Recently at a Southern Lowcountry Regional Board meeting, we heard from Bluffton postmaster Teri Yardley, and the Regional Postmaster in Greenville. Their presentation was rather interesting and very pertinent for those community members who live in subdivision or gated communities.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has had some changes, and, yes, some more might be on the way in the form of H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017. For the time being, there is one issue already in place in the Postal Operations Manual (POM), and that is the use of Centralized Box Units (CBUs).

CBUs are now the preferred method of mail delivery according to the USPS. CBUs, and not curbside mailboxes. The POM 631.1 reads, “Centralized delivery is the preferred mode of delivery for all new residential and commercial developments.”

What does that mean for you? If you live in a subdivision or in a gated community that is expanding to include a new “neighborhood,” or if you are moving into a totally new subdivision, you might not find a traditional mailbox at the end of the driveway.

Instead, you will need to find your designated CBU installed somewhere in your community. Since they are installed by the developer, you might need to check with them to find your home’s CBU.

There are guidelines in place, of course, created by the federal government. I do not foresee any intervention by county councils or city councils regarding federal rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are the federal government’s to make and enforce.

We will, however, make sure that all development plans submitted do comply with the proper guidelines. All of this is part of the planning and zoning process.

The difference for you and me, Joe and Jane Public, is going to be no longer having traditional mailboxes at the end of our driveways. What will be even stranger, is that parts of a subdivision could have traditional mailboxes and the newer parts of the community could have the newer CBUs. Talk about odd.

Currently, H.R. 756 is stuck in committee and I cannot really see it coming out any time soon, what with all of the more pertinent bills canvassing Capitol Hill. However, stay tuned as the Postal Reform Act might just make the headlines sooner rather than later.

Now, if I can just find my mail. …

Michael E. Covert represents District 7 on Beaufort County Council. mcovert@