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RE: Could a bunch of people just 'start' a new town from scratch?

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#1 bxy   Members   -  Reputation: 101

Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:00 PM


Grimunlock asked "Could a bunch of people just 'start' a new town from scratch?" And the overwelming answer was no. Sorry this bothered me. This is America we are talking about. Yes you are free to start a new town. You do have to own the land, or as a group own the land. The land will have to be surveyed for boundries and subdivisions, there will be State laws as to how such is followed out. And your Plat Map resulting from the survey will need to be filed with the Department of the Interior.

This is oversimplified, but should start you in the right direction.

Best of luck


#2 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2849

Posted 22 September 2012 - 01:47 PM

I believe you can, but there has to be a good reason for it. You can't just pick a spot and start building your house, and expect everybody to come and build. There has to be a reason why you would want to start a town right there. Is there a gold mine in there? Oil? Rare earth minerals? The town must have a stream of income to keep growing, and people must have reasons why they want to live there (usually a job security).

#3 0BZEN   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2030

Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

Your best bet is location. Fresh water, industries, trading routes, ect... But most of the good real estate already taken :) Things like mineral resources are not sustainable, unless they have something else going for them, they'll be ghost towns when it all dries up.

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#4 heshiming   Members   -  Reputation: 203

Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

What are the incentives? Are you aiming to create the next silicon valley? That'll need a lot of money, and politics.

A mere piece of land isn't good enough. But what if, say, if you build a game company there, it'll be tax free? Better yet, all game developers get 50% discount automatically at all supermarkets there. Or, if you came from another place, and try to settle, free house.

But I figured even the homeless wouldn't want to come to a town full of shelters. So a clear objective is important.

Having said that, I think the important factors are funding, and government backed policies.

#5 timothyjlaird   Members   -  Reputation: 566

Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:42 PM

If you've got the money and contacts in the right places you can accomplish almost anything...

#6 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:14 AM

I live near an area called Slab City, California. It's not a real town, it's just a big campsite around the slabs of a former Marine base, and it's near an active, little known and well-barricaded Navy Seals training camp. It works like a kind of hippy commune where most people there are squatters, and the slogan is it's "the last free place in America".

Driving there makes me feel like I'm in Mad Max.

#7 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2455

Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:03 AM

Hmm, it's a complex issue. On the negative side (which most people seemed to be coming from):
  • Most long-term homeless are that way for a reason, e.g. addiction or mental issues.
  • The legal issues are thorny. Personally this side of things annoys the hell out of me - the very popular attitude of "I have no use for this property, but you can't have it unless you pay me full market price". Same thing with many TV/movie franchises.
  • Do the ghost towns have any ongoing potential without their initial reason to exist? e.g. a ghost mining town may have been supplied produce from other towns.
  • How would you get them to agree to be taken into the unknown by a stranger?
  • Some level of taxes would likely be demanded regardless of income and what services are/are not being provided.
  • People unemployed or underemployed for less than a year could probably make a go of it.
  • The town wouldn't need to be successful by monetary standards, subsistence farming plus some solar or hydro could go some way.
  • Employment would prevent many from going into crime etc.
  • Gangs likely wouldn't want to live there because it would be too hard to make a living and too poor to steal from.
I'd love to see the homeless making cheap adobe houses etc, but I suspect that current building codes push compliance costs up to unreasonable levels.

#8 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2738

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

Alberta Municipal Affairs

The council of a municipal district or specialized municipality can designate an unincorporated community that is within its boundaries to be a hamlet. A community can be a hamlet if it consists of 5 or more dwellings, has a generally accepted boundary and name, and contains land that is used for non-residential purposes.

Villages may be formed upon request by 30% of electors in a community with a population of at least 300 people. They may apply for town status when the population reaches 1,000 people. The council of a village consists of 3 councillors, one of whom is the mayor. There are 100 villages in Alberta.

A town can be formed when the population is at least 1,000 people and may exceed 10,000 people unless it requests a change to city status. Under the Municipal Government Act a town is governed by a mayor and 6 councillors, unless otherwise specified. The mayor and councilors are elected at large. The size of the council is set by municipal bylaw and presently ranges from 5 to 7 councillors. Councillors are required to be resident in their municipality. There are a total of 111 towns and over 740 elected town officials.

I would imagine each state in the US would have their own specific requirements. So in essence, you'd need the 5 houses and a business somewhere all within an area to get yourself started. Presumably one or more people would own all the land involved. You apply to become a hamlet and from there you work to develop and attract more people and become a village and so on.

Edited by kseh, 24 September 2012 - 10:02 AM.

#9 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:56 PM

if istart a town i would make drugs legal and tax it and become rich

#10 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6702

Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:56 PM

I think pretty much all of the Native land that's left isn't worth stealing to put your town on.
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#11 Toothpix   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 810

Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:56 PM

In the United States, to start a town one must amass a somewhat ample following and have a decent reason to start the town. One must then approach the state legislature and they will vote on whether or not to issue your town a charter for incorporation to be recognized by the state. If your town grows, they will build schools, post offices, and government offices.

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#12 ATC   Members   -  Reputation: 551

Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:11 PM

Sure you can. That's how practically every town in the world got started!

Throughout the course of history, towns usually come into being in stages:
  • A small group or family builds houses in a place and starts living there
  • More close friends and relatives decide to move to the area to be near their loved ones
  • The people decide to start some sort of business to deal with people in neighboring areas (or even the small community itself)
  • More distant friends and relatives move there to get a "piece of the action" and a good place to settle down
  • The people open up one or more shops or stores and start farming to support themselves and make money from trade
  • Strangers begin to take an interest in the growing community and move close by to neighboring lands
  • Trade between the original settlers and their neighbors grows as the neighbors open shops and start farms of their own
  • As trade begins to grow and profit potential gets higher and higher even more people migrate to the area
  • Land begins to be swapped and sold amongst the people in the area and new houses spring up all over the place
  • Larger influxes of strangers come to the area to settle down, build new houses and farms, etc
  • Many many new shops open up to sell goods and services to serve the growing population
  • This process continues until the population begins to become significant
  • Eventually someone will be elected to lead the community; whether its a governor, religious leader, patriarch/matriarch or unofficial mayor or sheriff
  • They apply for a charter of township to become recognized by the state, thus becoming an "official" town

That has happened millions of times in human history. And towns and even entire cities can also be planned. Washington, D.C., for example, was a planned city. To plan a town you just have to have the money and resources (e.g., land).
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