Talk:Unincorporated area

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Urban studies and planning (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Urban studies and planning, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Urban studies and planning on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

"insular area" vs. "territory"[edit]

The reason I removed the word "territory" is that the term is ambigious. A uppercase "T" territory is one that has been Incorporated (e.g. Palmyra Atoll). A lowercase "t" territory is one that is unincorporated. (e.g. everything else). I hope this helps. - Hoshie 07:41, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

merging articles[edit]

Doctor Whom added the template on unincorporated community to merge with this article. Actually, I think the merge should actually go the other way. Without modification, the term "unincorporated" can refer to things other than land, territory, or communities. olderwiser 19:29, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

I agree and have tagged the articles acordingly. However, no discussion has been forthcoming yet and hence after waiting for a week for comments, I'd merge the articles as per the tag on them. --Gurubrahma 12:57, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I've suggested merging this article with census-designated place--both articles cover the same territory with the one caveat that CDP talks about a census bureau designation. That could be easily covered in this article.--Velvet elvis81 18:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, no, not at all the same. A CDP has a very specific, albeit somewhat confusing, meaning. Not all CDPs are unincorporated. olderwiser 01:06, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Strong agree with Bkonrad, a CDP is distinctly different from an unincorporated area. --MMX 09:04, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I concur. What older ≠ wiser is referring to is the six New England states that use incorporated townships and have allowed the county governments to wither away to vestiges, unlike most other states which divide local administrative power between cities and counties. Some New England townships are so large as to have several geographically distinct communities within them, which all require their own CDPs. --Coolcaesar 22:58, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I would not want to see a merging of these articles. Some CDPs can be a subset of unincorporated areas, but not all of them are. While CDPs should be mentioned in the Unincorporated area article, there is sufficient difference between the two that Census-designated place should continue to have its own article as well. Whyaduck 11:46, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I second those that say these should not be merged. Census-designated places are statistical divisons used by the census. Unincorporated communities can be any loose grouping of areas by one person or a community. They are statistical divisions. These are not one and the same. --Criticalthinker 04:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Please do not merge in either direction. First, there's the New England situation, where many towns that are fully-functioning municipalities and have clearly defined boundaries are not "incorporated" according to state law and therefore are treated by the Census as CDPs. In contrast, in other parts of the country there are many unincorporated communities that are recognized by the post office, appear on standard maps, and are identifiable on the ground, but that the Census Bureau chooses not to recognize as CDPs. Combining the two would be like combining "apples and oranges." --orlady 16:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Very Strongly disagree!!! CDPs are constructs of the USA National Government Census Bureau just as the Post Office ZIP code service area are created by the US Postal Service (USPS). While the USPS asks for a city in address your mail that may not be the municipality that the addressee lives in. The USA has a federal system of government so ZIP Code areas and CDPs are not exactly municipalities or recognized place names. No one is suggesting to merge ZIP Codes with Unincorporated Areas. While the state government does recognized some place names that Unincorporated Areas are as some may be recognized through platting (survey) records. The Village of Swartz Creek (now city; village was a size tag for incorporated mini.{ie. cities} in MI) was platted as the Village of Swartz Creek in 1877 but was not incorporated until 1959 (with two other place names {Crapo Farms & Otterburn} and other Platted subdivisions. In fact, Swartz Creek was formerly know as Miller Settlement by the residents, Swartz Creek was the Post Office name and Hamiltion as the train station name for one year! Spshu 22:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Very Strongly disagree I can not be more against merging the two articles. I don't believe that there is any useful purpose in doing so. Furthermore there are at least two reasons why it should not be done. 1) This is tantamount to bureaucracy, unnecessary and unwarranted. 2) Merely linking CDP and Unincorporated Area is not at all helpful. The terms are not synonymous with one another. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC).

In law ?[edit]

I believe the article means in USA law, not "in law" in general. However, not being a Columbian, I can't amend the article as I don't know whether to put US law, or whether this is something federal or state or whatever....someone Stateside please help.

I'm not sure if it is a U.S. specific term. I think it depends on whether the other common law jurisdictions have it as well. If they don't have the word, then maybe we should qualify the definition by saying in American law. Does anyone from the British Commonwealth know anything about whether they have unincorporated areas there?
(A British reader responds: There's no such thing as an "unincorporated area" in the UK. I've never heard the term used outside the US.)
A Google search turned up plenty of uses in Canada and Australia. I haven't tried it with other countries. Would someone familiar with the organization of local government in Canada or Australia care to enlighten us? Thanks. Doctor Whom 20:48, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
The term is most definitely used in Canada, and some very large communities have chosen to remain unincorporated for tax saving purposes. Other have chosen to lose their incorporated status and merge with surrounding rural communities. Since the provinces have constitutional jurisdiction over municipalities, the rules regarding them are different for each province. I know in my own province, Alberta, some of the largest communities are unincorporated. See Sherwood Park, Alberta and Fort McMurray, Alberta, and see the good information in Hamlet (place). Kevlar67 12:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
From reading the interwikied article in German, de:Gemeindefreies Gebiet (roughly municipality-free area), it is clear that such areas exist in some German states as well, and to some extent in Switzerland also. And those countries are not common law ones, are they? This article clearly needs to be more international in scope. 22:18, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Ironically enough, the apparent intent of the anon editor who raised the issue was to remove US-centric bias, not to add it. I've had to revert edits in other articles that have backfired in the same way. Doctor Whom 01:10, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, I should point out that using Columbian for American is very archaic and would not be understood by most people. I know what you're saying because I have a bachelor's degree in history, but most people don't know much about history! --Coolcaesar 15:35, 3 August 2005 (UTC)


I dont really belive this article is still a stub, it seems pretty informative, maybe some legal info is needed?

Strange edits by Freekie in July[edit]

I just caught on to this. Where are unincorporated communities signed with the term "unincorporated"? In California and Virginia, unincorporated communities, if they are signed at all, are usually signed in the name of the county. For example, Alta Arden is signed as "Alta Arden, a Sacramento County neighborhood," and in the D.C. area, Rosslyn is signed as "Rosslyn, a neighborhood of Arlington County." If Freekie doesn't give a concrete example soon, I'm deleting his/her edit.--Coolcaesar 09:49, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This edit is rather too vague to remain as is. I don't doubt that there may be cases like this, but at the very least there needs to be at least one specific example. olderwiser 12:33, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Wisconsin. They used to be settlements (for lack of a better term) with names, which got swallowed up by townships (six-mile-square). There are signs showing where the old towns were, listing them as "unincorporated." But what I'm talking about fits under the definition of the first bullet point (a neighborhood that is within a town), so it's no big deal - I just gave a more specific description. I'll see if I can get a picture for you, but either way, feel free to edit the article in any way you see fit. -Freekee 03:00, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, see, it's kind of confusing, since towns in Wisconsin, are like civil townships in Minnesota and Michigan and are not themselves "incorporated" municipalities. These towns and townships are county subdivisions established under provisions of general law. Their powers are limited by the provisions of the statutes. On the other hand, with incorporated municipalities, like cities or villages, the people in an area incorporate as a municipal corporation. Such municipal corporations have considerably more powers than general law entities. The confusion arises because in other states, towns are just another type of municipality. And even in MI, MN and WI, some townships have powers which approach that of a municipality, so it can be difficult to make meaningful distinctions. BTW, it's not quite accurate to say the settlements got swallowed up by townships -- townships in these states were generally the first form of organized local government in many of these areas. It'd be probably more accurate to say in most such cases that the communities were never incorporated. In the case of a place within a Wisconsin town, I think this would more closely fall under the second bullet point. olderwiser 12:40, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I concur. My understanding of townships is that they were surveyed first and then the settlements within them came later. --Coolcaesar 17:59, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
So what you are saying is that in Wisconsin (and some other states), towns are technically unincorporated. Even though they have governing bodies. I don't think the article and/or bullet points explain this. Sounds like you should do a rewrite. :-) As far as my edit, I don't think either bullet point quite explains what "unincorporated" means in this context. Perhaps something like a neighborhood or other community existing outside of an incorporated municipal government, within a larger unincorported area, or away from a larger urbanized area. My point is that these unincorporated "towns" are really just neighborhoods, but they have official signs, so someone is going to come here to see what that may mean. -Freekee 16:11, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Unincorporated Kansas towns often have a green city limit sign stating the town name and "Unincorporated" underneath, where incorporated Kansas towns list "Population: X,XXX" underneath the city name.

Challenging Gurubrahma's edit as not quite right[edit]

On 9 November 2005, User:Gurubrahma inserted this edit [1] which doesn't sound quite right. In California, we have many unincorporated settlements away from cities (the second part of the second category) and many unincorporated neighborhoods surrounded by incorporated cities (the first part of the first category). The first is exemplified by Glen Ellen, California and the second is exemplified by East Los Angeles, California.

But we don't have neighborhoods that are shared across city borders---in fact, I can't think of any (and I've visited over the years nearly every important city in the state).

Actually, as far as I know, the first category doesn't really exist; it seems to describe a situation where a neighborhood within one incorporated city merely shares the same name as an adjacent neighborhood within an adjacent incorporated city. This is kind of analogous to how the names Kansas City and Texarkana are shared by a pair of twin cities on a state border. Thus, such a neighborhood really isn't unincorporated in the sense that it lacks a city government. My understanding is that unincorporated means that one doesn't have a municipal government at all, which means one doesn't have a city hall, so one has to go to the county government to lobby for changes to local services. In the case of physically gigantic counties like San Bernardino, this is the difference between driving 1 mile (if one is driving to San Bernardino City Hall from a San Bernardino residence) versus 100 miles (if one is driving to the county seat from the unincorporated hamlet of Trona).

If Gurubrahma doesn't defend his/her position soon, I'm going to get rid of this original research.--Coolcaesar 03:13, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not certain precisely which statements you're objecting to. Based on your description, I'm assuming that it is this bullet point:
  • a neighborhood or other community existing within one or across multiple existing incorporated areas (i.e. cities or towns). One example is Clifton, Massachusetts.
But, are you objecting to the statement in its entirety, or only the bit about spanning multiple existing incorporated areas? I don't think it is that unusual to refer to unincorporated communities within a larger municipal entity. While the example given, Clifton, Massachusetts, seems to fit the bill for spanning municipal boundaries, I don't know anything about the details and I'd probably describe that as a neighborhood rather than a UC. But I think the idea behind describing it as a UC is that "Clifton" is not an incorporated entity -- the locale by that name is a part of one or more municipalities, but is not itself an incorporated municipality. There are quite a lot of such entities (depending on how you define incorporated municipality). In the midwest, there are multitudes of small communities that are within a civil township, which provides a level of municipal services and local government. But the communities often have a distinct identity apart from the surrounding township and are not incorporated. olderwiser 14:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, what I'm objecting to is this concept of applying unincorporated to neighborhoods that are clearly governed by a city government, when the very definition of unincorporated is land that doesn't have a city government. For example, Nike's headquarters sits in unincorporated Washington County but is surrounded by Beaverton, Oregon. I have never seen a legal professional using the term "unincorporated" for a neighborhood within a larger city regardless of whether that neighborhood spans other cities or not.
I'm well aware of the situation you describe for townships. But that's not the situation described by the phrase "a neighborhood or other community existing within one or across multiple existing incorporated areas (i.e. cities or towns)." The phrase is describing a situation where a named community lies "across" or spans multiple corporate entities (analogous to the situation where the Kansas City metropolitan area spans two separate municipal corporations named "Kansas City,") as opposed to the unincorporated towns which are fully encompassed by civil townships.
My suspicion is that Gurubrahma isn't law-trained and is inadvertently promoting a neologism or original research on Wikipedia, which violates the No original research policy. --Coolcaesar 06:37, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I think that what the confusing passage is trying to get at is that unincorporated can refer to both senses -- you seem convinced that it only refers to the complete absence of local municipal government, while the implication is that the named entity as such is not incorporated.
Re, townships, I don't see the distinction you are making -- there are countless little hamlets that are situated precisely on the boundary between townships or in some cases at the corners and overlap into four townships. I don't see how the phrasing implies the situation you describe with Kansas City, which is really two separate incorporated entities that happen to share the same name. olderwiser 10:48, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


Article (Unincorporated community (New Jersey)) merged: See old talk-page here —Preceding unsigned comment added by Formerly the IP-Address (talkcontribs) 12:13, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Czech Republic[edit]

The Czech Republic has also no unincorporated areas. Every place belongs to a municipality, except for military areas which have their own "governments". I would add the Czech Republic to the list but I am not sure if it should be there because of the existence of the military areas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

this article is really about two distinct topics[edit]

This article discusses, but fails to make a very clear distinction, between unincorporated areas and unincorporated communities. The first is an area, usually very sparsely populated, without any municipal or local level of government. The latter is a community or settlement that is not incorporated as a self-governing municipality. I think the statements in the section Countries without unincorporated places may a little misleading. While it may be true that there are no unincorporated areas (the first sense), there are almost certainly settlements in these countries that are not incorporated municipalities (the second sense).

I'm not sure what to do about this though, as there is already a great lack of any sort of references for this article. olderwiser 01:56, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that these two concepts are distinct. In my personal experience, there is a gradational range in unincorporated places -- from well-defined communities that happen not to be legally incorporated as municipalities (example: Blountville, Tennessee) through a diverse variety of situations to sparsely populated (or unpopulated) areas lacking any local government. The article describes the diverse meanings of "unincorporated" reasonably well, although some references sure would be nice to have. ((Also, the fact that a settlements are not incorporated places does not necessarily make those settlements "unincorporated places," as they may be components of larger areas that have municipal governments.) --Orlady (talk) 02:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
(after ec) There is very little similarity between an genuinely unincorporated area, such as the unorganized territories in Minnesota, or Maine, or some other states, where there is for all practical purposes no local level of government, and unincorporated settlements where there is a distinct cluster of population, but which is not separately incorporated. I think the statement about there not being any unincorporated areas in some countries illustrates the confusion between these concepts. There are almost certainly unincorporated settlements in these countries, but such assertions are made because of the lack of clarity in distinguishing these concepts in this article. That there can be unincorporated settlements within incorporated areas is exactly the sort of confusion I'm referring to. olderwiser 02:41, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Poor Hyannis example[edit]

"a neighborhood or other community existing within one or across multiple existing incorporated areas (i.e. cities or towns). In this sense, a community is part of a municipal government, but not separately incorporated from it. For example, Hyannis, Massachusetts is an unincorporated village within the town limits of the larger incorporated town of Barnstable." The point is valid but the example is not. Note that villages are not a valid political body in Massachusetts; the smallest possible municipality under law is the town. Note that the town of Barnstable provides all the services to "Hyannis". I think it is inapporpiate and misleading to call it an "unicorporated village" when it incorporation is impossible to begin with. With this logic, however, Manomet and Cedarville in Plymouth, MA; Bryantville in Pembroke, MA; and Weymouth Landing in Weymouth, MA could be considered "villages" to simply because there is no legal definition or capacity to become incorported. I nominate the example for deletion when someone can come up with a more appropiate example. Dexta32084 (talk) 23:14, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Your point about potentially misleading terminology is valid, although the general point being made with the example is still valid. While it is true that there is no incorporated "village" as implied by the term unincorporated village, the distinction would be the same if the terms were changed to unincorporated community or unincorporated hamlet, or other even more circumlocutory phrasing. If you'd prefer community or hamlet to village in that example, I'd have no objection, but I don't see that it would make much of a difference. olderwiser 23:21, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, since Hyannis is as good as any other New England village. We could have just as easily used Pinardville, New Hampshire or Riverton, Connecticut. The concept of a distict, recognized center of population which is part of a larger incorporated municipality is well established, and Hyannis is clearly one of them. 00:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


This article states that in Norway "…a handful of unincorporated cities exist within ordinary municipalities". What is this supposed to mean? In Norway, cities are municipalities. I know that people sometimes (even often) refer to the settlement that is the administrative centre of a municipality as "the city", but that is not formally correct. Such a definition would also make all cities unincorporated (except maybe Oslo), so the quoted text would still be wrong or misleading. I believe the situation is the same in Sweden. Svalbard might be unincorporated, though, but I am not quite sure about what exactly "incorporated" means. Ters (talk) 15:07, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the main problem is that there seems to be an underlying assumption that a municipality basically corresponds to a particular community (town, city, settlement of any kind). This is simply not the case in Norway, where a municipality is the local government unit responsible for a certain geographical area, which can contain any number of separate communities. As such, every square inch of Norway is assigned to a municipality, without exception. In fact, some municipalities in sparsely populated areas are even larger than counties in more densely populated areas of the country. Naming certain cities as unincorporated communities makes little sense, because (with the exception of the capital, Oslo) no Norwegian municipality is intended to govern a single specific city in the first place. Maitreya (talk) 14:53, 1 March 2012 (UTC)


I came to this article because I keep seeing the term Unincorporated area used in Wikipedia to describe places, particularly ski resorts/mountains in the state of Victoria, Australia. The one I had looked at today was Mount Baw Baw. I have been visiting these places for 50 years and never heard or seen the term outside Wikipedia. The whole section titled Australia has only one reference and it's only about the Northern Territory.

What is this section really on about? I see it as a form of polluting garbage because enthusiastic but misguided editors keep copying bad styles from each other and creating a new but unnecessary usage for the term in articles that don't benefit from it. HiLo48 (talk) 02:30, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I concur. The problem is that there are a lot of people out there who do not understand what the term unincorporated means. The first problem is that unincorporated strictly means no municipal government, so it's inappropriate to apply it to places like Hyannis, Massachusetts, which is merely a neighborhood, not unincorporated. The other problem is that it's predominantly used only in American English and it's inappropriate to apply it outside of that context. --Coolcaesar (talk) 21:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree. Firstly, the term "unincorporated" is used to refer to areas that are not a part of a municipality in Australia. See for instance this list of municipalities and unincorporated areas [2]. On that page (page 3 of the municipalities list you can get by clicking on the "search: municipalities" link, if it doesn't work), you will see both "Falls Creek Alpine Resort (Unincorporated)" and "French Island (Unincorporated)". This isn't in a list of places, mind, but a list of municipalities!
So you can't deny that there are areas in Australia, which are described as being unincorporated. Considering municipalities are more commonly known as "local government areas", it seems difficult to describe "unincorporated area" as being a false description of what French Island is!
Now, local government in Australia and America are completely different. We've only got one level; in many respects, our LGAs look like counties in America (although obviously the responsibilities and councils are different). For instance, at least in Victoria, suburbs, cities, towns and "rural districts" very rarely correspond in any way to LGAs (in Melbourne, there's only one council which has no suburbs that are not apart of another council!).
I've just tried adding a few paragraphs that explain some of the differences. My comments were added to try and put the Australian situation in perspective. But this isn't really the right place.
In reality, I begin to think about whethere or not Wikipedia should have an article on unincorporated areas. The difference in local government between Australia and the US is sufficiently great, that the similarities between "unincorporated areas" are going to be trivial enough they're better dealt with in separate articles.
(I've also just noticed that "unincorporated community" redirects to this same article, and by a reasonable standard, I think it's possible to say that almost all communities in Australia are unincorporated, because we distinguish between (say) the City of Melbourne, and Melbourne the city. At least, this wouldn't be more misleading that the current standard. But this isn't something to take up *here*. Wikipedia is systematically crap and narrow-minded.)
Felix the Cassowary 14:06, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Hey. Don't get too frustrated. I learnt a lot from your contribution above. If you can get that information into Wikipedia it would clarify things a lot. I tend to agree with you that the meaning is different enough to justify separate articles for different countries. Too many Wikipedia articles cover what happens in places outside the USA as minor variations on what happens there, all inside an article originally created to describe something in the USA. Anything to reduce that US-centric approach is a good thing. Keep up the good work. HiLo48 (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

New England[edit]

Compare the assertion in this piece to that of the wiki entry on Maine

"... Unincorporated regions are essentially non-existent in the six New England states and New Jersey due to the weak or nonexistent county government system.[citation needed] Nearly all of the land in New England (and all of the land in New Jersey) is part of an incorporated area of some type. ..."

"Unorganized Territory of Maine consists of over 400 townships (towns are incorporated, townships are unincorporated), plus many coastal islands that do not lie within any municipal bounds. The UT land area is slightly over one half the entire area of the State of Maine."

And, while on the subject of New England, the use of Hyannis as an example of an unincorporated area is patently inappropriate - as already cited by a couple of folks, but cavalierly disposed of by others - Hyannis is a neighborhood, once a village but no longer - as that form of government no longer exists. If we accept Hyannis on those terms as an unincorporated area, significant portions of every urbanized state in the US would fall into the category. Is there any groundswell here for designating Canarsie, BackoftheYards, Beacon Hill, or Watts as unincorporated areas? The logic is no different - hell, in Massachusetts, that would mean that the entire city of Newton would encompass 5 unincorporated areas, the former villages that comprise it.

As for the last retort to an objection about Hyannis - the response cites Riverton, CT - which is a historic district - and Pinardville, NH - which is a CDP. Neither of those fit the accepted idea of an unincorporated area, either. Irish Melkite (talk) 03:29, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

To address your second point of confusion, the term "unincorporated area" has two distinct meanings. The first is "an area not part of any municipal corporation" and the second is "a recognized and named population center which is part of a larger municipal corporation" (i.e. not seperately incorporated). In New York State, these areas are usually called "Hamlets". In New England, the second term tends to get used more commonly, i.e. for places like Hyannis. That brings us back to your first confusion regarding New England. Excepting Maine, there are almost no "unincorporated areas" anywhere in New England. There are a few oddball locations in New Hampshire and Vermont, accounting for something like 1% of the land area and significantly less that 1% of the population; other than that the entire area of the 5 Non-Maine New England states is entirely incorporated; everywhere is part of a municipality. This is unlike the rest of the country, which is why the Census Bureau can't handle it; it does not recognizes New England towns as a valid form of incoporation, though in most of New England there is no functional difference between a town and a city excepting the form of municipal government, but not its function or responsibilities. Which is why the second definition of "unincorporated place" tends to be used in New England; for example Weirs Beach, New Hampshire is often called an "unincorporated village" because it is a distinct population center; however it is part of the municipality of Laconia, New Hampshire. Locals recognize Weirs Beach as a seperate place from Laconia; but it receives all its services from and is politically part of, the City of Laconia. --Jayron32 05:58, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

So what is the point of being not incorporated?[edit]

I did not catch what is the point to be not incorporated. A type of a tax evasion? Does not make any sense. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 05:24, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I would guess that it would start with not having enough population to qualify to incorporate (depending on the location). Another would be that those who live in the area may not be equipped to run their own local government for various reasons or otherwise may simply choose to not form one. Another point--I don't know about other countries, but in the US "tax evasion" is illegal - the term I think you seek is "tax avoidance" which is much different. Having lived in both incorporated and unincorporated areas and I personally find advantages and disadvantages to both. For example, if I wanted to go pheasant hunting or deer hunting on my property in rural Kansas, all I needed was a hunting license. If I tried to do that in Overland Park, Kansas I'd likely have problems with the police!--Paul McDonald (talk) 05:34, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
The point is that if you have an incorporated government, there is more local control, but more local micromanagement. I'll clarify the article.--Coolcaesar (talk) 10:45, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I think in the Australian state of Victoria (where local government is quite different than in America, see above), unincorporated areas exist to give the state government more power over what planning. I am only speculating, but this is the best reason I can think of to have a few alpine resorts separated from their surrounding lgas. —Felix the Cassowary 07:02, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Changes to lead[edit]

I recently changed the lead to read "In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land, usually a city, town, village or hamlet that does not have its own municipal corporation. Such regions are generally administered by default as a part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, borough, county, state, province, canton, parish, or country."

This was challenged and reverted, and so I would like to explain my reasoning here so that we can reach some consensus as to the way forward. The problem may simply be in the difference in meaning from one country to another. I am in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the lead as it now stands makes no sense from my perspective. I live in a tiny community called Seafoam, which the Canadian Government defines as an unincorporated area.[3] I can assure you (unfortunately) that we do have to pay taxes, in our case to the Municipality of Pictou County. The distinction, in case it is not clear, is that Seafoam itself is unincorporated and there is no municipality of Seafoam; our services are provided by, and taxed, by a municipality at the county level. The two statements I removed, "a region of land that is not a part of any municipality" and "An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government" just do not apply. Derek Andrews (talk) 23:56, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

The statement an unincorporated area is a region of land, usually a city, town, village is self-contradictory for many places as, with the exception of hamlet, these terms often describe incorporated municipalities. I agree that the statement about taxes is highly misleading, though I'm not sure how to fix the lede. Personally (per my comments above at #this article is really about two distinct topics), I think this article is pretty hopelessly confused. olderwiser 01:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed that the above noted statement is contradictory. The usage of city, town and village implies that such communities are incorporated. Also agreed that this article is hopelessly confused. Hwy43 (talk) 01:55, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Concur with Hwy43. Although I think the underlying problem is that Canadian English is using a different definition of municipality, one which makes no sense---which is probably due to the atrocious quality of Canadian universities and law schools. --Coolcaesar (talk) 09:39, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
You only need to read Municipality to see that the term has many definitions world-wide, and even within the USA, and most are set by the highest law makers in the land, and no doubt take heed of local history, needs and circumstances. Derek Andrews (talk) 13:46, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that the terms town and village imply incorporation, at least in a vernacular sense. My nearest village is not incorporated, but I think everyone calls it a village. Whether we are legally allowed to do so, I do not know, but maybe in this jurisdiction there is no legal definition of the term anyway. Derek Andrews (talk) 13:55, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this is a tricky one, and with #this article is really about two distinct topics. The lack of references is alarming, given that we are dealing here with something that seems to be legally defined, so presumably the references do exist. Maybe the problem is that there are so many definitions - it seems like in Canada each province and territory defines municipalities, so it could be a big article. It doesn't help that this article is really about something that doesn't exist, or at least is a negative state of being. As for the lede, I think that can only be a very vague statement that outlines briefly the various uses of the term and how it is used differently in various jurisdictions. Derek Andrews (talk) 14:32, 11 March 2012 (UTC)


As someone else pointed out, Maine, which is geographically larger than the 5 other New England states combined, consists of substantial unincorporated territory, though this article seems to ignore this with its emphasis on the New England states consisting almost entirely of incorporated municipalities. In addition to incorporated towns and unincorporated townships, Maine also has plantations, and it's not quite clear whether the said plantations would be considered unincorporated or incorporated. (talk) 14:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Unorganized territory and Unincorporated area[edit]

Please clarify the difference. -- (talk) 13:09, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Both articles are already very well written and the difference is really, really obvious. Of course, if you don't know what is a U.S. federal territory or a municipal corporation, then that could be the problem. And I don't have the time to explain. Go read a civics textbook or something. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:06, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
While it is stretching to call the underreferenced disasters that are both of these articles "very well written", I think the articles do a reasonably good job of describing the differences. olderwiser 14:00, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Pennsylvania does have Unincorporated areas according to a different article.[edit]

This part under United States

"Some American states have no unincorporated land areas; these include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island"

Though Tolna, PA says its an Unincorporated Community.

I don't know anything about this subject, but I just noticed this. So I thought I'd mention it.

--TheeCakee (talk) 19:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

This illustrates why the long-time back merge of unincorporated community with this article was a bad idea. A state that has no unincorporated areas can and, for any areas with significant populations, usually does have distinct communities that are not separately incorporated. olderwiser 19:24, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Same with New Jersey. Ringoes, for example, is an unincorporated community in NJ. (talk) 20:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I am sorry if I am doing this wrong, but it is my first wikipedia contribution. "Some American states have no unincorporated land areas; these include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island" appears to be wrong, as I have just come from the page Goshenville, PA, and the only sentence on the page explains how it is an unincorporated community, and links to this page. Thank you for your time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Do we really need two photos?[edit]

I am proposing to get rid of the Pine Valley photo for two reasons:

1. It's redundant. We already have a photo of the Contra Costa Centre sign. 2. It wasn't taken properly. A seasoned photographer would have waited a few hours for the sun to rotate to his/her back, or simply hit the sign with a really bright flash.

Any objections? --Coolcaesar (talk) 16:41, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Unincorporated area. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 12:43, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

The issue of the lead paragraph[edit]

If anyone adds a "citation needed" tag to the lead paragraph as a result of User:Debresser's recent edit (which I just reverted again), I will (1) revert such a tag; (2) ask that editor to take it up with User:Debresser directly. The entire point of having Cabazon listed there is to ward off that kind of idiotic tagging on an issue which is a matter of common sense (i.e., municipal disincorporation). --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:05, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Having an example is in general not the best idea, and especially in a lead section. Moreover, an example does not provide an answer to a "Citation needed" tag, because a source and an example are not the same. Also, it is not clear to me what would need to be sourced in this sentence. Debresser (talk) 12:36, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
In short, if a tag is added, deal with it. Don't point fingers, or insist on an inferior version because of it. Debresser (talk) 12:38, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Very well, we'll do it your way and see what happens. To paraphrase Colin Powell, you broke it, you own it. --Coolcaesar (talk) 17:45, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
I have this page on my watchlist now. If I don't react within 24 hours, drop me a note with the issue, please. I might not have understood the issue with the edit. Debresser (talk) 08:02, 14 December 2015 (UTC)