What is the process for creating new villages and/or incorporating cities within the following states?

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Pennsylvania
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico

closed as too broad by Nij, Nate Eldredge, Dale M, BlueDogRanch, user6726 Jun 30 at 17:15

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  • It's a matter of state law, so you'll need to specify which state. – Nate Eldredge Jun 30 at 5:57
  • Thank you for your help in correcting me here. I've given specific states now. Up to now it seems like this topic is taboo on state law sites. – Franklin S. Jun 30 at 6:29
  • Simply Googling will tell you everything you need to know per jurisdiction. – BlueDogRanch Jun 30 at 13:38
  • Maybe I'm missing correct terminology? Can you provide an example of what you found? – Franklin S. Jun 30 at 14:52
  • I think six states at once is too broad. – Nate Eldredge Jun 30 at 16:39

The process is broadly similar in most states although I haven't checked specifically. Essentially, someone prepares a map of the initial boundaries of the municipality and a proposed name and proposed charter to a court of general jurisdiction in that area in a petition that also recites that all requirements to form a municipality have been met, and then gives public notice to everyone owning property in the area, usually by both mail and publication.

One or more hearings are held at which the court determines if notice was adequate and that the petition complies with the statute, and hears any objections (e.g. that some of the land is subject to some other municipality, or that someone doesn't want to be in the municipality, or that the population is insufficient to qualify).

If every property owner has consented in writing and it meets the requirements either with no objection, or with objections not supported when an evidentiary hearing is held on the objections, then the municipality is created. Otherwise, if any objections are overcome following hearings on them, then the judge orders that a vote be conducted, and if a sufficient percentage vote and a sufficient percentage of voters support creating it, then the municipality comes into being. An election for initial elected officials is held either contemporaneously with the formation vote or separately shortly afterwards.

Sometimes, much less commonly these days, a municipal government or local government is created by a law passed to create it.

In Colorado, the relevant statute is Colorado Revised Statutes §§ 31-2-101 to 31-2-109.

In practice, it is now very rare that new municipalities are created. Most developers (developers were the usual creators of municipalities in earlier days), instead, establish large homeowner's associations and/or special district in lieu of a municipality, as it provides for more developer control and is not subject to the limitations particular to general purpose governmental entities.

  • Thank you very much. Where does the concept of incorporation and corporation limits come into play? Are these organizational entities considered corporate entities? – Franklin S. Jul 1 at 2:49
  • @FranklinS. A municipality is a type of corporation. Most, but not quite all, towns and villages would be as well. – ohwilleke Jul 1 at 19:04
  • Thank you. This stackexchange stuff is a rotten place to ask questions, but at least people like you exist who are pragmatic and try to accommodate. – Franklin S. Jul 3 at 1:37

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