The United States Postal Service (USPS) is beginning to require home builders around North Carolina to install Centralized Box Units (CBUs) for mail receipt in new, single-family neighborhoods, instead of curbside mailboxes.
To better understand this policy and how it is being implemented, REBIC recently hosted a roundtable discussion for builders, developers and planning officials from Charlotte and the Mecklenburg towns with USPS Growth Coordinator Terry Carr. Here are some of the key points from the meeting:
- The CBU policy, adopted by the USPS in April 2012, will affect all new subdivisions, and any new phases of a subdivision where construction was not already underway.
- The USPS prefers that each CBU be located within one block of the residences it will be serving, although a more centralized configuration may be more appropriate for larger subdivisions.
- Charlotte-are developers beginning the entitlement process on a new single-family neighborhood should plan for the installation of CBUs instead of curbside boxes, and submit a site plan to Terry Carr at the USPS Mid-Carolinas District Office for review and approval during the plan review process. It is also important to work with the relevant local planning department and other entities responsible for plan review, to ensure the location of CBUs does not conflict with other development regulations or requirements.
- For neighborhoods that are already entitled and under construction, it will be critical to involve the USPS as early as possible to determine whether CBUs will be required for new streets and phases. The District Office has the authority to grant waivers and exemptions when the situation warrants, such as where new homes are being built on a street where existing homes already have curbside delivery. Please contact Terry Carr to arrange a meeting before assuming curbside delivery will be allowed.
Builders and developers are encouraged to review the CBU guidelines developed by the USPS for more details on how to comply with the new centralized delivery policy. There are still a number of unanswered questions about this policy, and REBIC and the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) will continue to work with the USPS to ensure it is implemented in the most equitable manner possible.
REALTORS® selling new homes should ask their builder whether they have talked with the USPS District Office, their local postmaster, or their local planning department about how mail delivery will be handled in the neighborhood. Some new homes may still be able to use curbside boxes, if approved by the USPS.
However, it is important for everyone involved to know what the postal service will expect for mail delivery well before closing occurs!
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact REBIC Executive Director Joe Padilla.