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New ZIP Codes are proposed for 3 communities

The Postal Service plan would affect Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. Mail processing also would shift to Oxnard.

October 06, 2007|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village soon could be getting new ZIP Codes, a change the Postal Service says is needed to streamline mail deliveries and increase sorting capacity.

Four residential ZIP Codes and three post office box ZIP Codes would change under a plan being reviewed by postal officials, said Richard Maher, a Postal Service spokesman.

If approved, mail that is now sorted in Santa Clarita and trucked to Thousand Oaks for delivery would instead be processed in Oxnard, Maher said.

"It will cut about 25 miles off of transportation," he said. "It will get the mail to the local post offices earlier in the day, which will allow carriers to get out on the street a little earlier. It saves on gasoline too."

Residential ZIP Codes being looked at are 91320, 91360, 91361 and 91362, as well as post office box ZIP Codes 91319, 91358 and 91359.

The new ZIP Codes, affecting 57,941 residential and business addresses, would not be revealed until the changes were approved, Maher said.

The proposal will go before a regional board and then to the Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., for final approval, probably sometime after the new year, Maher said.

Thousand Oaks City Manager Scott Mitnick said postal officials told the city about its plans in July. It would be a hassle to change stationery and business cards, Mitnick said, but the end result would be beneficial.

"It makes much more sense to have [the mail] processed in Oxnard," Mitnick said. "It's more efficient and will make postal service and delivery faster. We'll also have numbers that are in sync with our region."

Most of Ventura County's ZIP Codes begin with 930. The 913 prefix assigned to Thousand Oaks and surrounding communities puts them in the same mail-sorting region as the San Fernando Valley, though they have little in common, Mitnick said.

Maher said ZIP Codes beginning with 913 are a remnant from when Thousand Oaks' mail was sorted at a huge processing plant in Van Nuys. Los Angeles County is so large that it is divided into three separate postal districts, said Maher, who is based in Los Angeles.

In 1995, when a new mail-sorting center was built in Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks' mail was transferred to it. That plant is approaching capacity, so a move to Oxnard makes sense, Maher said.

"It will work out well for our customers and for the Postal Service," he said.

If the changes are approved, the new ZIP Codes would be announced early next year, Maher said.

The new codes would take effect July 1, but the Postal Service would allow a one-year grace period to give everyone a chance to adjust, he said.

"We can program machines to sort both ZIP Codes properly," he said.

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catherine.saillant@latimes.com

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