Home builders working to preserve home mail delivery

Updated: Jul. 24, 2019 at 9:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama home builders are continuing efforts to preserve home mail delivery. These efforts are in response to the United States Postal Service’s mandate requiring mail delivery to cluster mailbox units in new residential developments and commercial developments.

In one east Montgomery subdivision you won’t find a single curbside mailbox. Instead a USPS worker delivers mail to a cluster box unit. A method resident Cori Noble says is inconvenient.

“It is aggravating. I have to walk behind these houses and check my mailbox. I want a mailbox in my yard,” said Noble.

It is also raising red flags for homebuilders.

“We can’t think of any good reason to stop door-to-door delivery,” said Alabama Home Builders Association President David Lisenby.

Lisenby says this mandate by the USPS requires centralized delivery in new residential developments, adding what he calls “unnecessary expenses” for the developer.

“It is up to a developer to find space for it, allocate resources for it, parking for it lighting for it,” said Lisenby.

According to the postal service, this policy was implemented nationwide back in 2012. Since then HBAA has been pushing back on the consumers behalf.

“It may work in areas in the Northeast, where it has been widely accepted, but in the rural South it just doesn’t fit," said Alabama Home Builders Association Regulatory Affairs Director Jason Reid.

With the help of the National Association of Home Builders, Alabama congressional leaders are being urged to support House Resolution 23 aimed at preserving home mail delivery in new residential developments.

“Representative Sewell has already stepped out front and signed on a co-sponsor. We want to make sure the rest sign on as well,” said Reid. “Let us choose based on the market conditions of each neighborhood what delivery method works.”

The USPS sent us this statement:

The Postal Service is proud to continue its vital role in today’s changing mail environment. We are directed by statute to provide reliable and efficient service. One way we do that is through use of centralized delivery, utilizing Cluster Box Units (CBU) as the preferred method of delivery, with rare exception, for all new residential and commercial developments. CBUs have the advantage of being “package friendly,” in that they are designed to accommodate the majority of packages delivered through the U.S. mail.

The U.S. Postal Service’s approval of central delivery as the preferred mode of delivery with rare exception has been successfully implemented nationwide in new residential and commercial developments since 2012. Developers and builders request mode of delivery approval early in the planning stage of new developments and work with local postal managers in determining the most efficient location for installation of the new central delivery equipment (CBUs). Postal customers have historically been responsible for the costs associated with the installation and maintenance of mail boxes, with developers and builders routinely purchasing and installing the new CBU equipment on land that they have dedicated within the development or new area of development. The Postal Service’s District Office reviews the developer’s/builder’s recommendation for the placement of the CBUs and provides the final site approval. The customers’ new central delivery mail service will begin at the earliest possible date.

Please note, the location, size and dedicated use of any municipal or county easement is within the control of the local governing authority. The Postal Service does not seek to intervene in any easement use determinations

In addition, the Postal Service does not unilaterally convert long established curbside or door delivery to central delivery without the consent of the potentially impacted home owners. Please note that new areas of residential development are often built over several years. In instances where the first few new homes within the development area were built and approved for curbside delivery, the Postal Service may request that customers agree to transition to the surrounding central delivery to improve delivery efficiency and security of the customers’ mail.

Postal managers continue to regularly meet with developers, builders and local government officials to address all pending issues, while successfully meeting new home buyers’ expectations of expediting the start of their new central delivery service.

Postal customers in new residential developments nationwide have consistently endorsed central delivery as a safe, secure and efficient way to receive their mail delivery.

The Postal Service remains committed to providing world class postal services to the American public.

Unites States Postal Service

The HBAA has created a website where consumers can learn more about this issue, sign a petition voicing their opposition of the USPS’ cluster mailbox mandate, and contact their members of Congress to urge them to support HR 23.

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