The delicate nature of changing your zip code to the city next door

This is not a political post, but a good example of how politics and real estate collide on the local level. One of the largest companies in Rancho Cordova, Aerojet, has recently made a move to request a zip code change from the post office for some of its Rancho Cordova property to have a Folsom zip code. As you can see in the video below, Vice-Mayor David Sander is not happy. You can read a more detailed explanation by David Sander here. For those who may not be local, Folsom has a higher median income and higher property values than Rancho Cordova, and it’s important to note Aerojet has been the source of environmental issues in Rancho Cordova too as their Superfund site covers 5,900 acres according to the EPA.

Can you think of a move that would be similar from Rancho Cordova to Folsom? Maybe Sacramento to Elk Grove, Citrus Heights to Roseville or North Highlands to Antelope? Have you seen companies or households do this successfully? I’d be curious to hear from Folsom residents and Rancho Cordova residents also.

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Comments

  1. says

    Ah yes, the mighty ZIP code. Created to help sort/deliver mail but has become so much more in the age of databases. It’s a shame that the USPS refuses to recognize that ZIP code is TIGHTLY tied to community identity and is used for far more than just mail distribution. While not exactly what you wrote about, we have had our share of ZIP code “issues” here in south Yuba County. Historically, from a postal standpoint the majority of the valley floor in Yuba County was “Marysville, CA 95901” with small pockets of other ZIP codes for Beale AFB, City of Wheatland, and community of Olivehurst. The area where Plumas Lake is now was part of 95901 and the people who lived here were considered “Marysville” from a postal standpoint. Some of the first residents in Plumas Lake in 2004 had Marysville addresses. Then, the postal service decided to expand the 95961 ZIP code (Olivehurst) to include the Plumas Lake Community and added “Plumas Lake CA” as an acceptable city in the ZIP. Rural areas around Plumas Lake remained “Marysville” from a postal standpoint. Then, a few years later, they expanded the 95961 ZIP code even more to include all the entire extreme SW portion of the county. Rural areas that for years had been “Marysville” were now “Olivehurst”. The community of Linda was split in half from a postal standpoint with one half keeping the Marysville (95901) ZIP code and the other half the Olivehurst (95961) ZIP code. Linda was added as an acceptable city name to 95901 and West Linda was added to 95961.

    In all of this, the community people didn’t live in changed, but their postal identity did. The problem is that so much in our database driven society is based on ZIP code and while the USPS recognizes a 1 to many relationship with respect to ZIP codes and Communities many databases and organizations do not. The following communities are acceptable city names for the 95961 ZIP code: Arboga, Olivehurst, Plumas Lake, and West Linda but many databases only recognize Olivehurst as it is the “primary” city name for the ZIP. This means that residents in Arboga, Plumas Lake, and West Linda are often considered to live in Olivehurst when they do not.

    • says

      Gary, what an insightful comment. Thank you very much. What amazes me is that the USPS has the authority to make zip code changes that can truly impact the identify of cities and bring unwanted consequences. It baffles me in this case that USPS can simply redefine land that belongs to Rancho Cordova as being Folsom. That doesn’t smell quite right to me.

      • says

        Agreed. It all comes back to how the USPS views ZIP codes and how the rest of us do. If it is just a mechanism for delivering mail, then it doesn’t need to align with community boundaries or incorporation lines (their view). Of course most people would agree a ZIP code is far more than that.

        I’d love to fight to get Plumas Lake & Linda their own ZIP codes at some point as it is a big part of community identity, but from what I’ve read it isn’t easy. Strange how Rio Oso, a community just across the Bear River from Plumas Lake has only 500 people and it has a ZIP code and a post office and yet we have 6000 people and have neither.

        • says

          I’d love to be a fly on the wall in some of the USPS meetings that determine how they determine zip codes and balance that against city and area boundaries. Thanks for your perspective on your area.

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