Measured in terms of population density, the Town of Greenburgh is the 12th largest of the 931 towns in New York state. It is located in lower Westchester County and covers 31 square miles of land between the Hudson River on the west and the Bronx River on the east. It is bounded on the north by the Town of Mount Pleasant and on the south by the City of Yonkers. East of the Bronx River are the Town of North Castle, the City of White Plains and the Village of Scarsdale.
There are 6 incorporated villages within the town boundaries:Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings on Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown.
Although the Town of Greenburgh was established in 1788, it is still a relatively unknown geographic entity. There is no "Greenburgh" railroad station, post office, or "downtown" area nor does it appear on New York State road maps. While the villages are recognized as separate communities, each with its own government, it was not until the mid 1940's that the Town of Greenburgh assumed new importance in Westchester County. It was during the post World War II period of residential and industrial development that the Town became a heavily populated suburb of New York City.
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The Unincorporated Area, with its amorphous geographic delineations, remains a puzzle for its residents who may have any of the following addresses: Ardsley, Elmsford, Hastings, Hartsdale, Irvington, Scarsdale, Tarrytown or White Plains.
The origin of this complicated situation is tied to the history of town government in New York State. In 1788, the Legislature divided the state into towns, each of which constituted a separate unit of government designed to provide basic services for thinly populated areas. Toward the turn of the century, as scattered settlements expanded and evolved into well-established communities, the Legislature granted these communities self government status as incorporated villages. The remaining scattered "rural" areas, however, still relied upon the town government to provide their public services. Today, these scattered areas, while no longer rural, still exist and are still governed by the body of law in the State Constitution known as "Suburban Town Law".
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