Knowing all the details early will help you later
Good planning practices start with comprehensive planning guidelines and regulations. Developers need information related to any type of universal service requirements early in the development process. This generally includes electricity, water, natural gas, fire service, telecommunications...and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Since planners are in the business of understanding and communicating new trends and regulatory requirements to builders and developers, the trend toward centralized mail delivery for all new development means it is time that all communities also include the USPS in its preliminary planning regulations.
The most appropriate place to include reference to mail delivery is wherever city planning regulations define requirements related to “common space” uses. Because centralized mailbox stations are utilized by more than one individual/household, they require common space. All common space requirements are generally defined very early in the platting process in order to ensure the developer knows all the details upfront.
Cities and planning departments have a myriad of ways to address such a planning need. Some cities have enacted very specific regulations and design guidelines while others are very general and simply require the U.S. Postal Service to sign off on the agreed upon mail delivery method and equipment locations on the plat.
By including centralized mail delivery with other utility subdivision regulations and planning guidelines, this important public service can be addressed early in the planning process providing developers with comprehensive resources which will help avoid headaches later and ensure mail delivery is not delayed. Plus, effective early planning allows for the creation of a true community gathering area; something your residents will ultimately appreciate.
For more Frequently Asked Questions from Community Planners, click here.
Below are a few examples of how some cities have addressed this planning matter:
Example #1: GENERAL SUBDIVISION REGULATION (Denver, IA)
Denver, Iowa Subdivision Ordinance (Ordinance Number 1-2005)
SECTION IV SUBDIVISION DESIGN STANDARDS. IMPROVEMENTS. MAILBOXES, INCLUDING NEWSPAPER BOXES
Mailboxes and mailbox construction shall conform to United States Postal Service standards.
Example #2: SPECIFIC SUBDIVISION REGULATION (Coldstream Subdivision - Boise, ID)
SUB06-00040 / Coldstream Subdivision / Preliminary Plat
Boise City Council / August 29, 2006 / page 9 of 17
Recommended Conditions for Approval
20. Developer shall provide a letter from the United States Postal Service stating, "The Developer and/or Owner has received approval for location of mailboxes by the United States Postal Service."
Contact: (name omitted from example), Postmaster
770 S. 13th St.
Boise, ID 83708-9998
Phone No. (208) 433-4300
FAX No. (208) 433-4400
Example #3: RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION PROCESS (Benton, AR)www.benton.ar.gov/community_development.htm
Preliminary Plat Specifications
Preliminary Plat Specifications are spelled out in Section 15.16.01. EACH requirement should bemet. Incomplete plats may be returned to the developer/engineer, and if not corrected in time forPlanning Commission Packet Preparation, may not make it on that month’s agenda.
In addition to the above requirements, the following should be noted:
--Placement of mailboxes per Postal Service requirements
--Placement of street lights per the Standards for Street Design and Construction, Section 4
--Design requirements per Chapter 15.24
--Required and Recommended Improvements per Chapter 15.28
--Per Arkansas Fire Code, Section D107
Locate Mail Delivery Experts
Find Local Postal OfficialsSearch here for your local Post Office contact information.
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