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New Law Re. Creation of Village of Seven Springs To Face Legal Challenge

According to an article by Laura Bellamy in the Timesunion Hudson Valley News, the new law requiring creation of a village to have 1,500 petitioners and conduct a social and environmental impact study is going to be challenged by attorneys for the petitioners in court "on the basis of it being contrary to a constitutional right to petition".

The new law has been in the works, sponsored and crafted by Senator James Skoufis after review of studie by Pace University.. It was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week. She emphasized her agreement that creation of a new Village should include a thoughtfu impact anaysis, both on the existing residents and adjacent communities.. The new law was written to require 2,000 petitioners, but Hochul lowered the requirment to 1,500. It formerly rquired only 500. signatures. The original law was created back in the 1800's when early development was still under way in New York State and was created to form services in areas of a town becoming more highly populated . Skoufis backed the proposal to make requirements more stringent after studying information from a Pace University study from its School of Law which found that 2 centuries later the law needs to be revamped. Hochul signed the revised verson on December 22. Assemblyman Chris Eachus praised Skoufis for his work on the bill and said he was glad, Seven Springs Road being in his District) that he was able to push it through the Assembly.

The new law would also eliminate a portion of the law that formerly enabled owners of half the property value within the proposed village area to petition for incorporation, which Skoufis said was a vestage of the 1800's political scene. After the Governor signed the new bill, Skoufis said, “The Seven Springs fiasco, would have proven an impossible lift for local taxpayers all so a couple of wealthy developers could make a buck", adding that the idea that such a limited number of homes could pay for administration of needed village services would be laughable if it would not have been so potentially destructive to the environment. and residents..

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