Cluster Boxes: The New Normal for Mail Delivery

mailbox

The Postal Service prefers cluster mailboxes to curbside delivery in new developments.

New subdivisions are more likely to include both detached and attached units, shared amenities and open space, and restricted access points (for example, gated communities).

When coupled with declining revenue as it competes with private express carriers and online order delivery services, it means the United States Postal Service (USPS) now favors the installation of less-expensive cluster box units over traditional door-to-door or curbside delivery in new single-family developments.

In 2012, the USPS updated its Postal Operations Manual to reflect that preference and recommends that developers and builders plan for centralized mail delivery installations during a project’s design phase.

The first step for all developers and builders: Identify your regional coordinator by emailing Delivery.Growth@usps.gov. Contact the coordinator before finalizing plans and site plats with planning and zoning authorities.

The USPS will not begin mail delivery until the regional coordinator has approved modes of delivery and box locations. However, it will work with builders, developers and owners at any stage of development if cluster box units are not feasible.

The USPS has provided NAHB with a webpage with more details about this change — and how it can be an advantage for developers and their buyers. USPS representatives will also give a presentation to the NAHB Land Development Committee before the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando and plan to have a booth during the show to answer questions about the policy.

For more information on centralized delivery, please contact Claire Worshtil.

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  1. John Bitely says:

    Huge mess for us builders and developers with large lots in rural america. USPS will deliver packages to the residents door and now even on sundays and some days 2 or 3 different trips but they can’t drive in a subdivision and drop mail at an individual box. One more cost for the builder and developer to include in a new home………..

  2. James D Obert says:

    This is a recent mandate in our area and there is ZERO cooperation by the USPS. We are being required to implement this mandate in mid development – 1/2 of the homes will have curbside delivery while the newer homes are being required to go the cluster route. This policy greatly affects the elderly, those with mobility issues, safety, traffic and the ability of safety first responders to identify the home of someone having an emergency as the mailbox is the universal means of identification.

    For all of the pabalum of the USPS, there are other answers to their financial mess instead of alienating their “Patrons” who will be less inclined to use their services.

  3. Truly Burtn says:

    Similar comments from us here in South Florida – USPS claims they “implemented this policy back in 2015 and reached out to all builders” but it was news to us. They weren’t very cooperative either. Recently our County Planning Director held a meeting with USPS – to resolve issues with infill parcels, or previously approved platted property that has no space for a cluster box. Mutiple questions were raised about maintenance, available parcel to install, etc. Not a happy group on this issue..

  4. John Bitely says:

    NAHB needs to get active and aggressive on fighting this issue now, as it is almost to late to fight now. I just got updated on this and i am very disappointed in how this is going for us builders and developers. Another cost the makes affordable housing a thing of the past.

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