My zip code has been co-opted

The once identity-certain zip code for Candler no longer belongs solely to Candler. It is now also the zip code of a subdivision with an entirely different name—Biltmore Lake. How does a subdivision get to co-opt a town’s identity? This question confuses and frustrates me, and I have not found anyone in an official capacity who can answer this question or will return my calls.

I recently called a company to order a product. When the company’s representative got to the moment of entering my address, she asked me not for my city but for the zip code of my address. As I have told her “28715,” I heard the same question that I have been asked [about] 40 times during the past year: “Is your city Biltmore Lake?” The answer was an emphatic “no.” I even took a moment to help the company understand that no city or town exists with the name Biltmore Lake and the zip code of 28715. How do I know this? Well, I asked.

I first approached the Candler Post Office after a package for me was delayed. I should note that it was not a package delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, but by one of the major delivery companies. I went to the post office because I learned the mix-up happened because the town on my package stated Biltmore Lake, while the zip code was 28715—the zip code of my Candler address. The response I received from the postal-service agent was one of both frustration and empathy—frustration with how the system had allowed this and how he had to take time to address it with someone else. He explained that I would need to take this up with a higher authority, as he understood that Biltmore Lake had petitioned a higher authority for this type of use of 28715. He gave me a brochure with an 800 number.

After repeated calls and messages, the higher authority never responded. So, I sought additional help from the Enka Post Office—located next to Enka Lake. They expressed similar frustration and empathy. This time I was given a phone number and name of a specific postal agent. What I gathered from her was the same information that the Candler office gave me.

My conclusion is that there is now an opportunity for all subdivisions throughout North Carolina to make the name of their subdivision a “city.” Don’t worry, you don’t need to incorporate or spend any money. From what I have gathered, you just simply send a letter requesting such from the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C. I think it would be great to see all subdivisions get to name their address. How about it? Hillcrest Apartments, NC … The Cliffs Community, NC. Maybe I could even petition to have my own home address be Gibson House, NC 28715. That has a nice ring.

So if you are interested, I suggest that you contact your local post office and ask them if they can assist you with making this change. If you are wondering, no new post office building is needed.

I have one final request. If anyone sees a package laying around Enka Lake with my name on it, please send it over to the Candler Post Office. Thanks.

— Phillip Ray Gibson

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One thought on “My zip code has been co-opted

  1. Sam

    I completely agree. It’s not bad enough that the people that grew up on Enka Lake aren’t allowed to even view it any more, but now they’re taking our zip code? I’ve had the same thing happen to me when giving someone my address on the phone.

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