In order to minimize costs associated with delivering mail, the United States Postal Service is implementing a policy establishing central delivery as the mode for all new buildings, including single family residential. Central delivery involves the delivery of mail into Centralized Box Units (CBUs). In more simple terms, every new single family subdivision and townhouse development from Macon to Tennessee may have to have centralized mailboxes similar to those in apartment or condominium complexes. Postal Service officials have explained that this move is authorized by federal law nationwide and that implementation of “more efficient and cost effective” delivery methods can be made by regional directors.
Working together with the USPS, Council staff has detailed the enormous challenge this move brings to the development and marketing of neighborhoods in the region. There are practical construction issues, land allocation for the facilities (giving land where a house may be built), local development code and regulatory constraints, but most of all, market acceptance, where there is an expectation of mail delivery to a box at the end of a driveway. There are additional concerns such as the effect on the elderly and disabled, as well as the problems that may arise when emergency services who routinely depend on clearly marked addresses on mailboxes can’t locate an address.
Postal officials have agreed to work on a case by case basis with developers to determine whether single family or townhouse developments will need to have centralized mailboxes. Before proceeding with any new residential development, please contact Ms. Lynda McCubrey, in the Growth Management Office, at (770) 717-3647, for a written verification of whether or not CBUs will be required.