The United States Postal Service (USPS) is beginning to require builders around our state to install Centralized Box Units (CBUs) for mail receipt in new, single-family neighborhoods, instead of curbside mailboxes.
While not being uniformly required statewide, some local postmasters in Greensboro and the Raleigh area are requiring CBUs in subdivisions where postal service delivery was not established prior to April 2012 — the date the CBU policy was first adopted in the Postal Operations Manual.
Locally, the Towns of Cornelius and Huntersville have both begun requiring all new single-family neighborhoods to provide for the installation of CBUs during the zoning and plan approval process, with the expectation that the USPS will mandate them once homes are being built and sold.
This issue first came to light last summer, when two the postmasters in North Mecklenburg County began withholding mail from homeowners in two single-family neighborhoods where curbside boxes had been installed instead of CBUs. REBIC worked successfully with Town officials and Congressman Robert Pittenger’s office to secure waiver on one subdivision, while the developer of the second reached an agreement with the USPS to install the CBUs.
REBIC is now working with the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) and two North Carolina congressmen to ensure this new policy is implemented in a fair and reasonable manner, preferably through local planning departments, and when sufficient time is available to plan for the proper placement of CBUs in a new single-family neighborhood.
We recently obtained a copy of CBU guidelines developed by the USPS, along with a letter to local planning officials informing them about the new policy. But to date, none of the planning departments we spoke with in Mecklenburg County, including the City of Charlotte, have received this communication.
In order to help NCHBA better understand the scope of this issue statewide, we would like to ask your help in collecting information about where and when CBUs are being required.
If you or one of your builders have been contacted by your local postmaster about installing CBUs in your single-family neighborhood, please contact Joe Padilla, REBIC Executive Director at Joe.Padilla@REBIC.com, or by phone at (704) 940-3174.