Law on creating a government for a new "town" (under 2,000 people - simpler) or "city" (over 2,000 people - besides the steps below, you elect a committee to write a charter, which the public then votes on). You can get to this & other WV Laws from http://www.listener.homestead.com)
§§8-1-3. Classification of municipal corporations.
Pursuant to the mandate of the "Municipal Home Rule Amendment" to the constitution of this state, all municipal corporations are hereby classified by population into four classes, as follows:
(1) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of fifty thousand shall be a Class I city;
(2) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of ten thousand but not in excess of fifty thousand shall be a Class II city;
(3) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of two thousand but not in excess of ten thousand shall be a Class III city; and
(4) Every municipal corporation with a population of two thousand or less shall be a Class IV town or village.
ARTICLE 2. CREATION OF MUNICIPALITIES.
PART I. GENERAL
§§8-2-1. Requirements for incorporation; size and character of
Any part of any county or counties, not within any municipality, urban in character, and containing at least one hundred inhabitants (if such part contains less than one square mile), and an average of not less than five hundred inhabitants per square mile (if such part contains one square mile or more), provided such part does not include an amount of territory disproportionate to the number of inhabitants thereof, may be incorporated, depending upon population, as a city, either a Class I, Class II or Class III city, or as a Class IV town or village, as classified in section three, article one of this chapter, upon the conditions and in the manner hereinafter prescribed: Provided, That the exact extent of the territory or portions thereof to be included or excluded shall be within the reasonable discretion of the county court, taking into consideration the topography thereof, the benefits thereto from incorporation, the amount of uninhabited land required for parks and recreational use and normal growth and development and the present and probable future uses thereof, so as to prevent hardships and inequities.
§§8-2-2. Petition; survey and map.
A proceeding to incorporate any such city, town or village shall be initiated upon petition addressed to and filed with the county court of the county in which the territory is located, or if in more than one county in which the major portion of the territory is located, indicating whether the territory sought to be incorporated will be upon incorporation, depending upon population, a Class I, Class II or Class III city or a Class IV town or village. Such petition shall be signed by at least thirty percent of the freeholders of the territory to be incorporated.
Such petition shall be verified by at least one of the petitioners and shall be accompanied by a map made by a professional engineer registered under the laws of this state, which map shall be based upon an actual and accurate survey of the territory to be incorporated showing the courses, distances and the area of the territory to be incorporated.
Such map shall be verified and shall be left at the residence or place of business within the territory to be incorporated of some individual residing or some person doing business therein, and shall be subject to examination at all reasonable hours by every person interested in such application for a period of at least ten days prior to the hearing on such petition as provided for in section three of this article.
§§8-2-3. Hearing on petition; notice; dismissal.
Upon the filing of such petition, the county court shall set the same for hearing not sooner than ten days and not later than thirty days thereafter, and the petitioners shall cause notice of the filing of said petition and of the date, time and place of hearing thereon to be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the territory sought to be incorporated.
Upon the date set for hearing, the county court shall hear evidence for and against the proposed incorporation, and if it shall determine that the requirements of sections one and two of this article have not been met, it shall forthwith enter an order dismissing said petition.
§§8-2-4. Census; bond; appointment and duties of enumerators.
If the court shall determine after hearing that the requirements of sections one and two of this article have been met, the petitioners shall provide bond in penalty prescribed by the court, with good and sufficient surety thereon, conditioned to pay all costs of taking a census, determining the qualification of electors, holding an election and ascertaining the results thereof, in the event a majority of the qualified electors vote against incorporation; and thereupon the court shall fix a day or days for taking a census of the inhabitants and for determining those who are qualified electors of said territory. For the purpose of taking said census, and determining the qualifications of the electors, said court shall appoint four enumerators for each five hundred inhabitants of said territory based upon the most reliable estimate obtainable: Provided, That if the territory contains less than one square mile and the county court believes the territory contains fewer than five hundred inhabitants, two enumerators shall be appointed. It shall be the duty of the enumerators so appointed to enumerate all of the inhabitants of said territory and to visit each house or dwelling therein, and to obtain the name of each known resident thereof. It shall also be the duty of the enumerators to examine the permanent registration records of the county or counties in which the territory is situate to determine which of such inhabitants are qualified electors therein and to compile and file with the county court a list of such qualified electors. Each enumerator shall receive for his services a sum per day, to be fixed by the county court, but not to exceed ten dollars per day, together with all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the discharge of such duties, which sum and expenses shall be paid by the county court and reimbursed to it by the city, town or village if and when the city, town or village shall become incorporated, as hereinafter provided; otherwise by the petitioners. The county court shall provide an opportunity for all qualified individuals residing in such territory, who have not been previously registered to vote, to become registered prior to the election hereinafter provided for. Upon the completion of said census and the listing of qualified electors, said enumerators shall make a report under oath to the county court that said enumeration and listing are correct, true and accurate, and do not contain the name of any individual who is not a resident of the territory, and that the list of qualified electors is true and correct, which report shall be filed with the county court within the following number of days after the appointment of said enumerators: Forty days if it is to be a Class I city, twenty days if it is to be a Class II city, ten days if it is to be a Class III city and ten days if it is to be a Class IV town or village.
PART II. ELECTION
§§8-2-5. Special election -- Voting precincts; time for election;
supplies; commissioners and clerks; notice.
Upon receiving such a report from said enumerators, the county court shall forthwith fix a date for a special election, not later than thirty days thereafter, on which all qualified electors of the territory shall vote upon the question of incorporation between such hours as may be fixed by order of said court. For the purpose of holding and conducting said election, the county court shall divide the territory into one or more precincts, consisting of not more than five hundred qualified voters in each precinct; shall arrange for and provide at its expense polling places, registration books, challenges and other election supplies as provided for by law in general elections; shall appoint three commissioners of election and two clerks from the qualified electors of said territory for each precinct so established, dividing the election officials as nearly as possible equally between those favoring incorporation and those opposed to incorporation; and shall give notice of the date and place or places of election and hours for voting by publication of such notice as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the territory sought to be incorporated.
§§8-2-6. Same -- Qualified electors; form of ballot or ballot label; election officials; certification; canvass; declaration of results; recount.
On the date named in such notice for the taking of the vote, each qualified elector of the territory sought to be incorporated shall have the right to cast his vote for or against such incorporation at the precinct in which he resides, by depositing a ballot in a ballot box, or by use of a voting machine, to be provided by the county court for that purpose. Each ballot, or ballot label where voting machines are used, shall be without party designation and shall have written or printed thereon the following words:
/ / For Incorporation
/ / Against Incorporation
The ballot or ballot label shall be a separate, special ballot or ballot label.
Such election shall be held and conducted under the supervision of the commissioners and clerks of election appointed by the county court as aforesaid and shall be conducted as nearly as may be in accordance with the laws of this state governing general elections. The results of such election shall be certified as in general elections, and the returns shall be canvassed and the results declared by the county court. In the event any commissioner or clerk designated to serve in said election shall fail or refuse to serve, such vacancy may be filled in like manner as vacancies in such positions are filled in general elections under the laws of this state governing general elections. A recount may be had, as in general elections, upon the party or parties desiring such recount providing adequate assurance to the county court that he or they will pay all costs of such recount.
§§8-2-7. Court order declaring boundaries of city; certificate of incorporation of town or village; dismissal of proceeding.
If the proceeding be for the incorporation of a city, and it appears to the county court, upon the returns being canvassed, that a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation were in favor of such incorporation and the court is satisfied that all of the applicable provisions of this article have been complied with, the court shall by order duly made and entered of record declare that the territory in question (reciting the boundaries) shall thereby become a body corporate, and shall thenceforth be known as the city of ......................, but that until a charter shall be framed and adopted as provided in article three of this chapter, such city shall have and exercise no powers of a municipality except the power to frame and adopt a charter as therein provided.
If the proceeding be for the incorporation of a town or village, and it appears to the county court, upon the returns being canvassed, that a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation were in favor of such incorporation and the court is satisfied that all of the applicable provisions of this article have been complied with, the court shall by order duly made and entered of record, direct the clerk of said court to issue a certificate of incorporation in form or in substance as follows:
"It appearing to the court that under the provisions of article two, chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, as amended, at an election duly held on the .......... day of ..............., 19......., a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation by the qualified voters of the following territory, to wit: Beginning, etc. (here recite the boundaries), were cast in favor of the incorporation of the town or village of ......................., in the County of .................., bounded as herein set forth; and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that all of the provisions of article two, chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, as amended, have been complied with by the petitioners for said incorporation, said town or village is hereby declared to be a body corporate, duly authorized to exercise all of the corporate powers conferred upon towns or villages by chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, as amended, from and after the date of this certificate. (Signed) ............................, Clerk County Court." Thereupon, the first election of officers shall be held as provided in sections two, three and four, article five of this chapter.
If on the returns being canvassed on the question of incorporation, a majority of the legal votes cast be against incorporation, the proceeding shall be dismissed, and no subsequent proceeding for incorporation of the same territory or any portion thereof shall be considered or election thereon had within a period of three years thereafter.