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Postal dilemma solved in neighborhood where mail delivery stopped

1 year 11 months 1 week ago Thursday, March 10 2022 Mar 10, 2022 March 10, 2022 6:58 PM March 10, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - People living in and moving into a new Baton Rouge neighborhood haven't been getting their mail delivered. It appears a miscommunication that happened a long time ago put them in this situation. They reached out to 2 On Your Side for help and finally got answers.

That miscommunication may have started with a phone call between the developer and someone at the post office. Fast-forward a few years, and the neighborhood was no closer to a resolution until they contacted Brittany Weiss.

Rafael DeCastro moved into the Inniswylde subdivision earlier this year. It's an area off of Bluebonnet Blvd near I-10 that's still being developed. When complete, it will be a neighborhood of about 70 homes.

As homes are being built and people move in, there's a big question: Why isn't mail being delivered?

"For about a year, everyone had been receiving mail at their mailbox and then all of the sudden on January 28, all of that stopped happening," said DeCastro. "We no longer receive mail."

DeCastro says the only explanation he has is a note left in his mailbox. The note was left in late January from Commerce Park Management. It says, "Centralized delivery should be the mode of delivery for all new and expanded growth. The developer is required to obtain postal approval, prior to installing boxes." The note also says that the USPS will deliver packages but will no longer deliver letters of any new housing developments.

That's not what DeCastro says he was told when he first moved into the neighborhood.

"When we first moved in, they told us we had to purchase a mailbox," he said.

That mailbox has sat cold and empty for the last few weeks. His mail is being held at the post office, and he says he's been told he can only pick it up on Fridays. He's concerned, as a resident, that he's caught in the middle.

"We've done everything we were asked to do, and now we're the ones suffering," said DeCastro.

In 2012, the United States Postal Service approved central delivery, or cluster boxes, as the preferred mode of delivery for new residential and commercial developments. There are rare exceptions, but developers and builders request the mode of delivery approval in the early planning stages.

This week, 2 On Your Side heard from the original developer who says individual mailbox delivery was verbally approved. That's why people living in Inniswylde have been purchasing mailboxes.

"Someone moved in two Fridays ago, and they made them put in a mailbox," said DeCastro.

Now the neighborhood and the new developer are wondering where the cluster boxes would go. A dead-end street has been discussed, but that dead-end has no public area for cars to drive up and turn around.

"It's going to be crazy when you have to get in there and pull out of there," he said.

DeCastro is asking the post office to hear them out.

"They're saying we need centralized mail, but there's no place to put the boxes."

When the feds didn't listen, he called us.

Thursday, a complete reversal from the United States Postal Service was enacted when 2 On Your Side got involved. While the preferred method of delivery for new developments is still centralized delivery, in this specific case, curbside delivery previously provided will resume starting Friday, March 11.

Below is the statement provided by the USPS:

The Postal Service is proud to continue its vital role in today's changing mail environment. We are directed by statute to provide reliable and efficient service. The Postal Service's preferred method of delivery for new residential and commercial developments is centralized delivery, utilizing Cluster Box Units (CBU). However, in this specific instance, curbside delivery previously provided to current residents of the Inniswylde development will resume starting tomorrow, March 11, 2022. Customers who had been picking up mail and packages at the Commerce Park Station no longer need to do so. We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused.

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