For more than a decade, the city of Eastvale has been trying to obtain an independent ZIP Code from the United States Postal Service (USPS) — one that is not assigned to any other city.

“We became a city in 2010, and since then we’ve always had two ZIP Codes — 92880 and 91752,” Marc Donohue, city clerk and communications director, said. “We’ve always shared those two, and it’s been like that ever since we incorporated.”

But, Donohue said, having those two ZIP Codes has caused a lot of problems for the more than 71,000 residents and thousands of businesses within the city, problems highlighted in a new outreach campaign launched Tuesday.

“Having different ZIP codes in the area has been a problem for me, it’s been a problem for my business, it’s been a problem for people visiting me and mail coming to my home,” Kay Trotman, a local business owner, said in a video posted to social media. “I would prefer to have one ZIP Code that delineates Eastvale from the rest of the areas around, and that would be very helpful.”

Roughly 80% of the city is within the boundary of the 92880 Zip Code. The remainder of the city falls within the 91752 Zip Code. (Screenshot)

There are two ways for the city to obtain an independent ZIP Code. The first is an act of Congress.

“We’ve got two bills that have been introduced in the House right now — the bill numbers are H.R. 696 and H.R. 860,” Alexander Fung, the city’s economic development manager, said. “So if either of them passes, the USPS will be required to do so, but it is always an uphill battle in D.C.”

The second option is through USPS’ ZIP Code boundary review process, which can be triggered by a request from the city or its congressional representatives.

“If the USPS sees merits to this request, then they’re going to survey the impacted population and the businesses and ask them to vote,” Fung said. “If at least half of those addresses respond, and a majority of the respondents vote yes, then the change is granted.”

Eastvale’s 2021 request for this process, which included a letter of support from Republican Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-41), resulted in USPS notifying the city last November that it would not be able to grant the city its own ZIP Code due to the cost associated with the proposed change. The service did, however, agree to add Eastvale as an alternate address last line for both ZIP Codes.

Earlier this year, the city appealed the decision outlining all of the issues caused by having two separate ZIP Codes, including difficulties with emergency management and public safety, business attraction and retention and insurance rates.

USPS again denied the request for an independent ZIP Code, citing cost and time constraints. However, the agency said that for the 92880 ZIP Code, it could accommodate the city by making Eastvale the official address last line — instead of the alternate — if postal customers in that ZIP Code voted in favor of the change on a survey issued by the agency.

“This doesn’t ultimately fix the entire problem, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Donohue said.

Fung said his hope is that Project 92880: Embrace Eastvale would not only raise awareness of the upcoming survey, but also encourage all Eastvale residents and businesses to continue putting pressure on USPS to grant the city an independent ZIP Code.

“We are 13 years old, we are a full-fledged city, we are one of the fastest growing cities in California,” Fung said. “And it’s still a little bit unbelievable, to me personally, that we don’t have a post office, that we don’t have an independent ZIP code.”

Fung said the city has been doing a lot of the advocacy work in-house with different departments pitching in where it makes sense because the city does not have a federal lobbyist, though the council recently approved spending up to $60,000 to hire two firms to help the city with the survey outreach campaign.

“We’ve been very, very, very conscious of taxpayer dollars,” Fung said.

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.