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Representative Earl Blumenauer

Post Office Community Partnership Act

H.R. 1006

The Post Office Community Partnership Act outlines minimum community contact procedures for any proposed closing, consolidation, relocation, or construction of a post office. Additionally, the bill requires the Postal Service to comply with local zoning, planning, or other land use laws.

Why is the Post Office Community Partnership Act needed?

The United States Postal Service is currently exempt from all local zoning, planning, and land use laws. There have been several instances in which the Postal Service has been unwilling or unable to build new facilities or make changes to existing facilities in a way consistent with community plans. Furthermore, there are no laws requiring the Postal Service to engage local communities in proposed relocations or constructions of post offices. As a result, communities and neighborhoods across the country have been subjected to Postal Service decisions that have negatively impacted service and livability. The 26,000 federal postal facilities are not just remote outposts of federal activity – they can, often are, and always should be centers of community activity.

This bill provides communities an opportunity to be notified of Postal Service plans in advance, which will allow for interaction in the decision-making process between local government officials, the public, and the Postal Service. The Act also addresses the need for the Postal Service to abide by a community’s plans for growth management, land use, traffic management, and environmental protection.

What will the Post Office Community Partnership Act do?

H.R. 1006 amends Section 404(b) of Title 39 of the United States Code, which currently governs only post office closings and consolidations, to extend also to relocations and construction. The Act specifies notification requirements to be given to local government officials and persons who are (or would be) served by the post office.

The Act modifies the considerations that the Postal Service must currently consider when making a determination to take action on a post office. Modifications include considering:

  • the extent to which the post office is a part of a core downtown business area
  • the nature and extent of opposition in the community
  • concerns of local officials, including consistency with growth projections and land use plans
  • consistency with the size, scale, design, and general character of the surrounding community
The Act adds language to require that the Postal Service follow the local land use laws, procedures and public participation requirements to the same extent and manner as other private enterprises. All other entities and interests must follow local land use laws and the Postal Service is better equipped than most to manage this process. Therefore, it is time to ensure that the Postal Service operates within the framework and rules that a community imposes on its own citizens and businesses.

Support for the Post Office Community Partnership Act:

In the 108th Congress, the Post Office Community Partnership Act was supported by 65 bipartisan cosponsors. The Act also received national support from organizations such as the American Planning Association, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Postmasters of the United States, National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Society of Landscape Architects, National Association of Realtors, and Smart Growth America.

For more information, contact Spencer Wilson in Congressman Blumenauer’s Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-4811, or Julia Pomeroy in the Portland District office at (503) 231-2300, or check out our website at

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