Susan Jacobs-Meadows tells customers her Encore Boutique consignment store is in Sandy Springs, but the local post office says she’s in Norcross.
Her business cards say Sandy Springs and she pays Sandy Springs taxes. The post office still says Norcross.
Jacobs-Meadows isn’t having an identity crisis. She knows her business at 7732 Spalding Drive at the Spalding Corners shopping center in the 30092 ZIP code is in Sandy Springs. The city of Sandy Springs knows it’s in Sandy Springs. But if her customers try to locate her with a GPS device using the address she provides, they might come up empty handed because of how the post office sees her business.
“The mapping is an issue because it identifies us as Norcross,” she said. “Most GPS devices will not find us. It’ll call us ‘Norcross.’ ”
Fixing it is in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service, but so far they haven’t recognized the changeover from when the location of Jacobs-Meadows’ business became Sandy Springs more than five years ago.
Mayor Eva Galambos and other city officials are applying pressure to the postal service about 30092, which shows up as Norcross, and 30328 and 30350, that show up as Atlanta.
Galambos said the postmaster informed the city that the post office does not have a way to change the default city of a zip code if only part of it is within a city. Only a small sliver of 30092 is in Sandy Springs, with a majority of it belonging to Norcross. She said the post office currently cannot divide the zip codes.
“We want every resident and business located within Sandy Springs to be recognized as Sandy Springs by our postal service,” she said. “It’s important and we have had – and continue to have – discussions with the postmaster on the subject.”
Monica Robbs, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said requests to review ZIP code boundaries must be made in writing and she said the city has not made a request about 30092.
“Because zip codes are based on the location of delivery post offices, they often do not correspond to political jurisdiction boundaries,” she said. “When zip codes were first introduced, it was not as common, but boundaries of many jurisdictions have changed with growth, annexation, and the incorporation of new communities on the outskirts.”
She said when the post office receives the request, the post office’s district manager will respond to requests and make a determination. City spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said the city has used “all available channels” to get the zip code changed.
District 1 City Councilman John Paulson, who represents the area that includes the shopping center, said he’s asked the city to include 30092 on the list of ZIP codes it wants the post office to recognize as Sandy Springs. He thinks if the city can get the postal service to budge on one of the ZIP codes, it will budge on all of them.
He also wants to hold an event at the shopping center to raise its visibility.
“I’ve asked the city to talk to the police and fire department about having a Sandy Springs Day in that shopping center, where the fire department drags a fire engine out there to put their stuff on display, to help [those businesses] feel more a part of our community,” Paulson said.
Jacobs-Meadows said she wants the city to put more pressure on the post office to recognize that her business is in the city. After all, she says, it’s where she pays her taxes.
She said when she took over the business in April of 2006, she immediately started building her brand around its location.
“I started trying to create brand awareness of us being in Sandy Springs because, No. 1, I was happy to be in Sandy Springs,” she said. “I think it’s a more desirable location to affiliate your retail business with.”