatives to effect these changes.
However, we are very concerned because the 2019 legislative session ends on June 19. As of now, unfortunately, it does not appear likely that either bill will pass and be signed into law.
United Monroe’s position remains that it is critically important that our state government act with urgency to make the required changes. We reiterate our recommendations that any bill brought before the State Legislature should:
1. Require that a proposed new village pass an “overall public interest” test for both the proposed village and the town in which it is located;
2. Increase the minimum residency requirement for proposed new villages from 500 to 2,000 and require that these people reside throughout the large majority of its territory; and
3. Require a full SEQRA review as is the case with municipal annexations.
A bill which proposes changes to the village formation process must be carefully drafted so that it has a good chance of being signed into law by the Governor and of withstanding state and federal constitutional scrutiny.
United Monroe asks the citizens of southern Orange County to contact their state representatives today to encourage them to pass legislation now which will make the necessary changes to our outdated and flawed N.Y.S. Village Law.
The United Monroe Executive Committee